WPSP in the News

July 7 – The White House of the Future is Filled with Women

“It’s Gwen K. Young’s mission to fill 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue with historic numbers of women this election cycle, as well as state houses, mayoral mansions, police precincts and congressional seats dotting the country. One county seat after another, she will chip away at political parity with a goal to reach 50% by 2050. ” (Huffington Post).

July 27 – Hillary’s Nomination is Unsurprising, but That Doesn’t Make it Any Less Historic

WPSP Director Gwen K. Young is quoted extensively on the opportunities for women in politics in a male dominated system, including the following comments: “‘Pew Research still shows that men and women don't think women are as strong in economics and national security, which are the two biggest issues facing the country. But also when people look at resumes, there's a default function on both sides that men are more qualified.’ [. . .] ‘If you sit and think about it, isn't it shocking that this is historical?’ continued Young. ‘If we're supposed to be the leaders in this world, how can countries that we consider repressive, not as equal, or less economically sound have a female president and we can't?’” (VICE)

July 31 – Why We Need More Women Leaders

WPSP Director Gwen K. Young on female leadership: “Today's global problems require leaders that have diverse skill sets and innovation that can only come from diverse ideas and players. Women bring the skills, different perspectives and structural and cultural difference to drive effective solutions. In short, female leaders change the way global solutions are forged.” (CNN)

July 31 – Women in Politics: We’re Not as Equal as We Think We Are

In an article on the political climate for women in Canada, WPSP Director Gwen K. Young comments on the notion that affirmative action runs counter to merit: “Highly qualified women exist in droves, she argues, and there are barriers in the traditional pipeline that prevent them from being drawn in. ‘It is preposterous to think there are not qualified women candidates,’ she says. ‘You’re just not seeing them, you’re not seeing them everyday in your group of friends, where you are.’” (Macleans)


Regional: July 15 – Where do African Women have More Power? Surprise – In Countries Emerging from War

“Over time, it became evident that post-conflict countries had considerably higher rates of female political representation than countries that had not suffered through violence. Post-conflict Liberia was the first African country to elect a woman president. As early as 1994, post-conflict Uganda already had a woman vice president for 10 years. Post-conflict Rwanda today has the highest rate of female legislative representation in the world – 63.8 percent of its legislators are women – and has held that spot since 2003.” (The Washington Post)

South Africa: July 23 – Limpopo Leads the Way with Most Women Candidates

“Of the total number of candidates running for office during the local government elections in Limpopo, 43% are women, making it the province with the highest number of female contenders. Rural and urban women in and around Polokwane have told Independent Media that the representation should have been higher to reflect the gender demographics in the province.  However, they celebrated the 43% with the hope that the women who emerged successful would deliver the services they needed to lead better lives.” (IOL)

South Africa: July 31 – LGE 2016: Gender Parity in Candidate Lists Still Elusive

“However, looking more closely at the candidate lists, the appearance of gender equality begins to crumble. If you took a road-trip around the country ahead of the elections, you’d notice many male faces peering out of campaign posters: in fact, two-thirds of ward candidates across all political parties ahead of the coming elections are men.” (Daily Maverick)



Japan: July 5 – Japanese Politics a Man’s World as Few Females Stand in 2016 Upper House Election

“Out of 389 candidates in Sunday’s Upper House election, 96 are women, down from the Upper House election three years ago.  The ratio of female candidates to males is up by .5 percentage point to 24.7 percent because the overall number of people running has fallen from 433 to 389.   The figures suggest politicians are moving at a snail’s pace when it comes to tapping female candidates, even though most people agree, at least on the surface, that Japan needs more women lawmakers” (Japan Times)

Thailand: July 12 – The Thai Women Bucking the Global Trend

“Senior successful high-flying women like Ms. Khunchornyakong are far more common than in many other places in the world.  In fact, almost a third of senior business roles in the country are held by females, according to accountancy firm Grant Thornton's recent study. The report puts Thailand well above its developed rivals such as the UK, US and Australia in which around a fifth of senior business roles are held by women.” (BBC)

Australia: July 24 – Female Muslim MP Anne Aly and Indigenous MP Linda Burney Share Common Ground

