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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 13, 2018


Dear friends,

The new Gender Avenger Tally that "lets you record and share the gender (im)balance you see everyday. Whether it’s on TV, at a conference, or on a magazine cover, the GA Tally makes it easy to hold decision-makers accountable" was profiled in Fortune Magazine this week!

Morra Arrons-Mele from Gender Avenger writes:

GA Tally not only lets you capture the number of men and women participating in an event, women of color are also a separate data point. The app quickly creates images that help you visualize gender breakdowns and share it all on social media.


We need your online voice to make sure more women and women of color have a voice at public events, conferences, and speeches.

Everything you need to share GA is here in our simple social media toolkit. And a really great gif for sharing is attached here too.

But wait! That’s not all. The GA Tally also gives you a chance to capture how long the male voices in the room speak compared to the non-male voices.

You can use the GA Tally app with an Android or iOS phone. You can also access the tool from a desktop or mobile browser:

Here are samples to spread across social media tools:

Social Samples:

Tired of #manels? @GenderAvenger has a new #GATally App to count how many men, women, and women of color participate in public events. You can keep track and share it all to help be a #GenderAvenger.

Next week, there are five tech conferences underway. 79 percent of speakers are men, 21 percent are women. In total, 5 percent are women of color. Do you want to see more diversity? @GenderAvenger does! Use the #GATally App to keep track of it all.


Do you want to #ChangeTheRatio? The #GATally App can help you spread the word about events that need more voices from women and women of color. #GenderAvenger

Research finds male voices speak an estimated 75 percent of the time during meetings that include both men and women. Use the #GATally App to track who speaks and share visual proof to encourage more diverse voices. #GenderAvenger



This seems like a terrific resource for all of us to share and promote!!


National Public Radio reported on the data that the Center for American Women and Politics has collected that shows a record number of women are running for office this year:

A record number of women — 309 — had filed to run for the U.S. House as of April 6. That's a nearly 90-percent increase over 2016's numbers.  

That wave of women candidates has sent the share of candidates who are women 22 percent.

Along with the number of women candidates climbing sharply this year, the number of men running for office has risen. As a result, the number of women candidates — despite a large spike — is still dwarfed by the number of men candidates. That's the finding of a new analysis from Kelly Dittmar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. 

The finding complicates the story line that 2018 is a record-breaking year for women candidates. Altogether, women make up 21.9 percent of the House candidates in the 29 states that had filed as of April 6, compared to 15.9 percent in 2016 in those states. That's still a sizable jump, but it's also a much more muted increase than the raw numbers would suggest.


Kelly Dittmar had a piece on CNN about the multiple glass ceilings that exist for women in Congress:


Progress is not inevitable. And it is rarely -- if ever -- complete. For women in American politics, each point of progress serves as a reminder of the progress we have yet to make toward equitable power and presence in government.

Monday's swearing in of Cindy Hyde-Smith as the first woman in Congress from Mississippi is a perfect illustration of these points. One hundred and one years after the first woman, Jeannette Rankin, entered Congress, Mississippi is sending a woman to Washington, DC, for the first time. A milestone worth celebrating? Sure. But 101 years is a long time to wait, and in some states, the wait will be been even longer: constituents in Vermont are still waiting to see a woman in their congressional delegation.
Electing or appointing one woman to Congress also does not ensure that more will come after her, at least not quickly, or even that she'll stay in Congress. In Mississippi, multiple men have already lined up to compete against Hyde-Smith in this fall's election for a full term in the Senate. Even with her ascension to the Senate, women make up just 19.8% of Congress, according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers. A decade ago, women were 16.4% of all members of Congress. Progress? Yes, but far from rapid and definitely incomplete.
Having more women in Congress spells progress on multiple fronts -- more equal representation being only one. Research has shown that the results-oriented approach of women in Congress has made them more effective than their male counterparts in bringing more money to their home districts, sponsoring or co-sponsoring more bills, and -- at least among minority party congresswomen -- moving legislation forward through the legislative process. And greater diversity of voices, including women's voices, enriches debate and helps Congress to better reflect the breadth of experiences and perspectives of those it serves.
And yet currently, according to the CAWP, 11 states have no women representing them in Congress. For the first time in 44 years, Maryland -- a state that elected its first female member of Congress in her own right in 1972 -- sent an all-male delegation to Congress in 2017.


Yesterday FairVote hosted a briefing on the Hill to present new polling data that shows majorities favor multi-seat districts and ranked choice voting systems that ensure majority winners, fuel civility, cost less, represent ideological minorities and people of color, and elect more women to office! This is very exciting data - here is an excerpt:

WASHINGTON – A new survey of voters reveals majority support for three key electoral reforms that would give voters a greater voice at the ballot box and more fair representation in government, while tempering the partisan rancor that dominates American politics.

