Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Ranked-Choice Voting Is Key in Alaska Special Election; How Latin America Is Achieving Gender Parity

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Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation is a compilation of tales about ladies’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 around the globe—with just a little gardening and goodwill blended in for refreshment!


Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed to a seat on the Supreme Court docket.

Decide Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court docket when Justice Breyer retires on the finish of this time period. It bears repeating that Decide Jackson would be the first Black lady to serve on the Supreme Court docket. Of the 115 people to have served, simply 5 have been ladies. And whereas the hearings had been at instances contentious, three Republican senators—all of whom occur to be from states that use ranked selection voting—voted to verify Decide Jackson. Right here is a snippet from The New York Instances protection of this historic occasion:

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Decide Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court docket, making her the primary Black lady to be elevated to the top of the judicial department in what her supporters hailed as a wanted step towards bringing new range and life expertise to the courtroom.

Overcoming a concerted effort by conservative Republicans to derail her nomination, Decide Jackson was confirmed on a 53-to-47 vote, with three Republicans becoming a member of all 50 members of the Democratic caucus in backing her. The vote was a rejection of Republican makes an attempt to color her as a liberal extremist who has coddled criminals. Dismissing these portrayals as distorted and offensive, Decide Jackson’s backers noticed the affirmation as an uplifting event, one the place a consultant of a bunch usually pushed into the background as an alternative moved to the forefront.

The vote put her in line to exchange Justice Stephen G. Breyer when he retires on the finish of the courtroom’s session this summer season.

“Even within the darkest instances, there are shiny lights,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the bulk chief, stated on the Senate flooring. “In the present day is likely one of the brightest lights. Allow us to hope it’s a metaphor, a sign of many shiny lights to return.”

He added, “What number of tens of millions of children in generations previous might have benefited from such a job mannequin?” On the Capitol, the galleries to witness the historic vote, closed for a lot of the pandemic, had been stuffed with supporters. The chamber erupted in cheers, with senators, employees and guests all leaping up for a prolonged standing ovation, after the vote was introduced.


RepresentWomen launched its report on women’s representation in Latin America this week which is chock stuffed with statistics on the gender quotas and proportional voting programs that specify why so many nations in Latin America are at, or nearing, gender parity:

Gender quotas have uniquely outlined Latin American politics since their conception. In 1991, Argentina grew to become the primary nation on this planet to undertake legislative gender quotas and shortly after, different nations in Latin America and around the globe started to do the identical. Of the 5 nations on this planet which have achieved gender parity of their legislatures, three are in Latin America. Whether or not because of the truth that they had been among the many first to embrace gender quotas or due to different underlying elements, it’s clear that the area has many success tales with regards to ladies’s illustration.

But, that’s not to say that each nation on this area is succeeding at reaching gender-balanced governance. There may be nice range in efficiency on ladies’s illustration in Latin America, which hints that gender quotas, although useful, is probably not the one answer wanted to realize gender parity. This temporary analyzes developments in Latin America, outlined by 19 nations situated in Central and South America, to 1) decide what elements assist or hinder a rustic’s journey to gender parity and a couple of) information america in its personal journey to realize parity. 

Three nations in Latin America have achieved gender parity of their nationwide legislatures: Cuba, Nicaragua, and Mexico. When discussing nations in Latin America, you will need to word that ten of 19 nations have a unicameral legislature, which means that they solely have one legislative physique, whereas the opposite 9 nations have a bicameral legislature, or a decrease and higher home. Ladies’s illustration averaged at 32% in decrease and unicameral homes, and 30% in higher homes. 

In response to the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s January 2022 rankings for ladies in nationwide legislatures, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Mexico ranked 2nd, third, and 4th on this planet. But, these rankings should not essentially indicative of ladies’s empowerment, as Freedom Home has labeled Mexico as a “partly” free  democracy and Cuba and Nicaragua as “not free” democracies. When assessing levels of democracy throughout all Latin American nations, Freedom Home labeled 7 as free, 9 as partly free, and three as not free. 

There are a selection of electoral programs employed in nations all through Latin America; 7 nations use closed-list proportional illustration (PR), 3 nations use open-list PR, Cuba makes use of absolute majority, and the opposite 9 nations use a blended electoral system that mixes two or extra programs. Whereas “blended” programs often seek advice from programs the place one type of PR is blended with a plurality vote in single-member districts, nations like Brazil deviate from this and mix PR for decrease home elections with multi-member districts for higher home elections. 


