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?

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 3. 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on March 03, 2017


My dear friends,

Great news for women's representation fans! Eighteen states now have ranked choice voting legislation pending and just today the Utah state house passed RCV with support from 75% of the republican members and all of the democrats - illustrating that rules changes that benefit everyone are winnable & have bipartisan support!

The Asahi Shimbun had a very interesting editorial about women's representation in Asia - a subject I am embarrassed to say I know little about - reading it reminded me of the commonalities of the challenges that are true in every country. I thought this quote was an interesting application of the use of targets - or voluntary quotas:

The Abe administration has pledged to promote the role of women in Japan’s male-dominated society and set a target of raising the ratio of women in leading positions to 30 percent by 2020. But there has been no significant progress in this regard...More than 100 countries operate some form of legal or voluntary electoral gender quotas. Typical systems involve reserved seats and candidate quotas for women.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 24, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on February 24, 2017


​Check out FairVote's new app to vote on the Oscar nominees using the same ranked choice voting system that the Oscar voters use! Once we work out all the kinks - your feedback is most encouraged - we hope that you will use this new app for any and all decisions!

Dear all,

Congratulations to Jina Sanone on the launch of her terrific Georgia-based project Elect Her! I have been so impressed with Jina's ingenuity and determination - she is a terrific ally for all of us as we build our 50 state strategy to win gender parity.

The inimitable Susannah Wellford wrote a terrific piece in US News & World Report asking whether it's time to consider quotas and the other structural reforms that have been so effective in the 103 nations that rank above the United States in the representation of women. I am so glad to hear of growing interest in gender quotas/targets but I think I may need to consider donning an Irish accent when I speak about these reforms in public so I can be as persuasive as our Irish allies!

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 17, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on February 17, 2017


​Dear friends,

Hold onto your hats my friends, the United States now ranks 104th in women's representation among nations - dropping in just the last few weeks from 100th place. The US now ranks directly behind Madagascar, Kyrgyzstan, and Bulgaria - tied for 101. I hope you will join me in the coming months to look rigorously at what is happening in the higher ranked countries and see which of their rules and practices we can embrace. I think it's fair to say that we cannot afford to leave any stone unturned in our quest for equality.


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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 10, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on February 10, 2017


The incredible Tuti Scott created these nuggets of inspiration
Dear friends,
Congratulations to the terrific team at Running Start who organized an amazing celebration of #NewWomenMembers of Congress on Tuesday at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC. Many of us were co-sponsors of this event while hundreds of others of us found inspiration in the words of the speakers and the packed crowd of republican and democratic women standing shoulder to shoulder - into the fray.


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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 3, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on February 03, 2017


​Dear all,

Groundhog Day. We all know the movie in which Bill Murray is destined to repeat the same year, year after year until he "begins to re-examine his life and priorities." This 'holiday' lesson seems especially relevant this year as those of us who care about women's representation are caught up in defending our rights, and the rights of others -  but I call on all of us to think about medium and longer term strategies that always will seem less urgent but are essential.

The Pew Research Center released a fascinating report about a 2015 study that tracks attitudes about gender equality across countries. Ninety one percent of Americans think that women's equality is 'very important'  - a full 26% above the median. Yet the United States ranks in 100th place for women's representation. How can this be? The answer lies in the lesson Bill Murray learned in Ground Hog Day. If we want different outcomes - and we now have the data that shows that 9 in 10 Americans want women's equality - we need to make different choices and pursue new strategies to elect women and get them into positions of leadership and power.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 27, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on January 27, 2017


Dear friends,

NYMagazine profiles the 9 Black female judges who were elected in Alabama - an impressive development and a very interesting story. I am researching the number of women who get elected vs those who get appointed and compiling statistics on the numbers of women of color. I think that's an arena which is ripe for intentional actions such as gender targets for the appointed seats.

The election of these judges was welcome news during a week in which the number of women governors in the United States fell to just 4 with the confirmation of Nikki Haley as the US ambassador to the United Nations. While I am glad to see the new president appoint a woman to his largely-male cabinet I am sorry for the drop in female governors.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 20, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on January 20, 2017


​My friends,

Anita Hill had a powerful piece in the Washington Post on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for women - she concludes with these words:
In 2016, in the aftermath of Trump’s victory, commentators declared that feminism is over, lost or dead, and so is social justice; women should move on. But what I witnessed after the hearing, when thousands of women demanded that our leadership in Washington reflect their experiences, gives me hope. I’m convinced that those who expect women to recede quietly will soon be disappointed.
On Jan. 21, women from all identities and circumstances will march in Washington and in cities around the globe in numbers too great for Trump to ignore. Yes, women are moving past the election, but not as spectators, as participants in our democracy — as patriots. That is cause for celebration.

The organization behind the Women's March on Washington has launched a 'Global Mission for Equality' according to this story on Huffington Post by Vivienne Mayer. Representation is among  the four issue areas that activists are organizing around - the other three are Health, Economic Security, and Safety - here is the pitch on representation:

Representation — Women are under-represented globally, adversely affecting our collective health, safety, and economic security. Women’s March Global seeks fair and just representation of women locally, nationally, and internationally.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 13, 2017

By Cynthia Terrell on January 13, 2017


The Representation2020 team gather with Frances Perkins' grandson under her portrait in the office of the current Secretary of Labor!

My dear friends,
Susannah Wellford had yet another terrific piece in US News and World Report this week on the topic of how to deepen and broaden the movement for women's representation - this is an important challenge for all of us to embrace.

The Bay Area Reporter wrote an in-depth piece on the IGNITE event last week with U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios - looks like it was a terrific event!

Listen to WBUR's great interview with Andrea Dew Steele from Emerge America about the surge in women running for office after the November 2016 elections.

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