Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 12, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on May 12, 2017

Hello my friends,
The best news this week for women is that newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron announced that half of his cabinet will be comprised of women and that half of the 400 En Marche legislative candidates are women as well, according to this story on CNN.
The party of French President-elect Emmanuel Macron has unveiled the names of more than 400 candidates for the June legislative elections -- and half of them are women...On Thursday, En Marche! secretary general Richard Ferrand announced that 214 men and 214 women had been selected to run for the party -- and added that 52% of the candidates had never held electoral office. The announcement appears to fulfill the party's pledge in January that at least half its candidates would come from outside the political establishment and that half would be women. En Marche! has said it will field a candidate in all 577 seats, so more are expected to be announced in coming weeks.Ferrand said the party had 19,000 applicants, 71% of whom were men and 29% were women.France ranks first in the world, along with Bulgaria and Nicaragua, for the highest proportion of women in ministerial positions, at more than 52%, UN Women data shows. But its female representation in Parliament is dramatically lower, at just 25.8%, ranking 63rd in the world. Winning the most seats in Parliament will be no mean feat for En Marche!, which is less than a year old and is scrambling to finalize its list of candidates to contest all 577 seats.

This move by Macron is a stunning and encouraging demonstration of what real leadership on gender parity looks like. Those of us in the United States must challenge our party leaders at every level to make this same, simple, commitment to parity. In fact, it's time for all of us to declare our support for parity!

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 5, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on May 05, 2017

​Don't forget to check out a 50/50 Day party near you on May 10th! If you are in the DC area come to the Rep2020 offices to view the film and celebrate the push for parity!

Dear allies for parity,

The Ms Foundation, EMILY's List, VoteRunLead, Running Start, Right Women Right Now, She Should Run, IGNITE, Emerge, Higher Heights, VIEW PAC, Empowered Women, Latinas Represent, Rachel's Network, Sally's List, Close the Gap CA, What Will it Take, and Project Mine the Gap represent just a sliver of the many organizations celebrating women's leadership and pushing for parity for women in government in the United States. We are energized and we are mobilized - we just need a new, more strategic mix of tactics to ensure that in our lifetime government (and legislation) is of the people, by the people, and for the people. It's incumbent on us to pool our many talents and pursue data-driven strategies!
During a news segment an Australian MP argued that gender quotas may be necessary to increase the number of women in parliament - especially conservatives:

Sarah Henderson says gender quotas may be needed to boost the number of conservative women in parliament. At present there are 13 female MPs out of 76 Coalition members of the House of Representatives, with four of the six most marginal seats also held by women. Ms Henderson who holds the Victorian seat of Corangamite has told Sky News the Liberal party needs to take gender representation 'more seriously.''We absolutely have a problem, we have thirteen women in the House of Reps and that's not good enough.'

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 28, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on April 28, 2017


​Dear friends,
Every week brings reminders of the pressing need to elect more women from across the racial, political, and geographic spectrum along with indications that our work is gaining traction. I am heartened by the many opportunities for collaboration and interaction with each of you!

Lee Drutman wrote an excellent piece for Vox that describes why polarization and re-election of incumbents is at an all-time high - this translates into very, very few opportunities for women to enter state and federal politics. Lee goes on to endorse the Fair Representation Act, which will be introduced in Congress in June (!), that will dramatically increase the opportunities for women to run and win by establishing multi-winner districts with ranked choice voting for U.S. House elections. This same model can also be implemented at the state level and will have a similar impact on increasing the opportunities for new voices in government. Reihan Salam, editor of the National Review, wrote a similar critique of our current system a couple years ago - stay tuned for much more on this

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 21, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on April 21, 2017

disneyprincess-998x662!!.jpg

Hello friends and allies,

The Federalist ran a fascinating blog by Patrick Fletchall titled "When Pushing Women's Advancement, Big Businesses Are Hypocrites" - the entire piece is very worth reading but here is a teaser:

To be clear, the issue isn’t that companies don’t make a priority of hiring women. Many companies like Bank of America, Target, and Moss Adams have initiatives specifically to hire and support women. Instead, the challenge is the trickle of women who have been able to break the ceiling into executive-level management.
 
Why is this important? As I’ve mentioned, I think these ad campaigns are great. They hit me right in the feels. But we shouldn’t kid ourselves that executive leadership in corporate business have all of a sudden decided to started seeing women’s intrinsic rather than profitable value. These ad campaigns represent consumer-product companies telling women what they think they want to hear, without changing their executive structure to practice what they preach.
 

The message is further complicated by the fact that it affirms certain life choices for women while ignoring the millions of women who choose to be the chief operating officer of their homes. Commercials are fine and awareness is nice, but until women have a seat at the table, these campaigns are a case of “Do as I say, not as I do.” By all means, dream big, princess—as long as you don’t dream of being an executive at Disney. If you do, you’re buying exactly what they’re selling.

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 14, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on April 14, 2017

11ivey-master768.jpg

​Kay Ivey being sworn in as governor of Alabama

Hello allies,

Louise Davidson-Schmich had an excellent piece on Vox's political science blog Mischiefs of Faction on the impact of quotas and voting systems on the election of women:

The comparatively low number of women Congress is surprising, given that the United States scores relatively well on other measures of women’s well-being, such as the United Nations’ Gender Development Index. What accounts for this contradiction? Comparative research indicates that the primary determinant of women’s representation in legislatures worldwide involves the ways candidates are selected to run for office and the structure of the ballot upon which they appear.

