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Women politicians in Africa face huge odds but can make a real difference

There’s a huge amount of variation in women’s political representation across Africa, a fact shown by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women’s map of Women in Politics. They argue that it’s not entirely coincidental that many of the countries making the greatest progress in including women in politics are making far less progress in terms of democracy. There may be no guarantee it promotes democracy. For example, several recent studies show that improving the representation of women in parliament has a positive impact on the health sector. Other researchers have shown that increases in the number of women in parliament are associated with a variety of positive health outcomes. In short, if expanding the political representation of women is to have an effect anywhere, it ought to be in the health sector (and, of course, in women’s rights). In the case of research showing the link between “quota shocks” and health spending, for instance, there is a correlation – but claims about causal effects remain questionable. It will also allow international donors to help women in politics make a positive difference. With this in mind, an ongoing collaboration between the University of Birmingham and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy – supported by the Institute for Global Innovation – has started to ask some important questions about women in African parliaments. It will also help female politicians in Africa to make a difference against the odds.

At Agnes Scott College, the IGNITE conference encourages women to pursue politics

The national nonpartisan organization, which has six college chapters in Georgia, encourages women to engage in politics and run for office On February 9, IGNITE will host their 2019 Young Women Run Atlanta conference at Agnes Scott College. Congresswoman Lucy McBath, of Georgia’s 6th congressional district, will be the keynote speaker at the half-day event, along with guest speakers and state House Representatives Brenda Lopez and Park Cannon. Their K-12 curriculum teaches young girls the inner workings of government and why it is important to be politically involved. Collegiate chapters, of which Georgia has six, offer women the opportunity to connect with elected officials and other political leaders who act as mentors and role models. “We’re giving [women] opportunities to be in spaces where they can dish it all out,” chief program officer Sara Guillermo says. ; Adrienne White, vice president of strategy and business development at Citizens Trust Bank; political strategist Pallavi Purkayastha, and more. Two breakout sessions geared toward leadership and immigration policy will follow the panel. Atlanta City Council president Felicia Moore and state senator Nikema Williams are also on the guest list. IGNITE has allowed her to host voter registration drives, election watch parties, and “build a culture” of political activism on her campus she says was not present before. “This work is real hard, and it’s always better when you’ve got a good squad and girl gang with you,” Guillermo says.

Pence Begs Trump Not to Make Him Sit Next to Woman at State of...

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Vice-President Mike Pence has begged Donald J. Trump not to make him sit next to a woman during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, sources confirmed on Monday. According to those sources, an emotional Pence came close to breaking down in tears as he explained that being seated next to a woman other than his wife was a violation of his personal code of behavior. Pence offered Trump a variety of solutions to the problem, including introducing a third chair between him and the woman where his wife, Karen Pence, could be seated for the duration of the speech, “to make sure that that woman doesn’t try anything.” “Let Mother sit next to me, or let me sit on Mother’s lap, but don’t make me sit next to that woman alone,” Pence reportedly sobbed. According to those with knowledge about the meeting, Trump was less than receptive to Pence’s impassioned plea. “God, Mike, you’re such a loser,” he reportedly said.

Stop the whataboutery, give women their due in politics

Every time elections roll around, there is buzz about the paltry handful of tickets given to women candidates. Hoax #2: How can we allow corrupt women to be elected? The same way we allow corrupt, nay criminal men to be elected. Hoax #3: Why elect women? Women compete to win elections, just like men. Hoax #5: OK, but women don't have the experience to govern. Truth #1: Let's face it. When politics runs on testosterone instead of diversity, no surprise that policies are dominated by partisan politics? The way forward The remedy we need to make as the voting public is to pressure political parties to stop peddling recycled male leaders that propagate myths, and start fielding women. The author is a co-founder of Shakti - Political Power To Women, a non partisan group working on exactly this.

PX column: Ex-Congresswoman Jean Schmidt makes a comeback in politics, launches 2020 campaign

Mike DeWine has a large family, long political career and some priorities for the state. The suburban Cincinnati Republican has filed to run for the Ohio House in 2020, hoping to return to Columbus for a second go-around in her political career. "Last summer, I received a call from a prominent Columbus Republican asking me to come back. Their support would be critical, especially if Schmidt ends up having a primary opponent. Amid the cloud of an ethical issue stemming from her relationship with a Turkish-American interest group, Schmidt was unceremoniously ousted in the 2012 GOP primary by tea party-backed political newbie Brad Wenstrup. Schmidt is not on Facebook or Twitter, but acknowledged she'll likely have to have a social media presence in the upcoming campaign. For nearly a decade, Schmidt has volunteered with City Gospel Mission's Flying Pig Marathon training program. She's gotten to know Cincinnati attorney David Singleton of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. Patterson maintained that she was wrongfully convicted for the 1994 shooting death of a 15-year-old girl in Dayton, Ohio. Some call her "Mean Jean."

Democrats puzzle over whether a woman will beat Trump

I really don’t think we are,” said Cusack, 75, a former Democratic National Committee member from Florida. “I’d go back to this last election — who won?” said McGuire, who, as a superdelegate like Cusack, supported Clinton at the 2016 convention. Some women see bias in the excitement surrounding a potential presidential run by Beto O’Rourke, the Texan who energized the left in a losing Senate bid, while Stacey Abrams is not mentioned as a possibility even though she had a much narrower loss for governor of Georgia. For the first time, multiple women may be serious contenders: Warren is in, and Sens. A female front-runner would become a norm if a woman wins the nomination four years after Clinton did. Women’s political mobilization — as volunteers, candidates and donors — fueled the Democratic Party’s gains in the November elections, and Democrats still far outpace Republicans in elevating women to party leadership and representation in Congress. Regardless of whether a woman wins the nomination, the presence of new, multiple female faces in the race could help the party move past a set of political expectations for women largely defined by Clinton for decades. “I do believe they’re held to a different standard,” she said, adding: “But could a woman win? Those campaigns, and the prospect of multiple female candidates, may change how women are treated in the presidential race. “It is more likely than not that you will have women running for president in both parties,” said Kathy Sullivan, a longtime Democratic National Committee member and former state party chairwoman in New Hampshire.

