Not Exactly 50-50

Coeur d'Alene Press. Posted by Anna Scheibmeir on June 13, 2017

A new study placing Idaho among the worst in the nation when it comes to women holding elected positions had leaders on both sides of the aisle doing something they rarely do — agreeing. “There is no gender test,” said Brent Regan, chair of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee. “I would certainly welcome any good candidate for office.” Bev Moss, spoke on behalf of the Kootenai County Democrats. “When we’re running people, gender has not been a big consideration,” Moss said. “We would just like to get anybody elected — male or female.” Representation2020, which advocates for gender parity — a 50:50 ratio of men to women — in politics, created a grading system for states based on the recent electoral successes of female candidates at the local, state and national levels. Idaho received a “D” grade in the study, which places it at 45th in the nation.

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When It Comes to Government Jobs Only One State Gets An "A" In Gender Parity

Mic. Posted by Cynthia Terrell on May 12, 2017

Considering a woman has yet to break the nation's highest electoral glass ceiling — the presidency — it comes as no surprise that the country's other governing bodies aren't doing so great when it comes to gender equality either. A new report from Representation2020, an organization advocating for women's representation in politics, has found that just one state is doing well enough to merit an "A" rating in gender parity: New Hampshire. To determine New Hampshire's standing, researchers used a "gender parity index," a system that awards points to states based on how many women hold office in U.S. Congress, state executive positions, the state legislature and local government. New Hampshire was the first state to elect an all-female congressional delegation, with women currently occupying all four of its seats in the U.S. Senate and House.

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Only One State in US is Suceeding at Gender Parity. Here's How to Change That

Jezebel.com. Posted by Prachi Gupta on May 09, 2017

A new report has found that nearly every state in the U.S. is failing when it comes to electing women to local, state and federal legislatures, and suggests our nation will continue to fall short of gender parity for generations to come unless lawmakers embrace major reforms to the voting system. The 2017 Gender Parity Index Report, recently released by Representation2020 (an initiative of nonpartisan electoral reform organization FairVote), offers the first comprehensive assessment of female representation at the local, state, and federal levels in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Women make up more than half the population and turn out to vote in significantly higher numbers than men. Yet, nearly a century after women earned the right to vote, women are notably less than halfway to equal representation in public office. The number of women in Congress and in state legislatures has stalled since the early 1990s. At that rate, women in Congress will not achieve gender parity until next century, and women in state legislatures will not have equal representation until after the year 3126.

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Voting Rules Pose Barrier for Women

Voting Rules Pose Barrier for Women. Posted by Cynthia Terrell on April 08, 2017

April marks a memorable centennial. On April 2, 1917, Jeannette Rankin, R-Montana, was sworn in as the first woman ever elected to Congress. Her election not only marked a milestone in the struggle for women’s political equality but provides a lesson about the importance of fair voting rules. Women today are a majority of voters, but progress toward political parity is virtually stagnant. Fewer than one in five House members are women, only four governors are women, and women’s share of state legislative seats has never reached even 25 percent. The United States now ranks 104th among nations for representation of women in national legislatures — a steep decline from 44th in 1995. At this rate, parity is at best centuries away. Why so little progress? There are several reasons, including cultural attitudes and bias. But a there’s an oft-overlooked barrier: our voting rules.

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We Need to Elect More Women

Detroit News. Posted by Cynthia Terrell on April 04, 2017

Women today are a majority of voters, but progress toward political parity is virtually stagnant. Fewer than 1 in 5 House members are women, only four governors are women, and women’s share of state legislative seats has never reached even 25 percent. The United States now ranks 104th among nations for representation of women in national legislatures — a steep decline from 44th in 1995. At this rate, parity is at best centuries away. Why so little progress? There are several reasons, including cultural attitudes and bias. But a there’s an oft-overlooked barrier: our voting rules. When Rankin broke through the representation barrier, Montana elected two House seats statewide rather than in separate districts. 1916 was a tough year for Republicans in Montana, with Democratic presidential nominee Woodrow Wilson easily winning the state. But Rankin won by finishing second. A year later the legislature carved the state into districts, gerrymandering Rankin into a more Democratic one. She unsuccessfully sought a Senate seat.

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Are Voting Rules Keeping Women Out Of Congress?

Inter Lake News. Posted by Cynthia Terrell on April 03, 2017

April marks a memorable centennial. On April 2, 1917, Jeannette Rankin, R-Montana, was sworn in as the first woman ever elected to Congress. Her election not only marked a milestone in the struggle for women’s political equality but provides a lesson about the importance of fair voting rules.

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Happy Centennial Jeanette Rankin

Huffington Post. Posted by Steven Hill on April 02, 2017

Most Americans don’t realize it, but yesterday, April 2 the US quietly celebrated the centennial of an event that is as auspicious as Martin Luther King’s birthday or July 4, Independence Day. On April 2, 1917, Jeannette Rankin from Montana was sworn in as the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress. Her election occurred three years before women won the right to vote. For advocates of greater political equality, Representative Rankin’s election was a giant step forward toward the revolution that became the 20th Amendment to the US Constitution.

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How Women Can Become More Politically Engaged

The Girl Power Code. Posted by Cynthia Terrell on March 27, 2017

The idea for this panel came after the presidential election last year when many women felt a call to action. We had a fabulous roster of speakers including, Erin Villardi, founder and director of VoteRunLead; Rina Shah, political strategist and media commentator; Cynthia Richie Terrell, founder and director of Representation20/20 and co-founder of FairVote; and Tremaine S. Wright, a New York State Assemblywoman serving the 56th District in Brooklyn, NY.

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