Bi-weekly Brief:
 March 10, 2016
Brought to you by Women's Campaign Fund 

For International Women’s Day, Google launched a hashtag campaign, #OneDayIWill, asking women and girls to share their aspiration with the world. So here goes: #OneDayIWill look at this awesome interactive map that uses shades of violet to show the percentage of women in legislatures around the world, and see more purple than a Prince concert. Help WCF make sure that next year the U.S. is so deep purple that other countries ask us to sing "Smoke on the Water" and donate today.

The real seats of power
To get a sense of how women are underrepresented in Pennsylvania’s legislature, you can look at the statistics: only 18% of the legislators female, and not one of the 26 seats representing Pittsburgh’s county are held by women. Or, says former state House Rep. Lisa Bennington, you can just look at the bathrooms: “The guy’s bathroom on the floor of the House is like a palace. There is literally a barber sitting in there. There’s a shoe-shine man in there. It’s like a lounge in a bathroom. And the women’s bathroom in the back of the House is a shoe closet.”

All the honeys making money
A recent study from the Peterson Institute for International Economics finds that having more women in a company’s leadership is tied to stronger profits. According to the researchers, an increase in the share of women in top management positions from 0% to 30% would be associated with a 15% increase in profitability. So no wonder Beyoncé is so successful-- just look at her boardroom.

Mo’ money, way way way fewer problems
Well, we did it. We finally identified the world’s biggest sexist: poverty. (Don’t worry, I was gonna guess Donald Trump too.) Nowhere on earth do women have the same economic opportunities as men, 62 million girls are denied the right to an education, and 155 countries still have laws that discriminate against women. Luckily there are steps world leaders can take to reduce female poverty-- so let’s encourage them.

Now put your hands up (on the voting lever)
The women running for office aren’t the only women shaping the 2016 elections. More women are donating to campaigns than in 2012, and Hillary Clinton is the first presidential candidate ever to have a predominance of female donors. Meanwhile, a New York Magazine article looking at the role of single ladies in politics over the years, from Ms. B. Anthony to Ms. Beyoncé, points out that if single women get out to vote, they’ll have a huge impact on the outcomes of this year’s contests. Sounds like a challenge to me.

Getting to the root of STEM problems
In a powerful New York Times op-ed, University of Hawaii professor of geobiology A. Hope Jahren describes widespread and unpunished sexual harassment within university science departments. She says it's one big reason why many women transfer out of STEM programs. So attention academia: there’s no excuse for turning a blind eye to harassment, I don’t care what the cheesy 80’s song says.

The overwhelming whiteness of Oscar nominees isn’t the Academy’s only diversity problem. Once again no women were up for best director, which is typical-- in 88 years, only four women have ever been nominated-- and just 22% of this year’s non-acting nominees were female (and that’s actually better than most years). Just as the lack of Oscar nods for people of color is a symptom of Hollywood’s hiring practices, the same is true for women. A recent study found that from 2014 and 2015, just 4% of movies were directed women, and of more than 400 scripted movies and TV series, just two were directed by black women. Not two percent. Two.

Et tu, emoji?
Girls send over a billion emojis per day, but as a recent viral video points out, the emoji in standard texting systems don’t really represent them. Female emojis are limited to wearing pink or getting haircuts, while the images of people doing anything smart or interesting all seem to be male. The girls in the video suggest some awesome new ones, including a female lawyer and female drummer, and over on Twitter, First Lady Michelle Obama added her own suggestion: a girl studying. Here’s one more: how about an emoji of a lady running for office? I’d end every text with a woman giving a campaign-- no scratch that-- victory speech.

Never underestimate the power of a woman-- or 100. 
Even though women are often shut out of the political process that doesn’t mean ladies still aren’t trying to change things from outside the system. Just in time for International Women’s Day, here are 60 intense photos of women protesting around the world. I want to be best friends with all these rebel girls.



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    Why should good government depend on only half of the nation’s human capital? WCF commits to 50/50 representation of women and men in elected office by 2028.

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