By Cynthia Richie Terrell on January 28, 2022
Mexico is known for its macho culture, and the country has now become one of the world's leaders in gender political equality. Half of all members of Mexico's Congress are now women, as are seven of the country's 32 governors. But while Mexico's glass ceiling is clearly cracking, it's unclear whether 2021's parity will translate into real power. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports....
KAHN: "I'm going to be the first woman to be governor of Baja California, as well as the state's youngest governor," she said. Avila is also the northern border state's first pregnant leader.
AVILA OLMEDA: (Through interpreter) I promise I will show what we women can do to break glass ceilings to participate in public life as our grandmothers and our mothers dreamed of doing.
KAHN: Avila's political rise in the state across the border from California has been fast. She won her first election as a federal congresswoman just four years ago, then was elected mayor of the state capital and now governor. She doesn't hesitate at all when asked if Mexico's reliance on political gender quotas helped get her into office.
AVILA OLMEDA: (Speaking Spanish).
KAHN: "They aren't just giving it away to us either," she says. Avila, who holds two master's degrees, says a long line of suffragists fought to get us where we are today. That struggle began in earnest about three decades ago.
The Scottish government, on the other hand, has made “swift progress” with women’s representation getting closer to parity, achieving 45 per cent female representation. Unlike Westminster, the Scottish parliament uses all women shortlists which allows only women to stand in particular constituencies for particular political parties.
“I think what’s needed is almost positive discrimination. I think when women’s representation is so lacking, we need to take those clear and focused approaches to address imbalance,” Catherine Marren, co-author of the Sex & Power report, told the Big Issue.
When it comes to working in Westminster or local government, there are “lots of issues around long working hours, a split week partly in London and partly in constituencies, we need to think about accessible childcare as well,” she continued.
“And we need to address those barriers and make it a more attractive place for women to work… There’s no reason at all why we can’t do the same for our government in London.”
He said the new 40% quota for general elections from 2023 will be a big jump for the larger parties and they will need to ensure they increase their female candidates significantly ahead of that in the next local election.
“It won’t just be an issue for Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, Sinn Féin were a few short of the 40% in the last election too and they will all be conscious of getting new female candidates involved so they have people to choose from for the 2025 election,” he said.
Despite howls from conservatives, somehow the world has survived.
Nasdaq’s initiative, which takes effect starting this year, was groundbreaking for a U.S. securities exchange. It is not very novel in other contexts. California already had laws mandating that public companies headquartered in the state have women and, by 2023, members of underrepresented communities on their boards. Many European countries, including Britain, Germany and Norway, where capitalism thrives, require more gender diversity than Nasdaq envisions...
...At least a dozen states, including California, have adopted or are considering laws that would set quotas to diversify corporate boards or set disclosure requirements, a means of forcing corporations that drag their feet to explain their recalcitrance. Last year, nearly 60 percent of S&P 500 firms disclosed their board members’ ethnic and racial background, more than double the rate a year earlier.
Nasdaq firms that do not comply with the new guidelines will be required to explain why — a form of naming and shaming. More progress is needed. Luckily, there are plenty of incentives for firms to make strides, and not just political and public pressure. An exhaustive study by the management consultancy McKinsey & Co. shows that companies whose boards feature more gender and ethnic diversity are more profitable than those dominated by White males.
Boric—who at the age of 35 is the youngest person to become Chile’s president—has chosen a young, inclusive and progressive team. The average age of the cabinet is 49.
Boric has made Salvador Allende’s granddaughter, Maya Fernandez Allende, defence minister. This is the best way of paying tribute to the leftist president who was overthrown by the rightist military in 1973. This is poetic justice. She will initiate reforms in the Chilean military, which has been enjoying sweetheart deals and privileges inherited from the dictatorship era. Maya Fernandez’s family lived in exile in Cuba after the Chilean military coup and she returned to Chile in 1990. Her father was a Cuban diplomat.
On Tuesday, Roberta Metsola became the new President of the European Parliament, the youngest person ever to hold the position and just the third woman since the Parliament was established in 1952.
The ink had hardly dried on the appointment, the first 24 hours barely passed before the Maltese center-right politician was already being "grilled" about her stance on abortion rights.
It would be naïve to think Metsola wouldn't have seen this coming. Her anti-abortion voting history made her a controversial candidate. But why do her views on sexual and reproductive health and rights matter, and not those, say, of the men who occupied the post before her?
All leaders should face public scrutiny for their views and values. But the attention Metsola is receiving -- both positive (celebrating her appointment on the basis of her gender) and negative (critiquing her suitability on the basis of her position on gender issues) -- reveals two assumptions: The first is that one woman breaking a glass ceiling is evidence of inevitable, imminent progress for all women. Second, that only women can or should take up feminist causes.
It is because of the first assumption that the public (or maybe just the media?) expresses shock every time a woman in the public eye upholds some patriarchal policy, or says or does something that is anti-feminist.
Women make up more than half of our population yet hold just 30% of all public offices. For certain demographics, the numbers are even worse. Black women remain severely underrepresented as officeholders at the statewide executive level, holding just 1.9% of these positions.
This very obvious inequality is present even within the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Of the 115 Supreme Court justices in U.S. history, 108 have been White men. Only five women have served since the Supreme Court was established in 1789. As our highest level of government overseeing the increasingly critical issues we face today, the need for more representation is crucial.
It is surprising to think that iconic films like Taxi Driver, the entire The Lord of the Rings saga, and even romantic films like When Harry Met Sally, La La Land or A Star is Born and many more fail the Bechdel Test. Although women are successfully conquering more and more spaces nowadays, there is still a need for greater and better representation. Therefore, in this article, let's have a look at seven films that pass the Bechdel Test and challenge people to rethink the role of women in movies.