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RepresentWomen's Report on Achieving Gender Parity Looks at Systems Strategies around the World

Updated: Apr 20, 2021

We're so excited to present information from our colleagues at RepresentWomen and their visionary CEO, Cynthia Richie Terrell:

This week RepresentWomen released its Achieving Gender Parity: Systems Strategies Around the World report that offers a deep dive into the electoral systems, recruitment practices, and representation outcomes for women in nearly every country. 

2020 Int'l Women's Representation Report
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Twenty years ago the United States ranked 48th globally for women's representation. Today the United States ranks 87th among nations for the number of women elected to the House of Representatives. Most of the countries in the top 50 for women's representation use a proportional or semi-proportional voting system to ensure more women win & some type of quota or temporary special measure to ensure more women run. 

We study what's electing more women to office faster in higher ranked countries to ground our work for data-driven systemic reforms to advance women's representation and leadership in the United States in order to achieve parity in our lifetimes:

Between 2000 and 2020, nearly all parliaments around the world saw an increase in women’s political representation. In January 2000, there were 82 countries in which women made up less than 10% of parliamentarians, and as of January 2020 there are only 26 countries. Twenty years ago, no country had achieved gender parity in their legislatures, currently four countries are at parity with an additional 20 quickly approaching parity. And while the number of women elected to the House of Representatives has increased over the past two decades, from 13% in January 2000 to 23% in January 2020, the increase of women in the lower house has been slow in comparison to the 86 countries outranking the United States. While the United States continues to use a single-winner plurality electoral system and leaves the recruitment of women candidates up to party discretion many of the countries improving at a faster rate than the U.S. have adopted better recruitment methods, modernized workplace rules, and more representative electoral systems all of which help to improve women’s opportunities to run, win, serve and lead. In the past two decades many   countries have outpaced the United States in electing women to both the legislative and executive  branches.   Our single-winner plurality system maintains the status quo and hegemonic male leadership by favoring incumbents and discouraging competition. The United States can learn from and adopt the innovative strategies used in other countries to spark and sustain progress toward gender parity. THANK YOU to Cynthia Richie Terrell and the entire RepresentWomen team for the work done to compile this essential information.


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