There hasn’t been a lot protection of ladies’s illustration in China however there was an interesting article this week that explores the boundaries ladies face:

Ladies have restricted illustration and voice throughout the highest echelons of China’s political system, stated US-China Financial and Safety Evaluate Fee in a report. In response to United Nations information from 2021, China’s inhabitants contains roughly 703.8 million females and 740.4 million males. Though they symbolize roughly 48.7 per cent of the inhabitants, ladies occupy lower than 8 per cent of senior management positions.

The US evaluate fee report stated the absence of range is noteworthy given the Chinese language Communist Occasion (CCP) management’s acknowledged dedication to equal alternative. The absence of ladies in Occasion management parallels low feminine illustration inside the group of Chinese language nationals holding management positions in worldwide organizations. Of the 31 Chinese language nationals serving in high management positions in key worldwide organizations, solely 4 are ladies, in line with the report.

Ladies make up virtually half of China’s 1.4 billion inhabitants. Of the roughly 92 million CCP members, there are about 28 million ladies or roughly 30 per cent of the CCP’s whole. Additional, the report stated ladies have restricted illustration and voice throughout the highest echelons of China’s political system. Traditionally, feminine representatives have not often constituted greater than 10 per cent of the roughly 300-member CCP Central Committee. Solely six ladies have ever served within the 25-member Politburo, and three of these had been wives of different high leaders.

In response to the evaluate fee, no lady has ever served on the Politburo Standing Committee or held any of the highest three positions in China’s political system: CCP Normal Secretary, Chairman of the Central Navy Fee (CMC), and State President. Feminine illustration in key authorities roles reminiscent of ministries and provincial governorships can be extraordinarily low.


In response to Human Rights Watch over 100 leading civil sector leaders have signed a letter objecting to the president-elect of South Korea’s risk to shutter the Ministry of Gender Equality and Household:

We, 116 international civil society organizations, name on Yoon Suk-yeol, the president-elect of the Republic of Korea, to withdraw his pledge to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Household.

Yoon Suk-yeol, the candidate of the Individuals Energy Occasion (PPP), received the presidential election on March 9 in South Korea. Through the marketing campaign, Yoon and the PPP actively stirred up and capitalized on the anti-feminist backlash, as an alternative of proposing affordable coverage options to present important points, together with deepening financial inequalities after the Covid-19 outbreak and gender-based discrimination and violence entrenched in society. Specifically, Yoon made abolishing the Ministry of Gender Equality and Household a central pledge of his marketing campaign, saying that there isn’t any systemic gender discrimination in South Korea. Now discussions are underway relating to the governmental reorganization within the presidential transition committee, however he has not but withdrawn his promise to abolish the Ministry. We, the worldwide civil society organizations, are strongly involved about his place.

Whereas ladies’s lengthy struggles have introduced achievements on gender equality and girls’s rights, we are actually dealing with international crises, reminiscent of widening inequalities, local weather injustice, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the rising developments of regression in ladies’s rights. The South Korean authorities, because the chair of the Asia-Pacific Group of the UN Fee on the Standing of Ladies and a member of the UN Human Rights Council, is at present enjoying a number one position in gender equality and girls’s rights at a worldwide stage. The thought of abolishing the Ministry is a severe regression on ladies’s rights, which can have a detrimental affect not solely on South Korea, but in addition on the Asia-Pacific area and the worldwide group.


The loss of life of Consultant Don Younger in March has created an open seat in Alaska for the primary time in virtually 50 years. Greater than 50 candidates have filed to run to fill the seat together with Sarah Palin whose probabilities might be restricted by the newly-adopted ranked-choice voting system used within the state, as Amber Phillips writes for The Washington Publish:

In 2020, Alaskans permitted combining two new methods to vote, making a serious change that democracy-reform advocates celebrated as a method to give more-moderate candidates an opportunity to win.

First, as an alternative of a Republican main and Democratic main, candidates will run in an all-party main. The highest 4 vote-getters go to the final election, no matter get together.

Second, within the basic election, Alaskans will rank their first 4 decisions. (There may be additionally a fifth area for write-in candidates.) If no candidate will get a majority of the vote, the final place candidate is eradicated, and that particular person’s votes are distributed to whoever that candidate’s supporters ranked as their second selection. And on it goes till one candidate is a winner.

That is referred to as ranked-choice voting, and a few democracy-reform specialists hope it may take among the excessive partisanship out of politics. (One of many greatest knocks towards the strategy, although, is that it’s complicated.)

