Was Hillary Clinton the first woman to run for president? Not quite.

A Feminist Lens on New Congress
By  Michele Kort

With the midterm elections now several days behind us, we can assess what the new U.S. Congress  looks like for women in general and for progressive, pro-choice feminists in particular.

There will be at least 85 voting women members of Congress in January. Depending on how five undecided races turn out (four in the House, one–Lisa Murkowski of Alaska–in the Senate), the percentage of women in Congress will either remain the same or, at the most, go down by about 1.5 percent. Considering that the current percentage is 17 percent women in the Senate and about 15 percent women in the House, obviously there’s still a long way to go towards gender equity.

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posted 10 November 2010

Women's Movement Energized at National Meet

By Susan Webb
People's World

Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, issued a three-point "charge" to more than 300 activists gathered here for the group's national conference over the July 4 weekend: Beat back the new attacks on Social Security - it's a women's issue. Repeal the anti-abortion Hyde amendment. Elect women to public office.

"We're facing enormous challenges," O'Neill told the participants.

She summed up the anger widely expressed here over new abortion restrictions included in the health reform law enacted earlier this year. They expand on the 1976 Hyde amendment prohibiting federal funding for abortions.

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Posted 11 July 2010

How Conservative Women Politicians Make Life Harder
for Working Moms

By Betsy Reed
The Nation

First, let's swallow hard and be fair. There is something to cheer in the so-called Year of the Woman. You don't have to credit the Republican Party, which did next to nothing to bring on the wave that swept Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman, Sharron Angle and Nikki Haley to victory in June's primary elections. Indeed, before the RNC began heralding its Mama Grizzlies, in Sarah Palin's typically catchy but grating phrase, it was brushing off complaints about how its roster of 104 rising "Young Guns," lavished with party attention and resources, included only seven women. Fiorina and Whitman bought their gleaming California wins with their own money, while Angle charged to victory in Nevada on sheer Tea Party adrenaline. There's certainly nothing progressive about these women, but their brash, unapologetic and largely unsolicited emergence in Republican politics—in American politics—does represent progress, of a sort.

... Fresh new faces aside, the Republican Party's stance on the issues that matter to working mothers is as regressive as it has ever been.

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posted 23 June 2010

Women in Government

Worldwide, 18 percent of national legislative seats are held by women, according to the Geneva-based Inter Parliamentary Union. It ranks the United States 69th in the world for female representation in government.

Twenty-two nations have at least 30 percent women in their lower houses in national assemblies. Rwanda leads the world with 56 percent of seats in the lower house and 35 percent in the upper house following an election in September.

Sweden is next, with women holding 47 percent of seats in its single-chamber parliament. Cuba is third with 43 percent.

Regional averages show that Scandinavian nations have outpaced much of the rest of the world in female representation:

Rwanda - 56%
Scandinavia - 41%
Americas - 22%
Europe - 19%
(excluding Scandinavian nations)

Asia - 18%
Sub-Saharan Africa - 18%
United States - 16.9%
Pacific - 15%
Arab nations - 9%

Information from women'sEnews

The complete listing of the first 134 standings on countries for Women in National Parliaments as of September 20, 2008 can be found at IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union).


On a big day for women, gender was no big deal

By Anne E. Kornblut
Washington Post Staff Writer

With victories by several prominent women in Tuesday's primary elections came the familiar declarations that a "year of the woman" is underway. But in at least five races, something even more remarkable occurred: The candidates' gender never became much of an issue.

Tuesday's elections put on display the increasing diversity of female candidates, as well as their growing resilience. They were for abortion rights and against them, old and young, part of the political establishment and new to it. Their male opponents attacked them -- relentlessly, in some cases -- apparently unworried about being seen as picking on a woman. The women touched on their gender, but did so sparingly. And they made few appeals to traditional women's issues.

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posted 11 June 2010

Women More Likely to Dems Regardless of Age

by Frank Newport

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup analysis of almost 150,000 interviews conducted from January through May of this year sheds new light on the substantial gender gap that exists in American politics today. Not only are women significantly more likely than men to identify as Democrats, and less likely to identify as independents, but -- with only slight variation -- this gap is evident across all ages, from 18 to 85, and within all major racial, ethnic, and marital-status segments of society.


A recent Gallup analysis confirmed the existence of a fundamental gender gap in American political party identification today, although the exact nature of that gap has varied over recent years. The major distinction in political party identification today seems to revolve around the percentage of each gender who identify as Democrats versus independents; men and women have been similar in terms of identification with the Republican Party this year.

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posted 13 June 2009

Survey Reveals Global Gender Gap


Norway is the country with the narrowest gender gap in the world, while Yemen has the widest. A new global survey of equality between the sexes reveals that despite near equal access to education and health care, women are still way behind when it comes to political and economic decision-making.

The glass ceiling is alive and well, despite women across the world having increased access to health care and education. A new report published on Wednesday by the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows that the gender gap persists in both the industrial and developing world. The 2008 Global Gender Gap Report predictably ranks the Nordic countries as having the greatest equality between the sexes, with Norway now replacing Sweden at the top of the list. Saudi Arabia, Chad and Yemen were the lowest ranked in the survey of 130 countries.

The report found that on average women and men have reached near parity in access to education, health and survival. However, economically and politically the gap is still large...

.....The United States was ranked 27th up from 31st last year due to the higher number of women appointed to positions of power.

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Download the full report
posted 14 November 2008

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