Feminism | Posted by Ines R on 02/19/2016

The Real Reason Women Are Still Underrepresented In Leadership

It’s time to act.

My friend Sasha, a STEM major, is constantly asked what it’s like to be “a girl in science.” Her mother, who has had a successful and illustrious career in medicine, understands her daughter’s struggle all too well. When she was a resident, she told her daughter, she did not receive paid maternity leave and only took time off when she could. She watched men rise to the top of STEM fields for years and saw how their work was overstated while women’s was ignored. She therefore found her daughter’s experience disappointing but unsurprising.

Given the pervasiveness of both daily and lifelong sexist experiences like these, it’s perhaps unsurprising that women fail to rise to leadership positions — in STEM fields and beyond. A study released late …

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Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 01/13/2016

What Does Voting Really Mean? A Look At Saudi Arabian Women’s First Election

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Saudi Arabian women voters

Saudi Arabia is known for limiting women’s rights. Women who live in the conservative Islamic nation must wear an abaya, a full-length black cloak covering their hair and body, and an additional scarf over the face is optional but recommended. Women cannot travel, marry, or attend university without permission from male family members. As protests recently revealed, many Saudi Arabian women also still cannot drive, despite a tentative new policy meant to enforce the right.

But as of 2015, they can vote. What’s more, they can run for office.

Saudi Arabia is one of the last nations in the world to grant women suffrage. Although the nation held its first election since 1964 just a decade ago in 2005, according to BBC, women were not …

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Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 10/9/2015

Why Do We Still Belittle Female Leaders?

The Dalai Lama

If a woman were to take over his role, the Dalai Lama said in September, she “must be attractive, otherwise it is not much use.”

The self-proclaimed feminist’s comment predictably and justifiably spurred anger and disapproval. While the sexist statement is certainly upsetting in and of itself, it also indicates an even bigger problem: Women in leadership positions — even, in this case, a hypothetical one — are derided in a way that men are not.
Women leaders are often evaluated in terms of an impossible double standard based on a feminine, maternal stereotype. Take female political candidates, for example: They are frequently judged as to whether or not they are adequately loving and devoted mothers while simultaneously discredited for the same role. Just last month, for …

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Feminism | Posted by Daphne S on 09/30/2015

Why We Need More Women Leaders

The Republican candidates

I recently came across a great piece of advice from the inimitable Mindy Kaling: Your image in high school, she observed, usually has very little to do with your success later in life. In fact, they’re usually inversely related. “Do what I did, which is stay in school and be a respectful and hardworking wallflower,” she wrote.

I completely agree with this and wish more young women strove toward lofty career goals rather than popular prom dates. To be fair, nerdiness has evolved quite a bit over the last few decades and it seems that popularity is no longer completely incompatible with being an honors student or valedictorian. But we can still progress, especially when it comes to leadership. The truth is, as much as feminists …

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Feminism | Posted by Emily Z on 07/7/2015

Why I’m Happy Clinton and Fiorina Are Both Running for President

Carly Fiorina and Hillary Clinton

It’s clear that women are severely underrepresented in U.S. politics: Currently, only 20% of the seats in Congress, and 25% of the seats in state legislators are held by women. The fact that Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina are both running for their respective parties’ presidential nominations, therefore, is an undeniably important step towards parity. No matter the results of their efforts, Clinton and Fiorina are positively impacting countless young girls across the country just by running.

The gender disparity in our country’s political representation starts early, according to one American University study, with an “ambition gap.” The study found that young girls are less likely to consider running for office or believe that they can based on a number of factors, including parents being …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 11/7/2013

Jessica Valenti On What It Will Take To Make A Woman President

Jessica Valenti, called one of the Top 100 Inspiring Women in the world by The Guardian, is the author of four books on feminism, politics, and culture. Valenti founded Feministing.com, which Columbia Journalism Review called “head and shoulders above almost any writing on women’s issues in mainstream media.” Her writing has appeared in Washington Post, The Nation, The Guardian (UK), The American Prospect, Ms. Magazine, Salon, and Bitch magazine. She has won a Choice USA Generation Award and the 2011 Hillman Journalism Prize for her work with Feministing.

MS: What qualities do you think women bring to positions of influence and leadership that the United States and the world most need now?

JV: I don’t want to generalize. I don’t know that women, as a broad category, have

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Feminism | Posted by Claire C on 05/29/2013

Margaret Thatcher: How An Anti-Feminist Inadvertently Contributed to the Cause

Margaret Thatcher

With the passing of Margaret Thatcher in recent months, her achievements and contributions have been much analyzed. Thatcher has been described as “the most influential politician of her generation” and a “key political figure of the twentieth century.” One area of Thatcher’s life which has been examined is her contribution to the feminist cause. This is something that cannot be overlooked, especially as Thatcher was the first (and to this day, only) female Prime Minster of the U.K. Political pundits cannot help but describe Margaret Thatcher in regards to her sex, with terms such as “Lady Thatcher” and “the Iron Lady.”

It is generally believed that Thatcher did next to nothing in the fight to further women’s rights in the U.K. For instance, there was only one other …

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Feminism | Posted by Claire C on 10/15/2012

Who (Doesn’t) Run The World? Girls.

Only 20% of political leaders in the world are women. Women leaders are under-represented in every country, from Nepal, where my organization works, to the United States, where only 17% of Congress is female. In 2010, I co-founded a leadership development organization for young women in Kathmandu, Nepal, because I strongly believe that the lack of female leaders is one of the most enduring forms of inequality in the 21st century.

Women are absent in corporate boardrooms, parliaments, peace negotiating tables and almost all major institutions around the world. For every Hillary Clinton and Marissa Mayer, there are thousands of women who do not break the glass ceiling.

While women are shut out of the institutions of power, they often face the brunt of poverty and violence. In Nepal, 1/3 …

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