Maine was first to undertake ranked-choice voting statewide. It has expanded to greater than a dozen cities across the nation, together with in New York Metropolis for the mayoral race. Proponents say it rewards candidates who domesticate a various group of voters: When ranked-choice voting was launched in Maine, for instance, a number of 2018 gubernatorial candidates courted their opponents’ supporters, asking to be ranked as their second selection.

“Ranked-choice voting is nice at discovering the majority-preferred winner,” Deb Otis, a researcher on the nonpartisan group FairVote, which advocates for ranked-choice voting, informed The Washington Publish’s Harry Stevens final yr.

In Alaska, that would weaken farther-right candidates reminiscent of Palin, who presumably has a loyal however slender base. And it might strengthen more-moderate candidates, reminiscent of Murkowski, who has had enchantment with impartial and a few Democratic voters.


(Girls in Tech)

The 2018 regulation that greater than doubled the variety of ladies on boards in California has been struck down, in line with this article from The New York Instances:

California has led the nation in pushing corporations to diversify their high ranks, beginning with a 2018 regulation that required company boards have a minimum of one lady. Firms that don’t comply face fines.

For the reason that 2018 regulation was handed, the variety of ladies on boards greater than doubled, in line with a report from California Partners Project, a nonprofit targeted on gender fairness that was based partly by Governor Newsom’s spouse, Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Final yr, greater than half of recent board appointees had been ladies, the group stated.

In a press release, California Companions Mission referred to as the choice “disappointing however not determinative.” The group pointed to research exhibiting enterprise outcomes had been higher “when all of our wealthy expertise is represented in positions of management” and famous that buyers motivated by these outcomes would proceed to stress corporations to have numerous boards.

The Securities and Trade Fee has permitted a rule by Nasdaq, set to go in impact this yr, that may require corporations listed on its trade to reveal the ethnic and gender make-up of their boards and have a minimum of two “numerous” members or clarify why they don’t. Different states, together with Maryland and New York, have required corporations to reveal board range statistics, however none have enacted necessary quotas.


Illustration by Shyama Golden by way of the Poetry Basis’s “Poetry and Feminism” collection.

My sister in regulation Marina Richie jogged my memory that it’s National Poetry Month in April and she or he shared with me a hyperlink to this piece from the Poetry Basis on Poetry and Feminism—which leads off with one in every of my grandmother’s favourite poets, Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

In 1856, Elizabeth Barrett Browning revealed Aurora Leigh, a “novel in verse” that follows the title character, an aspiring poet, via a number of pot-boiling twists. In a single revealing passage, Aurora’s cousin and would-be suitor, Romney Leigh, summarizes his angle towards her and girls writers of that period:

Subsequently, this similar world
Uncomprehended by you will need to stay
Uninfluenced by you. Ladies as you’re,
Mere ladies, private and passionate,
You give us doting moms, and chaste wives.
Chic Madonnas, and enduring saints!
We get no Christ from you,—and verily
We will not get a poet, in my thoughts.

As starkly sexist because the above passage may appear to modern readers, the concept ladies and feminine expertise had been incompatible with poetry continued to carry sway for the following 100 years, till second-wave feminism of the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies introduced a political and cultural watershed. Ladies fought for equal remedy and civil rights; in the meantime, ladies poets created buildings to assist each other whereas profoundly altering poetry itself.

To accompany the podcast mini-series A Change of World, which examines the intersections of second-wave feminism and poetry, the Poetry Basis gathered a collection of poems by ladies poets from the previous 5 centuries. Although not at all complete, these poems roughly monitor how ladies poets turned, twisted, and blasted open poetry’s varieties, topics, and establishments to make room for his or her experiences and their voices.

To contextualize these items, we listed the poems so as of date of publication. Although the notion of feminism occurring in “waves” is considerably problematic, we used it as an organizing software to show the longer historical past of English poetry’s relationship to questions raised by feminism.

The poems collected right here vary from issues of feminine sexuality, authorship, motherhood, and gender to formal experiments, reminiscent of Barrett Browning’s, within the epic, the essay, acquired varieties, and political speech. Many have appeared in influential anthologies, together with No Extra Masks!, Lesbian Poetry, This Bridge Referred to as My Again, Homosexual and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time, and Amazon Poetry. To recommend additional additions, please contact us.


Try this week recommended studying from the workforce at RepresentWomen:


My mom collected these narcissus as a toddler in Switzerland and crammed her arms to the brim with the aromatic flowers—I like to see them blooming in my backyard!

That’s all for this week,
Cynthia 

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