Women's Leadership Rising Globally
2018 has been an exciting year for women in politics across the globe, including the US which after the midterm elections moves up in global rankings for women in national politics from 103 to 77th place. The US midterms have resulted in a record 128 women in Congress. Women are 34 of the 83 freshman class of Congress (with 10 races outstanding). This record number was matched by historical firsts:
- Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar became the first Muslim women elected to Congress
- Ayanna Pressley and Jahana Hayes will be the first African American women to represent their state in Congress
- Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland became the first Native American women elected to Congress
- Michelle Lujan Grisham will be New Mexico’s first Latina governor, and to represent their states in Congress.
- Alexandria Ocasio Cortes is the youngest elected member of Congress.
The next step is ensuring women hold leadership positions within the House of Representatives.
These historical firsts are accompanied by two interesting facts. The first is that the wave is primarily Democratic women. There are 33 new Democratic women compared to 1 Republican woman. In addition, women are on the rise in the Democratic party. In the midterms, Democrats flipped 39 house seats in total. Of the 39 seats that were flipped, 24 of them were flipped by men. Women flipped 62% of newly Democratic House seats. This rise along partisan lines is being watched as results of state races come in not only this year and next, but with the view to 2020.
The US midterms follows advancements for women in Ethiopia where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has appointed a cabinet that is 50% women with Aisha Mohammed Musa becoming the first female minister of Defense in Ethiopia-and bringing the world total to 13. Ethiopia’s parliament also approved Sahle-Work Zewde as its first female President and its first female Supreme Court president Meaza Ashenafi. This follows on the heels of many other countries including France and Colombia who are appointing women to prominent positions in government, and Ethiopia stands out as women are leading across sectors of government.
As we move forward at the end of 2018, the WPSP wants to continue to remind people that women need to sit in all sectors of government in leadership positions: Mayors, Supreme Court justice, heads of police forces and Presidents.
We welcome our continuing work to ensure that by 2050, women hold 50% of leadership positions across the globe. Be sure to check out our website for the latest news, events, evidence and tools. 50x50movement.org.