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.'

I hope that you will read this summary of a longer article from the Cairo Review that examines women's representation in the Arab world, the impact of quotas, and the challenge of ensuring that elected women serve in positions of power which of course is integral to developing women's

leadership. 
Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia are interesting cases for better understanding the relationship between the introduction of quotas and the role of women in parliamentary committees. Compared to the rest of the Arab World, these three countries have similar historical experiences, strong political party structures, and remarkable growth in female representation. Since independence from France, Algeria’s and Tunisia’s political systems became presidential systems with recurrent elections—dominated by the ruling regime’s party—while Morocco has been a parliamentary monarchy with multi-party electoral competition.
This piece in Investment Magazine is music to my ears - calling for gender quotas and targets to help close the gender pay gap. While not about representation per se, the more we seek intentional action for parity in one sector the more it strengthens the argument across sectors.
“People have talked about quotas and targets being perhaps a bit controversial,” said Dunn, a former chief executive of AMP. “I think they’re increasingly being accepted in business and I’m a big fan of them. I think they’re really important, and I think the same should apply in government.”
Janice Reals Ellig reports on Huffington Post about a survey on gender parity in the business sector -  this graphic illustrates some of the predictable differences in responses between men and women:
The Black Women's Leadership Conference will be held in Madison, WI May 18-20th according to this piece in the CAP Times.
London, Ontario became the first government in Canada to reject winner-takes all voting and adopt ranked choice voting this week according the the Canada NewsWire.
The Montreal Gazette reports on Catherine Mayer's book Attack of the 50 Foot Woman which offers a "roadmap to gender parity" - sounds like a book worth perusing!

And finally, let's support this 14-year-old's petition for women's names on classrooms at her school - I think we need a massive petition like this in the US to counter the impression that men alone built this nation.

Glamour suggests these 11 documentaries on Netflix that all women should watch - I would add The Circle - which explores the nagging tensions between privacy and the public good. I'd love to know what you think!
That's all for now folks!
Warmly,

Cynthia

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