By Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 05, 2019
Voters in Chicago made history on Tuesday by electing Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, as the city’s first black female mayor. Her commanding victory capped a grueling campaign in which Lightfoot, who will become the city’s first openly gay mayor, defeated more than a dozen challengers en route to winning her first elected office.
Lightfoot, 56, is now set to lead the nation’s third-largest city as it continues to grapple with gun violence, alleged public corruption, ongoing efforts to reform the police force and an exodus of black residents. In the runoff election on Tuesday, she defeated Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, in a contest fraught with historic meaning, given that it featured two black women vying to succeed outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Anti-corruption candidate Zuzana Caputova has won Slovakia's presidential election, making her the country's first female head of state.
Ms Caputova, who has almost no political experience, defeated high-profile diplomat Maros Sefcovic, nominated by the governing party, in a second round run-off vote on Saturday.
She framed the election as a struggle between good and evil.
The election follows the murder of an investigative journalist last year.
Ms Caputova cited Mr Kuciak's murder as one of the reasons she decided to run for president, which is a largely ceremonial role.
She won 58% of the vote, with Mr Sefcovic trailing on 42%.
But he’s asking the same question in Europe and the United States: Where are the women?
There are only 24 female chief executives among the 500 biggest publicly traded U.S. companies, up from 15 a decade ago. The political realm is a tad better: The European Parliament is 37 percent female, while women make up 24 percent of representatives and senators in the U.S. Congress.
If you are in DC you may want to try to get to the event on April 10 that the Embassy of Belgium, American University’s Washington College of Law and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research have organized for the launch of Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo’s book “The Age of Women. Why Feminism Also Liberates Men”.Register here for the event that starts at 4pm at the Washington College of Law.
When Indonesians go to the polls in April 2019, they will find an unprecedented number of female candidates on the ballot paper for the DPR (House of Representatives). Just over 40 per cent of all candidates will be women, and many more will be contesting seats at the provincial and district level. The nomination of so many female candidates has been linked to the stricter sanctions imposed by the KPU (Electoral Commission) for political parties’ non-compliance with Indonesia’s gender quota, which stipulates that parties must nominate a minimum of 30 per cent of female candidates or face disqualification. But while exceeding the 30 per cent benchmark by 10 per cent may look like a remarkable achievement, the experience from previous elections suggests that it is highly unlikely most of these candidates will actually get elected in April.
Since the introduction of the gender quota in 2004, the number of female legislative candidates in Indonesia has indeed increased steadily from 32 per cent in 2004 and over 35 per cent in 2009 to 37 per cent in 2014. However, the winning rate for these women – the number of women who got elected divided by the number of female candidates – has been rather low (Table 1). In 2014, for example, competing for 560 DPR seats were 2467 women out of 6607 total candidates. Just 97 women were elected.
For many years, scholars have focused on women's representation in legislatures. But in many African states power is in fact concentrated in the executive branch.
In most African countries heads of state and cabinet ministers enjoy significant discretion over resource distribution and policy agendas. This means that it's important to pay close attention to who holds executive posts when trying to work out the role of women in a particular country.
Ethiopia and Rwanda stand out head and shoulders above other African countries. Last year both appointed cabinets with 50% women representation. This meant that they joined eight other states in the world that have achieved at least 50% women in the cabinet.
Rwanda and Ethiopia have also received attention for their gains in women's legislative representation. They rank 1st and 18th in the world for women's representation in national parliaments.
The All India Trinamool Congress in West Bengal - the country’s fourth most populous state - has committed to fielding more than 41 percent female candidates in next month’s federal election, while Biju Janata Dal, in the eastern state of Odisha, said its tickets will feature over 30 percent women. Their actions will intensify pressure ..
The development is also likely to ease the way for reserving a third of seats in the 543-member lower house of parliament for women - a move that’s been pending for more than two decades. The Women’s Reservation Bill, first introduced in 1996, would bring more women into the political mainstream in a country where policy makers have effectively failed to keep female citizens safe.