It finds support for major changes to the way Americans elect members of Congress, including ranked-choice voting, multi-winner districts, and  citizen redistricting commissions, which are the three pillars included within the Fair Representation Act (HR 3057).

The study was conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation. The results were released today at a briefing on Capitol Hill, which featured remarks by several members of Congress.

All three proposals were seen as at least tolerable by more than two-thirds of respondents, including super-majorities of Republicans and Democrats. Not surprisingly, given the outcry over partisan gerrymandering in recent months and two cases currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, redrawing congressional district lines with nonpartisan citizen commissions is supported by the largest number of voters – 66 percent – including 53 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of independents.

Ranked choice voting, the election method that allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, is favored by 55 percent of respondents, including 46 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents.

Multi-winner districts are  favored by 55 percent of respondents. This includes 44 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents. Such districts combined with ranked choice voting, would facilitate candidates getting elected by constituencies normally shut out in the current single-winner district configuration (i.e. more Republicans elected in states like California and Massachusetts, more Democrats elected in states like Oklahoma and Tennessee, and more women and people of color across the country).

“It’s encouraging to see that voters are ready to embrace these proposals even as many are still learning about them,” said FairVote Executive Director Rob Richie. “Americans want more fair representation, a stronger democracy, and a more responsive government that works together for the common good. These three proposals – all components of the Fair Representation Act – are essential for us to get there.”

This piece from the National Law Review reports on a legislative effort in California to impose gender quotas on publicly held corporations:
An effort by several California legislators to impose gender quotas on publicly held corporations will be heard next week by the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.  SB 826, as amended on April 3, will apply to both California domestic corporations and foreign corporations, as defined in Corporations Code §§ 167 & 171.  In the case of a foreign corporation, the jurisdictional hook is the location of its principal executive office as disclosed on its Form 10-K.  If enacted, corporations would be required to have at least 1 female director by the end of next year.  By December 31, 2021, the quota increases to 2 female directors if the corporation has 5 authorized directors or to 3 directors if the corporation has 6 or more authorized directors.  Corporations that fail to meet these goals would be subject to fines.

​RepresentWomen board member Rina Shah had a piece in The Hill about her work to recruit young republican women to run for office:

It seems you can’t open a newspaper these days without seeing another damning statistic that spells trouble for the future of the GOP. The latest comes from a new study by Pew, which showed less than a quarter of millennial women now identify as Republican, down from 36 percent in 2002. Those trend lines are no doubt alarming for conservatives but do they mean the future is blue? No. In fact, they actually serve to embolden those of us committed to reclaiming the Republican Party and make our activism all the more timely.

Armchair analysts will look at the current occupant of the White House and place the blame for this downward trajectory squarely on the president’s shoulders. But that analysis ignores the fact that, for far too long, Republicans have paid little more than lip service to the importance of diversity and gender parity within our party. Look to the House of Representatives, where there are just 22 GOP women currently. Moreover, six of those 22 are retiring or running for other offices.

Young women need role models upon which to fashion their careers. Those role models can be men. But, they can’t all be men.

I am sure most of you read the news that Senator Tammy Duckworth became the first US Senator to give birth while in office. This milestone was a reminder of the importance of the internal legislative rules - for which RepresentWomen advocates - that make it possible for women to serve in office once elected. These include paid leave, onsite childcare, virtual participation in committee meetings, and yes, nursing rooms!
Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth gave birth to a baby girl Monday, her office announced, the first US senator to do so while in office.
"Bryan, Abigail and I couldn't be happier to welcome little Maile Pearl as the newest addition to our family and we're deeply honored that our good friend Senator (Daniel) Akaka was able to bless her name for us -- his help in naming both of our daughters means he will always be with us," Duckworth said in her office's statement.
Duckworth had her first child in 2014, when she was serving in the House of Representatives.
An aide close to Duckworth told CNN she's doing well and taking 12 weeks to bond with her new daughter and take care of her family. She's staying in Washington, DC, for her maternity leave and is available to vote as needed.
When she gave birth to her first daughter, she took her maternity leave at her home in Chicago, but this time she and her and her husband decided that she would give birth in the DC area in case she needs to vote, the aide said.
Have a great weekend all!

P.S. It was Frances Perkin's birthday this week. As I am certain many of you recall, Perkins became the first female cabinet member when Franklin Roosevelt appointed her to be secretary of labor in 1933. Here is a little more information on the 36 women who have served as cabinet members since 1933.

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