“When parliament resumes next month, Dr. Aly – Labor's new member for the West Australian seat of Cowan [and the federal parliament’s first female Muslim MP] – will not be the only woman with a penchant for blazing trails.  She will be joined by Australia's first female Indigenous federal MP, Linda Burney – a veteran of NSW Parliament who snared the Sydney seat of Barton and will join Labor's frontbench.” (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Japan: July 31 – Tokyo Elects Yuriko Koike as Its First Female Governor

“Yuriko Koike, a conservative former defense minister of Japan, became the first woman elected governor of Tokyo on Sunday, handily winning a vote to replace the city’s previous chief executive after he fell to a financial scandal.” (The New York Times)



Regional: July 4 – How European Cities are Engaging with Refugees through Poignant Art Forms

“Today, when the Young Vic theatre in London hosts the first performance of Queens of Syria, a modern retelling of the Euripides tale Trojan Women, something extraordinary is going to happen. The entire cast will be composed of female Syrian refugees.” (The National)

United Kingdom: July 5 – May, Sturgeon, Merkel: Women Rising from the Political Ashes of Men

“Certainly these might seem to be remarkable times for female political leadership in Britain and across the world. May is joined at the front of the Conservative leadership race by Andrea Leadsom, the energy minister and former banker. [. . .] Is this all a happy coincidence? Has the glass ceiling blocking female power finally been smashed? Or is the world in such a parlous state that troubled nations have realised they need a woman to clear things up?” (The Guardian)

Middle East

Egypt: July 7 – Egypt Nominates Moushira Khattab for Next UNESCO Director-General

“A few months prior the UNESCO elections for the post of Director-General, Egypt decided to nominate the Egyptian ambassador and diplomat, Moushira Khattab to the post. The elections for a leader to fill the shoes of Irina Bokova (who has set her sights on the position of UN Secretary-General) will take place at the beginning of 2017.” (Egypt Independent)

United Arab Emirates: July 11 – Middle Eastern Women Were Once Discouraged from Sport. A New Generation Now Chases Olympic Glory

“They [21 athletes from the Middle East] said there’s less loneliness in being a female athlete in the region, even as they acknowledge that women still face significant impediments toward achieving Olympic-level excellence — entrenched cultural norms about the role of women foremost among them.” (The Washington Post)

Turkey: July 22 – Women Have Been Targeted in the Failed Turkish Coup

“In the days since a failed military coup stunned Turkey’s citizens, photos of crowded and often violent male-dominated protests erupted across social media channels. In the midst of so much chaos, the apparent lack of women has raised some important questions: Where were the women? And how has the coup affected them?” (Humanosphere)


North America

United States: July 19 – Narrow the Gender Pay Gap? There are Apps for That

“Seven new apps designed to help women negotiate higher salaries, get better informed about pay differences in their fields and otherwise eliminate wage disparities between men and women were unveiled Tuesday at a White House event. The event marked the culmination of a two-month “hackathon” in which tech firms and data geeks were encouraged to develop tools to address the gender pay gap, some of which used recently unlocked government data on incomes.” (The Wall Street Journal)

United States: July 25 – DNC 2016: Why Did it Take so Long for a Major Party to Nominate a Woman for President?

There have been only 37 women elected or appointed governor since 1925, including six who hold the position now. There have been 46 women who have served in the Senate, including 20 sitting senators, according to the center's website. Two women have run unsuccessfully as vice president, Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Sarah Palin in 2008. [Said Ruth Mandel, founder of the Center for American Women in Politics]: ‘The simple answer is it all has to do with the system and the number of women at the starting gate – the feeder or platform positions, traditionally in our system.’” (NJ.com)

United States: July 28 – In Hillary Clinton’s Nomination, Women See a Collective Step Up

“On Thursday night, 240 years into an unbroken chain of all-male leadership, Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president. The country may be one hard-fought election away from a woman in charge, making a question that has always been abstract more concrete: How could having a woman as president alter the experience of being an American woman?” (The New York Times)

South America

Brazil: July 27 – ‘We’re Beautiful, Powerful, and Political:’ Brazil’s Feminists Are Taking on the Olympics

“Women have historically been denied attention in the sporting world, but the Rio Games are so far showing promising signs that we'll be placed at the forefront — that we'll be made the protagonists. [. . .] If one thing is clear, it’s that Brazilian women are no longer a silent army. Our first mission? Let everyone know that abuse will not go unpunished. Yes, we are beautiful, powerful, and political, but we are ready to blow the whistle on you, too.” (Refinery29)


Photo: Flickr, World Economic Forum (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)