Women Lead


RepresentWomen and Nepali Elected Officials Discuss the Future of Women's Political Representation

Posted on Blog by on August 24, 2018

From the hills of the Himalayas to our nation’s capital, the fight for female representation in politics shares many of the same successes and setbacks. Commonalities emerged during a robust and rewarding discussion between RepresentWomen staffers and eight Nepali women leaders. The women, a mix of federal, state and local government officials, visited FairVote’s Takoma Park office on Tuesday as part of an visit coordinated by the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and hosted by FHI 360. The meeting also gave participants an opportunity to better understand how their respective country’s electoral and gender parity policies differed.


A Conversation with Nadya Okamoto: Ranked Choice Voting, Young Women Running, and Representative Democracy

Posted on Blog on November 03, 2017

At the age of 19 years-old, second year Harvard student Nadya Okamoto is running for Cambridge City Council. There are currently twenty-six candidates running for nine at-large council seats on the council, six of which incumbent seats. Cambridge, Massachusetts conducts its elections using ranked choice voting, which allows voters to rank candidates in order of choice. Representation2020 sat down to talk with Nadya about the value of a representative democracy and ranked choice voting. “I am running in a district where over 35% of the demographic is under the age of 25 and over 34% of the adult population is enrolled in the university, yet we’ve never has student or youth representation on council.” As a supporter of representative democracy, she believes “we elect people to be able to represent experiences and basically act as megaphones for what the residents need.” Nadya believes that to truly be representative the council needs to have someone “living the experiences” or “can truly empathize” with the experiences of a student. She is looking to bridge that gap and believes it is important that young people’s voices are in the conversation, especially young women, because they are a part of the community.


Monarchy or Democracy: Which Yields More Women's Leadership?

Posted on Blog on August 30, 2017

This past Saturday was Women’s Equality Day, which marked the anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment. In the United States, women make up just 25% of state legislators, and even less at the federal level. And of course, we have never elected a woman as President. After 97 years of women’s suffrage, we should do better. But how? We looked to the rest of the world, and we found a solution: monarchy. You may be thinking of monarchy as an old-fashioned, outdated institution, and in many ways it is. But there is one way in which it strides ahead of democracy, and that is the number of women who have, as queens and empresses, led their countries. In these monarchies, throughout history and all over the world, there are countless examples of women’s political capabilities.


Starting from the Bottom is Why We're Here: Representation in Political Theory

Posted on Blog by on July 21, 2017

Over the past year we’ve been looking at powerful women, and the lack thereof, in executive, legislative, judicial, civil service, and security positions. We want to provide data to help contextualize questions of barriers preventing women from climbing up the public service ladder, and eventually provide a tool for overcoming these barriers - from legislation to grassroots organizing. But these questions got me thinking, not necessarily about the pathways and obstacles that individual women face in their journeys to public leadership, but about the pathway that our society is currently on, and how unchanged that pathway has remained since Athens in the fifth century B.C. It is called “the canon” – specifically, the political theory canon. This canon, and the men that have created it, defined not only western political thinking, but western political structures. These works are considered timeless– which means that not only are their grandiose ideas of liberty and democracy carried into the 21st century, but their bigotry and biases come along too.


Women Leading

Posted on Structural Solutions on July 18, 2017

"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made"

-Ruth Bader Ginsburg

 

Even after winning elected office, women continue to face more barriers than their male colleagues when it comes to serving effectively and rising through the ranks into leadership positions. Concerted efforts must be taken by elected officials and those with hiring power to ensure women's voices are included at the highest levels. 

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Below are suggestions on how to dismantle these barriers for women in elected office.

Take Action 

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Path to Parity

Posted on June 28, 2017

How do we reach gender parity?

 

Research confirms that structural reforms - which complement current strategies - are one of the main reasons that so many countries are electing more women than the U.S.

Title IX leveled the playing field for girls and women in education and athletics while the Voting Rights Act addressed systems that disadvantaged people of color.  Although we may not realize it, within the Republican and Democratic parties, gender quotas have become commonplace in a myriad of ways. For example, gender quotas are almost always used in selecting each party’s convention delegates. This is just one example of how we must address inequality by changing rules and laws in order to have a more representative system.

We need to...



Today is Women's Equality Day!

Posted on Blog on August 26, 2016

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the work done by feminists in American history, while encouraging progression of women’s equality in both the public and private spheres of life. It is an important day to celebrate the contribution women have made to the diverse country we call home, as we continue to work towards a more inclusive nation.


Electing Women Leaders

Posted on Blog on June 30, 2016

Training Is Only The First Step

Posted on Blog on June 16, 2016