The Best and Worst States for Gender Parity—and What Works to Increase It


Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation is a compilation of tales about girls’s illustration in politics, on boards, in sports activities and leisure, in judicial places of work and within the non-public sector within the U.S. and world wide—with a bit of gardening and goodwill combined in for refreshment!


Many due to RepresentWomen analysis director Courtney Lamendola who labored together with her terrific group to launch the 2022 Gender Parity Index this week. Whereas girls’s illustration has elevated since final yr’s report, most states nonetheless get a “D”—no state will get an “A”—and the present tempo of progress is simply too gradual to succeed in gender stability in politics in our lifetimes:

9 years in the past, RepresentWomen (then Representation2020) developed the Gender Parity Index (GPI) to assist researchers and advocates charge progress in direction of gender-balanced governance in the USA. Every year, a Gender Parity Rating is calculated for every of the 50 states and the U.S. as a complete. This rating measures girls’s illustration on the nationwide, state, and native ranges of presidency on a scale of 0 (if there aren’t any girls in workplace) to 100 (if there are girls in each workplace). Grades are then assigned in accordance with a state’s proximity to parity (50/100).


The Gender Parity Index is a measurement and analysis software that permits us to trace outcomes for girls in politics and make comparisons between states. One of many key takeaways from this train is that progress in direction of gender-balance is slower than it seems. Although it’s true that ladies’s illustration has elevated over time, the Gender Parity Index reveals that 1) not each state is on an upward trajectory in direction of parity, and a couple of) girls stay underrepresented at each degree of presidency, regardless of document progress. 


At RepresentWomen, we use the Gender Parity Index to show the necessity for programs methods that may enhance girls’s illustration in politics. Our analysis reveals that there are systemic boundaries that make it tougher for girls to enter politics and restrict progress in direction of parity in each state. Current methods that concentrate on getting ready particular person girls to run for workplace will not be sufficient to mitigate these boundaries on their very own. Complementary programs methods are wanted to handle the systemic boundaries that hinder girls at each stage of the electoral course of.

Gender Quotas Driving Improve in Ladies’s Illustration Across the Globe

Chart exhibiting use of gender quotas within the prime 50 international locations for girls’s illustration

After studying the Gender Parity Index report, you might be questioning what’s working across the globe to extend percentages of ladies in workplace. Famous knowledgeable Jennifer Piscopo has the reply. Piscopo writes this week in regards to the influence of gender quotas, that are the best software to extend girls’s illustration:

The Prime Minister might boast about his gender-equal federal Cupboard, however Canada is tumbling down the worldwide rankings for girls’s illustration in parliament.

Ladies maintain solely 30 % of seats within the Home of Commons, and Canada ranks (as of June 2022) a mere 58th of 185 international locations with lively parliaments, sandwiched between Zimbabwe at 57 and Viet Nam at 59.

Canada began the millennium ranked 27.

Progress then slowed and different international locations pulled forward. Nations like Mexico, Argentina, France, Spain and Belgium all outrank Canada, electing over 40 per cent girls. The key to their success? Legal guidelines that require political events to run specified proportions of ladies.

These statutory gender quotas are present in over 80 international locations, making Canada an outlier. And the success of quotas in international locations like Mexico — which have sturdy events and single-member districts — handily contradicts arguments that quotas are incompatible with Canada’s political system.

It’s time Canada bought with this system and adopted gender parity for parliament.

Quota legal guidelines set totally different minimal percentages for girls candidates, however the present state-of-the-art is gender parity — that means gender-balance or 50 per cent girls and 50 % males.

The European Union considers gender parity a matter of equity and democracy. So do all 33 Latin American and Caribbean governments, who dedicated to gender parity within the 2007 Quito Consensus.

The reasoning — echoed by feminist activists throughout the globe — is that governments and insurance policies can’t be consultant with out together with women and men in equal numbers. Certainly, voters understand gender-balanced decision-making our bodies as extra reliable and extra respectable than these dominated by males.

‘Ladies within the C-Suite Is Key to Having Extra Ladies Ascend to the CEO Ranks’

Ladies CEOs create extra alternatives for girls who’re climbing up the company ranks in accordance with Christina Cheddar Berk who writes a few new report on World Gender Variety. This evaluation aligns with RepresentWomen’s report on Gender Stability on Cupboards that finds that ladies governors usually tend to appoint girls to their cupboards than their male counterparts:

If you wish to take an excellent guess at an organization’s gender range document, you may wish to first take a look at who its CEO or board chair is, in accordance with the findings of a brand new research.

Having a feminine CEO on the helm of an organization or chairing its board tends to make an enormous distinction, Altrata’s newest World Gender Variety report stated Thursday.

The report examined BoardEx information to check feminine illustration on the boards and management groups of 1,677 publicly traded corporations in 20 international locations as of the primary quarter of this yr.

It discovered that feminine illustration on boards and in government suites stays woefully low. And girls who occupy roles on company boards typically don’t maintain essentially the most highly effective positions….

