Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 30, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on August 30, 2019

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Happy Women's Equality Day week!
Many thanks to Patti Russo for sharing this terrific image on Facebook this week in celebration of the 99th anniversary of women's suffrage - I would love to know who created it to credit their work properly!

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Cartoon by my dear friend from college Melanie Humble 😊
It was great to spend Women's Equality Day in Saratoga Springs, NY - site of three previous women's equality conventions - with passionate and inspiring women's equality advocates. Here are a few photos of the event:
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Barbara Ortiz Howard of Women on 20s along with Coline Jenkins, a descendant of Elizabeth Cady Stanton
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With Amber McReynolds director of Vote At Home & author of When Women Vote and Kenneth Morris, Jr a descendant of Booker T Washington & Frederick Douglass
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With Gale Brewer - Manhattan Borough President, Amber McReynolds and Liz Johnson of FairVote MN & a VoteRunLead co-founder & board member
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A number of us had dinner together on the last day of the gathering which was a real highlight - we even found that our server was a true believer in women's equality - she is pictured above!
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Some of those pictured above include: Sharon Nelwon, Henrietta Lyle, Lisa Powell, Ruth Hassell-Thompson and RepresentWomen fellow Amna Durrani
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One of the speakers was the incredible Sally Roesch Wagner who has researched the history of women of color in the movement for suffrage - I really recommend her books!
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(Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights and former president of Chile, is a rare example of female leadership at national and international levels.)
 
There was a very interesting article on a UNESCO report on gender equality in education that has great language on the interconnectness of society and the need for parity across sectors:

Commendably, the UNESCO authors turn the gender lens upon the UN. They recognise that the UN, which facilitates and partially funded the study, is a role model and want it to implement its ideals as a “crucial first step” towards equality. The UN, of course, has not achieved gender equity in leadership.

The report demands that UN, multilateral agencies and national governments create more space for women in top leadership positions. To achieve this, the report outlines the successful use of quotas in countries such as Sweden, Italy and Uganda. The use of quotas in these countries has led to more women in top jobs – and sometimes to more educated and better qualified leaders. Quota enforcement brought countries closer to meeting their targets. Women in leadership, furthermore, are role models who encourage girls to aim just as high as boys.

The report points out that gender equality in education is not an isolated topic. It is interconnected with all other spheres of society. Thus as gender equality improves in education, it also improves in health, government representation, the workforce et cetera. According to the authors, whether one is a student, parent, teacher, government official, woman or man, one must view education and policy through the gender lens – and then take action to improve matters.

(UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces)
 
There was another related article on women's equality from a global perspective on the IISD Reporting Services:
 
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed highlighted the role of women leaders as agents of change. She emphasized that women’s full participation and leadership at all levels of decision-making is “essential to unlocking transformational change.” She said women’s equal participation is a “basic democratic right,” and observed that more women decision-makers translates to “more inclusive solutions that will benefit everyone.” Mohammed informed the Group that the UN is embarking on a series of anniversaries and high-level events in 2019 and 2020 that “will celebrate and reflect on global gains for women and girls,” including the 25-year review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; the 25-year anniversary of the International Convention on Population and Development (ICPD 25); the UN Population Fund’s (UNFPA) 50th anniversary; the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security; and the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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(At one point, Kirsten Gillibrand looked on paper like a legitimate, if not formidable, presidential candidate — but her campaign never took flight. | Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
 
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand suspended her presidential campaign this week. According to this story in Politico by Elena Schneider there were a number of factors:

On Tuesday night, Kirsten Gillibrand gathered her family and her campaign manager, Jess Fassler, at her home in Troy, N.Y., for a reality check.

The New York senator had barely registered in polls all year despite burning through a $10 million campaign war chest. That meant she was about to get shut out of future Democratic presidential debates. If she didn’t hit at least 2 percent in either of the two polls coming out Wednesday, Gillibrand couldn’t carry on in the race, they decided.

In August, Gillibrand made an all-out push to stay on the debate stage, dumping $1.5 million on TV and digital ads, blitzing through early voting states and making the rounds on cable news. But the big-spending plan yielded a single 2 percent poll showing. Her once-mighty campaign account dwindled to about $800,000, according to an aide familiar with the total.

The polls released Wednesday, the deadline to qualify for the next debate, didn’t help. So Gillibrand filmed a dropout video that morning and delivered the news to her staff at headquarters by midafternoon.

I am excited to be joining my friends Tuti Scott and Marianne Schnall at the gathering they are organizing on "Women & Money: Making Money Moves that Matter" in Austin, TX on September 16 & 17th. Click here to learn more and to register!
I hope that you have a restful Labor Day weekend - such a good reminder of the need for equal pay for equal work and the need to rejuvenate our souls before the presidential campaign starts in earnest.
 
Warmly,
 
Cynthia
 
"When I ran away from slavery, it was for myself; when I advocated emancipation, it was for my people; but when I stood up for the rights of women, self was out of the question, and I found a little nobility in the act."   Frederick Douglass
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