Michelle Quist: Year of the Woman in Utah politics, with more to come

Women across the country were elected at a historic rate. At the national level, Jennifer Rubin summarized: “Women will hold at least 96 seats in the House, a record; at least 23 members of the U.S. Senate and nine governors will be women. In fact, the 2019 Legislature will see a record-number of women – 25 women will serve, 19 in the House and six in the Senate. Of course, most of those women were elected by Democrats — but I keep bringing that up and people keep shoo-shooing me, so it must not mean anything. There are seven newly elected female legislators this year — six are in the House, five are Democrats and five flipped a seat from a man to a woman. After the November election, Nevada became the first state with a female-majority Legislature. In fact, Utah’s history, as the Better Days 2020 campaign has so adeptly educated, is defined by strong, powerful, passionate women. Utah was home to some of the country’s first female legislators, female doctors and female poets. So let’s take the dirty out of the word feminism and embrace all the firsts yet to come. I think 2019 will be that year also.

British Airways slammed as ‘Grinch,’ ‘Scrooge’ for denying refund to cancer-stricken Florida woman

Editor’s note: Our colleagues at Sachs Media Group just shared with us this heartbreaking story: British Airways’ cold-hearted refusal to refund a cancer-stricken Florida woman nearly $2,000 after her illness took a turn for the worse – and made it impossible for her to fly – has earned the global flying giant a lump of Christmas Eve coal from an outraged consumer group. A trip to England was a lifelong dream and wish of Marilyn Siets, of Tallahassee, Florida. But her reservations for the trip had to be canceled, perhaps permanently, when complications from ovarian cancer flared up, degrading her health to the point of her doctor issuing a no-travel directive while she continues to receive ongoing, debilitating treatments. In a baffling decision, British Airways refused to budge on a policy of no full refunds – issuing only a partial refund – and leaving the Siets family nearly $2,000 poorer. Rather than consider these total facts and provide an appropriate full refund for the airfare that the Siets family paid, British Airways bureaucracy cited unreasonable rules and has failed to do the right thing in this unique case. In a blood-chilling way, the airline quoted its policy in a letter, claiming “…we do not make any exceptions for the refund requests due to medical reasons or Terminal Illness except death…” “British Airways has tainted the spirit of the season with a chilling corporate culture that reflects a Grinch-like intent to steal Christmas from a deserving customer and her family,” said Ron Sachs, CEO of Sachs Media Group, serving as spokesman for FACT – the Florida Alliance for Consumers and Taxpayers. “Instead of reflecting the airline’s inner Scrooge, they should be repairing the damage this horrible decision has caused a fine family already suffering great difficulty.” The FACT organization slammed the airline on Christmas Eve for its callous disregard for Siets and her family, publicizing the company’s anti-consumer posture in an effort to build pressure for a reversal. Sachs said repeated appeals to the airline to issue the full refund have been repeatedly rebuffed. The last such outreach to British Airways was last week. Siets has been courageously battling ovarian cancer and its related negative impacts for nearly five years.

President Trump Expected to Pick State Spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the Next U.N. Ambassador

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is expected to announce he will nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, officials familiar with the plans said Thursday. Two administration officials confirmed Trump’s plans. A Republican congressional aide said the president was expected to announce his decision by tweet on Friday morning. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly before Trump’s announcement. Trump has previously said Nauert was under serious consideration to replace Nikki Haley, who announced in October that she would step down at the end of this year. She was a reporter for Fox News Channel before she became State Department spokeswoman under former secretary Rex Tillerson. Plucked from Fox by the White House to serve as State Department spokeswoman, Nauert catapulted into the upper echelons of the agency’s hierarchy when Tillerson was fired in March. Nauert, who did not have a good relationship with Tillerson and had considered leaving the department, told associates at the time she was taken aback by the promotion offer and recommended a colleague for the job. But when White House officials told her they wanted her, she accepted. Nauert was a breaking news anchor on Trump’s favorite television show, “Fox & Friends,” when she was tapped to be the face and voice of the administration’s foreign policy.

Panelists Talk Challenges Faced by Women in Mass. Politics at Harvard Event

The panelists included Mass. “The recent turnout is very inspiring. We must be optimistic.” Provost and Elugardo said they each faced unique challenges as women running for office in a historically male-dominated field. Provost said she first ran for office in 1993, causing her to realize politics can be “a pretty rough occupation” dominated by “a boys’ network.” “After I was first elected, I had nails spread across my driveway,” she said. “Park rangers and managerial staff in buildings will call you ‘Honey’ or ‘Dear’ to remind you of your place. But she said people still treated her differently due to her gender during her campaign. “Men on the trail would often want to touch me or engage with me in ways that were sexualized,” she said. Provost said she can relate to Elugardo’s nervousness about being watched. McDonagh said women must empower other women. “We had an academic perspective, older and newer representatives, and someone operating in an interest group.” This “Women, Politics, and MA” panel forms part of a larger effort within the Expository Writing program to focus on topics relevant to current Harvard students.
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