Lucina Di Meco on Women Political Leaders and Media Bias

Much has been written about fake news, bots, Internet trolls, and the gamut of tech-driven media manipulation that ranges from ad-hoc hoaxes to systematic attempts to hijack civil and political discourse. But there has been a lacuna in this coverage: gender, and the ways in which female politicians are victims of “gendered disinformation.”

Lucina Di Meco discusses the difficulties that women politicians face in a hostile media environment. (Photo credit: Lucina Di Meco)

In the report “Women, Politics & Power in the New Media World,” gender expert and women’s rights advocate Lucina Di Meco tries to fill this gap. “Millions of dollars are being spent on programs looking at democracy and technology,” she writes. “Almost none of them factors in women in politics. It’s infuriating and doesn’t make any sense.”

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The 19th: Filling the Media Gap on Women and Politics

It’s a brutal media landscape with each year bringing more layoffs and buy-outs of journalists, and closures of big city dailies. Paper is dying, and the digital arms of legacy media entities must fend off content-stealing, bottom-feeding, celebrity-obsessed click-bait factories. It’s difficult for serious and thoughtful, or even middle-of-the-road mainstream journalism, to survive unless backed by very deep pockets and a vast reach. And if a media organization wants to address gender and race in a comprehensive fashion, it’s well-nigh impossible.

The 19th will provide more media coverage of women as they push for a larger share of power in American politics. (Image Credit: The 19th)

It’s tough sledding, but the benefits of an informed public are incalculable and essential to democracy, and can’t be judged solely by looking at the bottom line. Consequently, some philanthropists are stepping-up and underwriting news and information organizations, as is the case with the support for a novel venture, The 19th, “a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy.”

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Vital Voices Teams Up with wiseHer to Grow Women in Business Globally

(February 4, 2020) wiseHer and Vital Voices Collaborate to Accelerate Impact of Women Entrepreneurs Across the Globe

New partnership provides personalized advice and financial support to Vital Voices’ network of social entrepreneurs and women business leaders, expands wiseHer’s global reach

Vital Voices and wiseHer have announced a new collaboration aimed at helping women business owners with mentoring and professional development. (Image Credit: wiseHer)

Framingham, MA: wiseHer, a female-founded global knowledge marketplace that helps women business owners and professionals advance through 1:1 access to expert advice, is proud to announce a new partnership with Vital Voices, a global movement that invests in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges.

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American Eagle Announces #AerieREAL with $400 K in Grants

Film and fashion represent two industries where the misrepresentation of women and minorities still runs rampant. However, fashion industry leader American Eagle is taking active steps to change that.

American Eagle/Aerie welcomes Beanie Feldstein to the #AerieREAL Role Models and announces a new initiative for community change. (Photo Credit: Andrew Buda/Aerie)

This year, as part of their Aerie lingerie line, American Eagle rolled out the #AerieREAL Role Models program: a group of ideas-forward young women with a wide range of backgrounds, body types, and lifestyles who model Aerie’s products. The kicker? The models in #AerieREAL photos are not touched up, digitally edited, or misrepresented in advertising. In an industry where impossible standards of beauty are often airbrushed, the prominent featuring of real women with real bodies, real disabilities, and real “flaws” (if you want to call them that) speaks to an encouraging new wave of body-positive empowerment for girls.

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Melinda Gates Wants Cities to Get Gender.Equality.Tech

New City-Based Initiative to Increase Women in Tech in the U.S. Kicks Off in Chicago

January 28, 2020 Pivotal Ventures, together with Break Through Tech, SecondMuse, and several leading social organizations, announced today a new initiative, Gender Equality in Tech (GET) Cities, designed to accelerate the representation and leadership of women in tech through the development of inclusive tech hubs across the U.S. With a $50 million investment from Pivotal Ventures, the initiative will focus on three U.S. cities over five years – kicking-off in Chicago in January 2020. 