Since the 1980s, the use of gender quotas for elective offices has diffused throughout the world, driving the increase in women’s political representation (see figure 2). Quotas involve setting percentages or numbers for the political representation of specific groups, in this case women and, at times, men.

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 7, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on April 07, 2017

Rankin_in_House.jpg

Jeanette Rankin addressing the House of Representatives April 1917

Dear parity enthusiasts!
Heather Wolf sent along several articles for the listserv including this one from the Washington Post about Jeanette Rankin's decision to cast her vote against involvement in WW1 - it seems especially pertinent today:

The Senate passed the war resolution on April 4, with six votes against. The House took up the measure the next day. Rankin stayed at her new apartment until late in the afternoon, agonizing over the vote. Alice Paul, head of the National Woman’s Party, sat with her. She told Rankin that she had an obligation as the first woman in Congress to give voice to her woman’s conscience. It would be a tragedy, Paul said, to vote for war.

In the evening Rankin appeared at the Capitol. The debate was dragging on, and April 5 became April 6. At 3 a.m., the roll was called. “Miss Rankin was evidently under great mental distress,” the New York Times reported. “Her appearance was that of a woman on the verge of a breakdown.”

Would she betray her cause by voting against war? Or would she betray her conscience by voting in favor?

She remained silent, and the clerk moved on. Rep. Joseph Cannon, the former Republican House speaker, came up to her and told her to vote as her conscience dictated. “You represent the womanhood of the country,” he said.

The clerk went through the roll again. “Miss Rankin,” he called out twice.

She stood, clasped the back of the seat in front of her. “I want to stand by my country — but I cannot vote for war,” she said. Does that, the clerk asked, mean no? She nodded, dry-eyed, and sat down.

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 31, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on March 31, 2017

Rankin_in_hat.jpg


Hello everyone!

As always, there is a lot happening in the world.

This weekend will mark the centennial of women's representation in Congress. Republican Jeannette Rankin was elected from a multi-winner district in Montana in November, 1916 and was finally allowed to take her seat on April 2, 1917. Democrats, whose presidential candidate carried the state by a huge margin, then gerrymandered her out of office by reverting to single winner districts. A century of evidence confirms this pattern: women are far more likely to run and win in multi-winner districts in cities, state legislatures and historically, when they were used in House elections. Rankin was even a fan of ranked choice voting - I am not making that up!

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 24, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on March 24, 2017

feline_health_care.jpg

My dear friends,
This edition will be some abbreviated as I am in transit for most of the day.
My thoughtful husband sent along a couple good links to updates on likely gubernatorial candidates in 2018 that I think are worth reviewing so that we all understand where women are thinking of running and where they have a chance to win. Wikipedia reports that at least 36 governor seats are up in 2018 with two in 2017 - New Jersey and Virginia:
Many of the states holding gubernatorial elections have term limits which make some multi-term governors ineligible for re-election. Two Democratic governors are term-limited, while six incumbent Democratic governors are eligible for re-election. Among Republican governors, 14 are term-limited, while ten can seek re-election. One independent governor, Bill Walker of Alaska, is eligible for re-election.

Read more

The Best and Worst PACs for Giving to Women Congressional Candidates in 2016

By haley smith on March 22, 2017

In 2016, Representation2020, the Center for Responsive Politics, and Common Cause examined the break down of PAC giving by candidate gender, to find how PACs donated their money to women candidates. Examining U.S. House and Senate elections from 2010–2014 (and with the help of some 2016 data) we found that some PACs were more equitable at giving money to women candidates than others. So what PACs gave the most to women in the 2016 election cycle and what PACs gave the least?

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 16, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on March 16, 2017

women-in-politics-2017-md-en_small.jpg

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women,commented on the UN report on women's representation and map showing where women hold office.

Dear all,

Representative Mimi Walters (R-CA) wrote a very compelling piece in Motto "What It Means to Be a Republican Woman in Congress" - she starts with my favorite theme du jour:

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first woman being sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives. Jeannette Rankin, a Republican from Montana, was a powerful voice for women’s suffrage. After successfully securing voting rights for women in both Washington State and Montana, Rankin ran for Congress in her home state. She was sworn into the 65th Congress on April 2, 1917, three years before the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women across the country the right to vote.

Upon her historic election, Rankin famously said: “I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last.” Rankin’s prophetic statement was proven true four years later when Alice Robertson, a Republican from Oklahoma, was sworn into Congress. These two pioneers forged the path for nearly 100 other Republican women who have been sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives. Today, 21 Republican women serve in the House, where we not only represent constituents in our home districts, but also serve as leaders in the Republican Party. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who represents Eastern Washington State, serves as the House Republican Conference Chair. Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee and Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana chair congressional committees. All Republican women play an important role in advancing our agenda, but these four women play powerful roles in shaping the debate and influencing policy that will improve the lives of the American people.

Read more

Join us in turning public passion for gender parity into action and results