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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation October 13, 2017


What a week it's been friends,

The latest issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine covers many parts of the women's representation mosaic from a great piece by Mindy Finn, to a piece by DC mayor Muriel Bowser, to Brenda Carter's terrific Reflective Democracy Campaign maps, but pieces like this one perpetuate the idea that to win parity, individual women need to have the right approach, attitude, and skills. I found no discussion of the data-driven strategies that are electing far more women to office faster in the 100 nations that rank above us in women's representation. It's time for a more sophisticated conversation about the barriers and the solutions to the under-representation of women.

There was a great story entitled "Getting to Gender Equality Starts with Realizing Hose Far We Have to Go" in PR Newswire about the new report from McKinsey & Company and about the slow pace of change for women in the workforce and the structural barriers impeding their success:

Many men don't fully grasp the state of women in the workplace. More than 60 percent of men say that their company is doing what it takes to improve gender diversity, while only 49 percent of women agree. Fifty percent of men say managers consider a diverse lineup of candidates to fill open positions, compared to just 35 percent of women. Further, men are less personally committed to gender diversity, and some even worry that diversity efforts disadvantage them.

Many companies also overlook the realities of women of color. Women of color face more obstacles and a steeper path to leadership, from receiving less support from managers to getting promoted more slowly. This negatively affects how they view the workplace and their opportunities for advancement—and is particularly acute for Black women.

Provo, Utah will have its first woman mayor according to this story in US News & World Report but we will have to wait until election day to see which of the female contenders wins.

Please visit my neighbor Leda Black's website to see all her incredible art - they make great gifts for the home or office - especially if you know anyone who cares deeply about women's representation :)
The Daily Telegraph had this piece entitled "Liberal party floats gender quotas to boost number of women in parliament" that describes the lively discussion of the use of quotas for women - I would love to live in a country where rules changes like this are actually debated:

A fiery debate erupted at the NSW Liberal Party State Executive meeting on Friday night about introducing gender quotas of 40 per cent for women.

NSW Liberal Party acting president Kent Johns is understood to have told the meeting he planned to present options to boost the number of women in local, state and federal parliament at the next meeting of State Executive, on October 27 in Newcastle.

Four sources present at Friday night’s meeting in Sydney told The Daily Telegraph Mr Johns indicated gender quotas at local, state and federal preselections would be one of the options he planned to canvas at the next meeting, when he would present a report on the dire lack of women in the Liberal Party from the Federal Executive.

Another option Mr Johns raised was introducing a loading of 20 per cent for women during preselections, in a similar system to the Labor Party...

During the debate that ensued, Mr Dore is understood to have called Mrs Hughes a “bully” while she accused him of expecting a women to sit at home cooking meals.

At the end of the meting, Mrs Hughes made a show of picking up dinner plates and commenting that she was being a typical woman.

And this article from the Jordan Times announces the establishment of a cross-sector coalition of organizations banding together to increase women's representation and political power in Jordan:
A women’s coalition representing the civil society, parliamentarians and city councils was formed on Saturday, in a bid to increase women’s political participation in the Kingdom.

The announcement came during a one-day event organised by the Arab Women Organisation (AWO), in coordination with the National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR), to recognise the 120 women who won seats in local councils and Parliament.

The event, titled “Beyond the Municipal and Decentralisation Elections 2017", was funded by the European Union.

“This is an occasion to thank our courageous women who fought ‘the elections’ battle’ and are ready to fight ‘the gender equality battle’ by serving people with a gender perspective,” said AWO Programme Director Laila Naffa.

She added: “We want to announce the establishment of the Goal 5 Coalition to aggregate the efforts of women in politics and women activists to attain the 17 Goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Global Agenda of 2030.”

By 2030, Naffa stressed, Jordan must have “at least 50 per cent female representation in the political arena. Why not? We can do it”.

Goal 5 seeks to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life and undertaking reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources.

Finally, this past Wednesday many celebrated the International Day of the Girl via social media platforms and the 133 birthday of Eleanor Roosevelt an intrepid diplomat and tireless voice for the powerless. If you'd like to honor Eleanor please sign and share this petition to rename Dulles airport the Eleanor Roosevelt Airport - ERA - still no major airports are named for a woman in the United States - not our biggest problem but recognizing women's role in history and making sure they shape the future is the solution.

Thanks for all you do!


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