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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation December 29, 2022

Dear Readers,

We have officially reached the end of the year! At RepresentWomen, 2023 has been a remarkable year full of exciting projects and initiatives. So, hit play on your favorite empowerment anthem because it's time for "RepresentWomen Wrapped" — our very own Spotify-inspired Year in Review! 

As we bid adieu to another impactful year, join us on this musical journey through the beats of progress, the harmonies of resilience, and the lyrics of change. We’re cranking up the volume on the victories and memorable moments that defined RepresentWomen's 2023.

Whether you're a long-time supporter or just tuning in, get ready to press play on the events that made this year a hit at RepresentWomen. 🎶💪 

RepresentWomen Celebrates The Release of The 10th Annual Gender Parity Index 

Since 2013, RepresentWomen has been analyzing annual data on women in local and state legislatures to examine the status of women's representation in all 50 states and the nation. This year marks the 10th consecutive year we have been analyzing this data. We’ve consistently found, despite some progress, the journey toward gender-balanced governance is slow and uneven. The Gender Parity Index emphasizes the need for structural reforms like ranked choice voting to create a fairer environment for women candidates and increase women’s participation in politics.

Research Director Courtney Lamendola on the Gender Parity Index:

"At RepresentWomen, we know that the first step toward achieving gender-balanced governance is knowing who is currently in office and how women's political representation has changed over time. In 2023, we released the 10th Anniversary Gender Parity Index (GPI). In the GPI, we assign a weighted score, rank, and letter grade to each state according to the number of women in elected office at the national, state, and local levels of government. Over the last ten years, we have observed that progress toward parity is slower and more uneven than it first appears. To achieve our goal of gender-balanced governance in this lifetime, we must advance structural reforms, such as ranked choice voting, to level the playing field for women candidates and create more women for women to enter political office."

Women Experts in Democracy Aims to Abolish #Mannels Once And For All

After noticing that many expert discussions on democracy featured only men, RepresentWomen decided that enough was enough. The world needed a compiled resource featuring experts in democracy who were all women. This way, there would be no excuse for Manels, or all-men discussion panels. In May, the Partnerships team at RepresentWomen launched the Women Experts in Democracy Directory. This continuously expanding directory is openly accessible, serving as a valuable tool for individuals, organizations, and media entities. The Women Experts in the Democracy Directory has the power to guarantee that the democracy reform movement encompasses a wide range of voices and perspectives, reflecting its diverse nature.

Partnerships Director Katie Usalis on the directory:

"We know women are out there in cities and states across the country leading the charge on protecting and strengthening our democracy. The unfortunate thing is that they are rarely the ones being called upon as experts, being recognized on mainstages, and their organizations aren't getting the big checks. RepresentWomen wants to change this. We created our Women Experts in Democracy Directory to uplift women experts and make it easier for organizations in the democracy reform space to call upon diverse women who really know their stuff. In less than one year's time, we're proud to say that the WEDD is now overflowing with nearly 100 women experts from around the world who collectively speak over 11 languages. With the WEDD, we hope we never hear 'I don't know any women experts in...' again!"

Partnerships Team Takes on Los Angeles During the American Democracy Summit 

This year was full of travel for the RepresentWomen Team. One great trip was to Los Angeles, where, our Partnerships Department had the opportunity to attend the American Democracy Summit! There, we discussed strategies for a healthier, gender-balanced democracy with many people through panels, strategy huddles, and receptions! 

Outreach Manager Alissa Bombardier Shaw on the American Democracy Summit:

“In September, I had the opportunity to attend the American Democracy Summit with my wonderful colleagues Katie Usalis and Victoria Pelletier in Los Angeles. We got to hear from so many panelists (including Katie and Victoria!) from across the United States who shared their experiences and valuable insights on how better systems and policies can transform our government. I loved connecting with reformers who share our passion for a healthier, more representative democracy and discussing RepresentWomen's research, like our Gender Parity Index. There is so much energy for the work we're doing here at RepresentWomen and it gives me hope that we can achieve gender balance in elected office in our lifetimes!”

Women’s Power Collaborative Connects Over 90 Organizations From Around the World Within a Month of Its Launch

Last month, we launched our Women’s Power Collaborative, a national-level collaborative that connects people in the democracy reform movement with organizations working to build women’s political power. We already have over 90 people who have applied to be on the platform, and we are so excited to see what comes of these connections in 2024. 

National Partnerships Manager Victoria Pelletier on the Women’s Power Collaborative:

"We are so excited about the launch of The Women's Power Collaborative member platform! We look forward to continuing to grow this space for networking, resource-sharing and collaboration between women's representation organizations, democracy reform organizations, research advocates, academics, elected officials and more. The WPC is an important and necessary resource towards building women's political power through our twin track approach, and we look forward to growing this movement in 2024 as we all work together towards a more representative democracy.”

At RepresentWomen, we’re jamming to a rhythm that reaches beyond standard beats and melodies—it's the call for gender equality, and we’re inviting you to join us! Let's not just hit repeat on the status quo; instead, let's compose a symphony of diversity and inclusion. Your donation helps us work toward a more healthy and harmonious democracy. Give today! 🗳️🎻

That’s all for this year. Have a happy new year, and we’ll see you in 2024!🎉

-The RepresentWomen Team


P.S. What better way to round out the year than than with a few of Cynthia’s 2023 book recommendations? While the whole list is unsurprisingly much longer, we’ve gathered a few standouts from some talented women authors. Check them out below!

The Vaster Wilds, Lauren Groff; A Long Petal of the Sea, Isabel Allende; Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado; Our Missing Hearts, Celeste Ng; and A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin.

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