Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: How We Build a 21st Century Democracy; 85% of Election Administrators Are Women

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: how all of us can get involved to build a 21st century democracy; 85 percent of local election administrators are women; a must-watch race in Alaska; women will hold nearly 40 percent of seats in the Australian lower house, thanks largely to ranked-choice voting; the growing demand in Kenya to elect more women; and more.

Lucia Small’s Film ‘Girl Talk’ Explores Gender Bias Within High School Debate Teams: ‘A Powerful Team With Powerful Girls’ Voices’

Perhaps it should come as little surprise that many prominent female public figures—Sonia Sotomayor, Kamala Harris, Oprah Winfrey, the list goes on—were all high school debaters. In that arena, each of them overcame the odds stacked against them—girls are less likely to participate than boys, less likely to continue year-after-year, and even less likely to win.

Filmmaker Lucia Small’s latest film Girl Talk explores the microcosm of gender bias within high school debate competitions by following five girl debaters through their high school years. In this interview, Small talks about her inspiration for the film and how it speaks to larger issues of how girls and women articulate themselves in arenas from politics to filmmaking. She hopes the film will inspire discussions about gender bias in the debate world—and beyond.

January 6 Hearings and the Big Lie’s Ongoing Damage to Democracy

The January 6 hearings are proving that legislation is necessary to protect our democratic system and stop future attacks. A direct through line exists between 2020 elec­tion denial, the elec­tion sabot­age scheme behind the insur­rection and ongo­ing efforts to thwart the demo­cratic process.

The Big Lie that incited the insur­rec­tion contin­ues to rever­ber­ate across the coun­try, driv­ing bids to undermine voting rights, inter­fere with elect­oral processes and attack impar­tial elec­tion admin­is­trat­ors.

Resisting the Overturn of Roe: What U.S. Feminists Can Learn From El Salvador

In a grim moment nationally, let us look to Latin America for the sustained will to resist and overturn abortion bans.

Most notably, U.S. reproductive rights organizers should think of legal and cultural campaigns that can move across states. Though combatting abortion bans in the U.S. will be difficult because states exert their own jurisdiction over abortion laws, we can create a national movement and anticipate the challenges ahead through learning from Latin American feminists, especially the resilient people of El Salvador since 1998.

Leaked SCOTUS Opinion Relies on Misinformation and Tropes of the Anti-Abortion Movement

In the leaked opinion, Justice Alito’s use of the language “abortion-on-demand” is intentionally stigmatizing—it forwards the idea that pregnant people make capricious, immoral decisions to terminate their pregnancies. But abortion access is not the free-for-all that Alito intimates.

In fact, abortion law, in the U.S. or across the world, has not been a story of long criminalization with the blip of Roe over the last 50 years. Rather, the trend, on the whole, has been support for abortion rights and laws that reflect it.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney Pushes Corporations for Better Birth Control Coverage

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), as chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee, sent letters to the top insurance companies and their pharmacy benefit managers requesting information on their activities related to birth control coverage as required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“I am deeply troubled by reports that health plans and issuers may not be fully complying with the ACA’s requirement to cover contraceptives at no cost, potentially depriving patients access to critically important reproductive health care,” Maloney said.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Primary Results Suggest Gains for Women in Congress; the Impact of Women Voters

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: European Union will require an “underrepresented gender” fill at least 40 percent of board seats; Women are on track to make gains in the U.S. Congress; Australia elected record numbers of women to Parliament in last month’s elections; the impact of women as voters; and more.