An image of Chicago with words typed over which read Gender. Equality. Tech.
The GET Cities project will invest $50 million in three cities over five years. (Image credit: Pivotal Ventures)

As local tech ecosystems grow, GET Cities looks to engage students from the first college course, to women in the current workforce, to female founders and investors. The initiative aims to create collaborative models that can be replicated in other growing innovation hubs by bringing together key stakeholders to invest and align resources and create shared goals for women in tech across academia, non-profit, government, venture capital, and business sectors in each selected city. The goal is to maximize the impact of local women-in-tech efforts, crowd in other funders, and foster local coordination that can accelerate the pace of change, nationally.

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Emerge Names A’shanti Gholar Incoming President

Washington, DC—Emerge, the nation’s premier organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office, announced today that it has named A’shanti Gholar as its next president. In this role, Gholar will lead the organization and steer its overall strategy and direction, overseeing a national staff as well as affiliates across the country. This announcement comes after an extensive, nationwide search for candidates across the country.

A’shanti Gholar will serve as President of Emerge, an organization which trains Democratic women candidates. (photo credit: Emerge)

“The board and I are extremely confident that A’shanti is the right person to lead Emerge into the future,” said Rashmi Yadav Marya, Emerge’s National Board Chair. “She is a highly respected political leader and has a deep understanding of the organization.  We are extremely fortunate to have her as our next president.”

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Lori Sokol: Making Women’s Media with Truth and Transparency

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL (F-GIRL) series features Lori Sokol, PhD, Executive Director & Editor-in-Chief of Women’s eNews. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Women’s eNews, to be celebrated on May 4 at their annual Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Awards.

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

Lori Sokol, PhD, Executive Director & Editor-in-Chief of Women’s eNews (Photo by Eva Mueller)

I entered the media industry immediately after graduating from college, but looking back I should have gone straight to graduate school instead. I didn’t become a graduate student until nine years later, when I was already pregnant with my first child. As a result, I had to attend graduate school part-time while becoming a new mother, and running my own media business simultaneously. It took me twelves years of attending grad school at night to earn my PhD.

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WFN Announces Leadership Transition as CEO Steps Down

WOMEN’S FUNDING NETWORK BOARD OF DIRECTORS ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP TRANSITION 

San Francisco, Calif. ― After six years at the helm of one of the oldest women’s philanthropy organizations in the world, Cynthia Nimmo will be stepping down from her role as President and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network (WFN), effective Feb. 17, Julie Castro Abrams, Governance Chair of the organization’s Board of Directors announced today. 

Elizabeth Barajas-Roman will be the incoming President and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network (Image Credit: WFN)

“I am so proud of what we have accomplished at WFN,” Nimmo said. “We are on a strong trajectory for continued growth and expansion. After 13 years with the organization, the last six as President and CEO, I believe that this is the right moment to create space for new leadership to build off of this momentum and take WFN into 2020 and beyond.”

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It’s All About STEM Women: Arianne Hunter and the Privilege of Dreams

“Women can be successful in science.” This is the core message from Arianne Hunter, a chemist in Atlanta. “Our brains can retain, analyze and distribute knowledge just like our male counterparts [so] our ideas and dialogue should be met with the same respect,” she says. 

Arianne Hunter discusses ways to increase opportunities for women and girls in STEM. (credit: Arianne Hunter)

Hunter is a first-generation college student who was a member of the Division I Women’s Basketball Team at Dartmouth College, the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma, and the founder of “We Do Science Too!” — a nonprofit serving girls who have less access to STEM experiences. She is a published and awarded scientist and is currently pursuing postdoctoral training in Forensic Chemistry at the Defense Forensic Science Center.

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Get Inspired as a Donor and Activist by Unladylike2020

A question I ask myself and others: how do you get inspired to keep doing this work? How do you get charged up to talk about the value of feminist strategies for giving when oftentimes, philanthropy gives feminism the radio silence treatment? One way is through art.

Bessie Coleman (1892-1926), the first African American female aviator. (Artwork by Amelie Chabannes)

A powerful new infusion of art is coming out this year. It’s called Unladylike2020, and it’s a film series celebrating women trailblazers. I was fortunate enough to see a preview of the first film in the series here in Providence last year, and got a glimpse of how the series combines original artwork, animation, rare archival footage, and interviews with family members, historians, and experts who discuss how these women shaped our world. PBS’s American Masters series will be participating in the initiative with three projects: 

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