However having a girl on the prime can ripple all through the group. Of the businesses studied, U.S.-listed Organon had the best proportion of feminine board members, whereas Singapore-based CapitaLand Built-in Industrial Belief tops the worldwide record for company management.

Work for Gender Fairness Inextricably Linked to Well being of Planet

(Creative Commons)

A group of authors wrote a compelling piece for the Harvard Enterprise Evaluate in regards to the important connection between the work for gender fairness and the work to handle local weather change:

Because the local weather disaster turns into more and more pressing, organizations world wide have begun investing in a wide selection of environmental sustainability initiatives. A few of these efforts goal technological options, whereas others prioritize behavioral or financial adjustments, however what the overwhelming majority have in widespread is a single-minded deal with lowering carbon emissions. And to make certain, this is a crucial aim — however a rising physique of analysis means that actual progress on environmental sustainability requires options that additionally incorporate social sustainability, and particularly, gender fairness.

What does gender need to do with environmental sustainability? These two points could appear unrelated, however they’re the truth is intently intertwined. Certainly, a complete report from United Nations (UN) Ladies discovered that ladies are disproportionately impacted by most if not the entire challenges highlighted within the UN’s Sustainable Improvement Targets (SDGs). For instance, pure disasters (which have grow to be extra widespread because of the local weather disaster) typically disproportionately have an effect on girls, youngsters, the poor, the aged, and the disabled, whose views typically go unheard or ignored. Ladies and women in lots of areas within the World South are sometimes liable for gathering water, which turns into much more taxing throughout droughts, and in Europe, girls are extra doubtless than males to dwell in flood zones, the place the influence of local weather change is felt most severely. Research have additionally proven that gender-based violence, together with bodily, psychological, and reproductive violence in opposition to girls, turns into extra prevalent after pure disasters, with advanced and far-reaching penalties on well being and well-being.

As well as, many insurance policies and initiatives designed to handle environmental points accomplish that whereas ignoring and even actively harming girls and different underserved teams. For instance, girls and poorer households are typically affected extra negatively by environmental insurance policies reminiscent of expansions of public transport, carbon pricing, and taxes, as a result of these insurance policies typically overlook the wants of ladies and underserved teams (e.g., by optimizing public transit for conventional 9-to-5 commutes relatively than faculty pickup routes, or by growing the costs of products on which girls and households rely). Equally, in a single case, climate-driven efforts to put in “clear” cooking stoves have been discontinued when organizers realized their influence on emissions was smaller than initially anticipated, disregarding the surprising constructive byproduct that these stoves improved girls’s and youngsters’s well being and security…

The excellent news is, whereas girls are particularly susceptible on this local weather disaster, they’re additionally uniquely positioned to behave as highly effective brokers of change. On common, girls have smaller carbon footprints than males, more-responsible attitudes in direction of local weather change, and higher curiosity in defending the atmosphere, with notable examples together with activist Greta Thunberg, primatologist Jane Goodall, and client advocate Erin Brockovich. Feminine leaders are already tackling the local weather disaster from the grassroots as much as the highest ranges of the company world, with research exhibiting that organizations with extra feminine executives and board members have higher efficiency by way of each environmental influence and broad company social duty (CSR) targets. Certainly, analysis has recognized a definite feminine management benefit: Ladies have been demonstrated to be simpler leaders each in regular occasions and through crises such because the Covid-19 pandemic (within the U.S. and throughout 91 international locations), and the info suggests this benefit extends to the local weather disaster as properly.

Youth Voting Rights Act Is Key to Enfranchising Younger (Ladies) Voters

Members on the Ladies’s March in Topeka, Kan., on Jan. 21, 2017. (mmrogne / Flickr)

Main voting rights legal professional Yael Bromberg writes a powerful piece in Teen Vogue in regards to the significance of the Youth Voting Rights Act that’s an integral part of a package deal of reforms to guard and improve the voting rights of younger folks:

The Youth Voting Rights Act: 1) establishes a nationwide commonplace of overview for twenty sixth Modification authorized challenges; 2) expands voter registration companies at public schools and universities; 3) permits younger folks in each state to preregister to vote earlier than turning 18; 4) requires establishments of upper schooling to have on-campus polling locations, with waivers obtainable as applicable; 5) codifies the appropriate to vote from a university handle; 6) ensures that states settle for pupil IDs to fulfill voter-identification necessities; 7) creates a grant program that helps youth involvement in elections, together with paid fellowships for younger folks to work with state and native election directors to interact their friends; and eight) gathers information on registration and voting based mostly on age and race.

The invoice is endorsed by a variety of democracy and youth organizations and cosponsored by main voices within the Senate and Home. By my work partaking younger folks throughout the nation in organizing, schooling, advocacy, analysis, and scholarship — and litigation when obligatory — I hear about how they’re systematically compelled to make use of provisional ballots in successive elections based mostly on points associated to their voter registration and voter confusion; how they should journey far off campus to vote, generally taking a number of buses and hours-long journeys; how they can not meet identification necessities as a result of they’re from out-of-state or do not need a driver’s license, however typically use essentially the most broadly obtainable type of identification they’ve, a pupil identification card….

