GLOBAL NATIONAL POLITICS Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: What to Watch on Election Night; Celebrating ‘Witches’ All Year Long
November 4, 2022
11/4/2022 by CYNTHIA RICHIE TERRELL
Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation in politics, on boards, in sports and entertainment, in judicial offices and in the private sector in the U.S. and around the world—with a little gardening and goodwill mixed in for refreshment!
Over the past week, RepresentWomen has been mentioned and featured by various publications and organizations! From op-eds written by our team to our insightful research reports, we’re grateful that more and more people are interested in the structural solutions to strengthen democracy and increase women’s representation.
Midterm Elections in Full Swing
Our terrific partner Pivotal Ventures shared an article on What to Watch on Election Night, specifically in regards to women’s representation. They cited our 2022 Gender Parity Index as well as our Why Women Won in 2021 ranked-choice voting in NYC report as resources to help answer questions about our current political landscape.
Vermont May Send its First Woman Representative to Congress
A quick Google search will tell you that Vermont is one of the Democrats’ most loyal states; despite its Republican governor, Vermont has voted Democratic in the past five presidential elections. According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, Vermont ranks second in terms of “most Democratic states in the U.S.”
But, this state has never sent a woman representative to Congress. With Becca Balint, a 54-year-old Democrat, running for Vermont’s singular House seat, that may change.
Balint is the heavy favorite in her race in November’s elections. If she wins, as polls indicate, she will break two major barriers: not only will she be the first woman to represent Vermont in Washington, but also the first openly gay person…
Notably, in the Vermont Democratic primary, four of the five candidates were women. In RepresentWomen’s 2022 Gender Parity Index Vermont received a a D grade and sits at 32nd place out of 50. A large part of this grade is due to the fact that no woman has ever been sent to Congress.
Balint is also a strong supporter of ranked-choice voting (RCV) and cosponsored a bill (S.229) during her time in the Vermont Senate that would implement RCV in primary and general federal elections in 2024. RepresentWomen’s RCV Dashboard shows how localities that use RCV tend to have more balanced political representation in terms of both gender and race.
2022: Year of the Woman Governor?
Demonstrators rally against anti-abortion and voter suppression laws at the Texas State Capitol on October 2, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Montinique Monroe / Getty Images)
Today, only nine women hold gubernatorial office.
This week, The Fulcrum ran a piece written by our very own former outreach intern Jazmin Sanchez. In “Could 2022 be the year we finally surpass our record for women governors?,” Jazmin gives us a roundup of strong shots, good odds, and some “you never knows” on the ballot for governor this fall.
As Jazmin says, this election could send a message to the nation that women are leaders in U.S. politics who use their power responsibly and for the betterment of the nation. We at RepresentWomen call on all gubernatorial candidates to use their power to make democracy stronger by appointing a gender balanced cabinet—and you can join us! Use our Appointments Toolkit to access the resources you need to be part of the solution.
The Reality Women Governor Candidates Face
While it is a great milestone that so many women are running for governor, these candidates are seeking office within a system riddled with barriers. RepresentWomen’s communications manager Alissa Bombardier Shaw also wrote an article on women running for governor that was published in Ms. this week. Alissa highlights why we need more women governors and what systems reforms are needed in order to make running, and more importantly winning, easier for women.
More Young Americans Are Running for Office, But the Number of Young Women Has Decreased
New research entitled “Millennials on the Rise” from Layla Zaidane, CEO of the Millennial Action Project (MAP) reveals that while more millennials and young Americans are running for office, the number of young women running has decreased since 2020:
Cynthia Goes Back to College!
It’s been great to be the Friend in Residence at Haverford College where I have spoken with students, faculty, and alums about the challenges facing our democracy and the opportunities to work together to ensure that all of us have a seat at the table where decisions are made.
Celebrate ‘Witches’ All Year Long
Susannah North Martin, my children’s 10th great grandmother, was accused of being a witch, and hanged, in 1692. She was a property-owning widow who spoke her mind and was unapologetic about her beliefs. Susannah is an inspiration to me along with all the millions of women and girls who are speaking truth to power from Iran, to Georgia, to Alaska, and all the places in between.
Guide to Voting in the Midterm Elections
Check out Ms. magazine’s guide to voting in the midterm elections, that features a lot of great information for voters everywhere.
In 2020, RepresentWomen created a planner celebrating women leaders of the past and present. We’ve decided to do the same for 2023! Like before, this year’s edition has key milestones for women, birthdays of over 1000 important women, and beautiful artwork. Use this form to order yours today!
Many thanks to all of you for all you are doing this election season and the rest of the year to advance women’s representation… and democracy.
U.S. democracy is at a dangerous inflection point—from the demise of abortion rights, to a lack of pay equity and parental leave, to skyrocketing maternal mortality, and attacks on trans health. Left unchecked, these crises will lead to wider gaps in political participation and representation. For 50 years, Ms. has been forging feminist journalism—reporting, rebelling and truth-telling from the front-lines, championing the Equal Rights Amendment, and centering the stories of those most impacted. With all that’s at stake for equality, we are redoubling our commitment for the next 50 years. In turn, we need your help, Support Ms. today with a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you. For as little as $5 each month, you’ll receive the print magazine along with our e-newsletters, action alerts, and invitations to Ms. Studios events and podcasts. We are grateful for your loyalty and ferocity.
ABOUT CYNTHIA RICHIE TERRELL
Cynthia Richie Terrell is the founder and executive director of RepresentWomen and a founding board member of the ReflectUS coalition of non-partisan women’s representation organizations. Terrell is an outspoken advocate for innovative rules and systems reforms to advance women’s representation and leadership in the United States. Terrell and her husband Rob Richie helped to found FairVote—a nonpartisan champion of electoral reforms that give voters greater choice, a stronger voice and a truly representative democracy. Terrell has worked on projects related to women’s representation, voting system reform and democracy in the United States and abroad.
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