The Youth Voting Rights Act takes the very best of the American village: empowering younger folks to write down the long run they are going to inherit, with multigenerational help. That is the nation we must always aspire to be.

First Lady Mayor Elected in Tokyo

Ladies’s Agenda workers author Brianna Boecker reports on the primary lady mayor of Tokyo, Satoko Kishimoto, and her dedication to difficult conventional male management:

Satoko Kishimoto is Tokyo ward’s first feminine mayor and she or he’s decided to carry ‘radical change’ to Japan’s lengthy historical past of male-dominated politics. 

Final month, Kishimoto was elected mayor of Suginami ward in Tokyo, turning into the primary feminine chief in its 90-year historical past. In a rustic with low ranges of feminine illustration, Kishimoto stated she determined to run for workplace to “promote democracy” and to champion causes near her coronary heart, reminiscent of labour rights and the atmosphere.

“After I checked out Suginami and what native folks confronted there by way of public companies, childcare and concrete planning, I believed one thing needed to change and I believed I may do one thing with them and for them.”

Previous to operating for mayor, the 47-year-old Kishimoto labored for 25 years as an environmental activist at Transnational Institute, a Dutch analysis organisation. She lately returned to Japan after a decade dwelling in Belgium together with her husband and two youngsters. Regardless of her political opponents’ criticisms of her Belgian residency, she’s maintained such sturdy ties with Japan that this didn’t appear to sway most voters.

Ladies Underrepresented in World of Artwork

I discovered this short piece by Emma Shapiro in The Artwork Publication that explores the presence of ladies artists at MoMA (which has an amazing new exhibit by Barbara Kruger). It was a well timed reminder that ladies face related boundaries throughout all disciplines and sectors, and to paraphrase Frederick Douglass, that imbalance received’t change “with no demand.”

Idly scrolling by means of Instagram, I pause once I see Intercourse and the Metropolis’s Charlotte circa-2002 beaming out at me. “Welcome to the Museum of Trendy Artwork,” she declares within the caption, “Do you know that right here at MoMA, lower than 10% of the work is by girls artists? And even fewer are by girls of color?” As I attempt to bear in mind her chipper voice delivering this startling truth, I scroll to the accompanying textual content from Artwork Lady Rising, an activist organisation that fights for girls’s illustration within the artwork world. About Charlotte’s 2002 factoid, the textual content tells me: “That was 20 years in the past. TWENTY. The numbers haven’t budged a lot since then!” I discover myself staring, misplaced in frightened thought. Have issues actually not modified in 20 years? Or, relatively, am I really shocked?

Sadly, Charlotte by no means did boldly announce gender disparity in the course of MoMA, in actual life or on TV. Artwork Lady Rising merely used the acquainted popular culture reference to seize the eye of Instagram customers like myself and level us in direction of a really actual, ongoing difficulty.

Upsettingly, the concept, in 2002, 10% of MoMA’s assortment was by girls appears beneficiant when in 2004’s re-hang of the everlasting assortment (with works spanning from 1879-1969), that quantity was nearer to five%. Jerry Saltz’s 2007 article The place Are All The Ladies? for New York journal famous that the re-hang exhibited solely 20 works by girls out of 415 in 2004, and 19 out of 399 in 2006. Twelve years later, MoMA’s previously abysmal illustration of ladies rose to 23%— or 336 of 1,443 exhibited works. Obvious progress however nonetheless a deep divide, one which the artwork historian Maura Reilly described as “tokenism”. For ARTnews, Reilly framed the huge 2019 re-hang as each thrilling however disappointing — the central characters continued to be the white males of all the time, with girls and artists of color in supporting roles.

FairVote Celebrates thirtieth Anniversary

With Consultant Teresa Leger Fernandez and my daughter Becca Richie at FairVote’s thirtieth anniversary social gathering.

This week we celebrated 30 years of FairVote – the group my husband helped to discovered and directs. FairVote alum Steve Hill writes in regards to the many years lengthy motion for ranked selection voting whereas one other FairVote alum, Caleb Kleppner, visited the Capitol while in DC to attend the revealing of the statue of his great aunt Amelia Earhart who was a champion for the ERA and ladies’s equality – although that a part of her wonderful story not often will get advised.

Who Influences the Influencers?

With my husband Rob Richie.

Rob and I attended Washingtonian Journal’500 Most Influential People in the DC space — he was honored and I bought to emphasise to all who would hear that it’s those that affect the influencers who’re essentially the most influential!

That’s all for this week my pals,


P.S. Subsequent week I will probably be in Denver for the National Conference of State Legislatures gathering – if you happen to plan to be there too I hope you’ll come to Democracy Drinks – a cheerful hour hosted by RepresentWomenFairVoteUnite AmericaOpen Primaries, and The Millennial Action Project! You possibly can RSVP here & please cease by the RepresentWomen desk if you’re on the convention!


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