Percentage of Female State Legislators is Highest It Has Ever Been

A new record has been hit for the number of women across the United States that hold leadership roles in state legislatures.

Across the United States, there has been a significant rise in women leadership in state legislatures over the past few years.
Across the United States, there has been a significant rise in women leadership in state legislatures over the past few years.

(Associated Press, 2/24/21) Nevada state Sen. Pat Spearman, shown here at the 2016 Democratic convention, has led legislation to passage as the party’s chief majority whip. A record number of women have taken leadership roles in state legislatures, meaning they can not only add to the conversation, but in many cases control which conversation is being had.

Nevada state Sen. Pat Spearman, a Democrat and chief majority whip, successfully shepherded legislation in 2020 requiring pharmacists to honor 12-month doctors’ prescriptions for birth control pills, over the objections of some male lawmakers.

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Women’s Week: New IRL Celebration of Int’l Women’s Day

IRL has created a new category to highlight events that advocate for gender equality through education and celebration.

Using IRL's newest category, Women's Week, it is easy to find events both online and in person that honor and celebrate women. (Image credit: IRL)
Using IRL’s newest category, Women’s Week, it is easy to find events both online and in person that honor and celebrate women. (Image credit: IRL)

As more and more women take positions of leadership across industries, their roles and responsibilities have paved a new path for young women everywhere to pursue their interests, career goals, dreams and aspirations. Thanks to women like Sarah Thomas, the first female to referee the Super Bowl, and other prominent female leaders such as Kamala Harris or Megan Thee Stallion, International Women’s Day will be a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements from women and how much more there is to be done for equality and inclusion.

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Register Now! Critical Discussion on Abortion and Reproductive Justice

On March 3rd, Ipas, ARROW, SAfAIDS, and ASAP will join forces to present a webinar on the importance of a gender lens in healthcare.

Ipas, ARROW, SAfAIDS, and ASAP will discuss important topics concerning women's healthcare and COVID-19 on March 3rd. (Image credit: Ipas)
Ipas, ARROW, SAfAIDS, and ASAP will discuss important topics concerning women’s healthcare and COVID-19 on March 3rd. (Image credit: Ipas)

Building resilient reproductive health access
Why we must use a gender lens during the pandemic and after
 
Wednesday, March 3, 9:00 – 10:30am EST

As International Women’s Day approaches, please join us to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on women is driving innovation and new approaches to expand reproductive health access—right now and for the long term.

Presenters in this webinar will discuss how COVID-19 is impacting all facets of reproductive health and why a gender lens is necessary to overcome challenges and sustain change. And they’ll share examples of promising strategies and programs that can help build a more equitable reality for women and girls after the pandemic.

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Sex Doesn’t Stop for a Pandemic: Maverick Collective Pivots in COVID

When the world stops, life keeps going — especially for communities where social isolation and living off of savings are not viable options.

Maverick Collective connects women and girls around the world with essential sexual and reproductive healthcare. (Image Credit: Maverick Collective/PSI)

It’s a well-known fact that COVID-19 has made life at the bottom of the social pyramid even harder. Women and girls around the world, particularly in communities of color, are among the hardest hit by the ripple effects of the pandemic. The news reports address loss of income, life, and community, but the lesser-known impacts should not be forgotten.

Access to healthcare, particularly for women, was already a commodity difficult to come by in certain parts of the world. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, women and girls’ access to contraceptives, feminine hygiene products, and maternity care hangs more precariously than ever before.

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Fighting Climate Change, And Age Bias, With 16-Year-Old Sarah Goody

Sarah Goody’s work in environmental activism has been honored by Prince William and Harry, The Duke of Sussex, recognized with awards from Blume, SheKnows, the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership, and more.

Sarah Goody marches in the Youth Climate Strike in San Francisco on May 24, 2019. (Image Credit: Sarah-Goody.com)

She has led weekly Friday demonstrations at San Francisco’s City Hall and the Ferry Building, and has been published in Forbes and Teen Vogue.

She is the founder of Climate NOW and Broadway Speaks Up, two organizations dedicated to putting a face on climate action, and is Chair of the Corte Madera Climate Action Committee, where she leads a team of 15 in the carbon neutrality efforts of her California hometown.

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Lead With Love: Elena Marszalek on the Feminist Climate Movement

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Elena Marszalek, Managing Director of Del Mar Global Trust, a private foundation dedicated to the environment. 

Elena Marszalek
Elena Marszalek, courtesy of Elena Marszalek

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

I started my career in philanthropy as the only employee of Del Mar Global Trust, a newly established family foundation focused on the natural environment. Although I had previous experience working in climate change, I had little experience in philanthropy. I felt both hopeful and overwhelmed. 

Joining Rachel’s Network, a community of women environmental philanthropists, broadened my knowledge of complex environmental issues, and significantly improved my ability to select and monitor grant recipients. Networking with other women with similar goals and interests helped my career in numerous other ways, for example sharing information about projects that as individuals we would not be aware of. Perhaps most importantly, I have access to other members with many years of experience who offer advice and mentorship. As in all professions, you learn through experience. 

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How Science Is Using Gender-Lens Thinking Induced by COVID

A new research paper exploring how COVID-19 gender policy changes have helped female scientists and improved research quality was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research shines a pandemic-inspired light on how self-identified females are specifically impacted by COVID. Their job roles as scientists are being redefined and their increased caregiving roles are taking priority.

The results of the study, although unsurprising in terms of perpetual gender inequities, are unique to today’s world. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) initiated their “COVID-19 funding competition” in February of 2020, and found fewer females applied. Those that did apply, were also less likely to be approved.

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Elsevier Promotes Transparency By Publishing Editors’ Genders

In an effort to support diversity in scientific research, Elsevier has begun publishing data of the gender identities of their editors.

Data of the gender identity of every editor is now available on over 500 journals published by Elsevier. (Image credit: PR Newswire)
Data of the gender identity of every editor is now available on over 500 journals published by Elsevier. (Image credit: PR Newswire)

Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, is pleased to announce the first step of visualizing the gender balance of its scientific journals’ editors. Following a successful pilot project, over 500 journals will now display the self-reported data of their editors’ gender to support openness and increase inclusion and diversity (I&D) in this space.

February 11 also marks the United Nation’s “International Day of Women and Girls in Science“, which aims to promote that full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls is achieved. To demonstrate Elsevier’s participation, we are actively working to create a better gender balance and diversity amongst our editorial boards: The Lancet portfolio of journals has already achieved a 50-50 percent gender balance; while Cell Press has established an Inclusion & Diversity Statement and is charting a course to parity.

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Philanthropy or Investing: Why Not Both?

When it comes to maximizing our financial impact, there is often an “either/or” approach to leveraging wealth. Do we use our dollars to fund a philanthropic effort, like a campaign or organization dedicated to women and girls, or do we turn our funds toward investment opportunities, like supporting companies with a strong commitment to diversity?

Ellen Remmer is a Senior Partner at The Philanthropic Institute (TPI) and Champion of Invest for Better. (Image Credit: Invest for Better/Ellen Remmer)

As new forms of giving spring up to meet the challenges — and opportunities — of a digital society, we are able to move further away from that attitude of “either/or.” There are ways to stretch our donor dollars further — through two types of collectives that maximize impact.

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Generation USA Wins 125K to Create Women and POC Opportunities

On February 10th, Generation USA was awarded 125K as the winner of MIT Solve’s 2021 Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge.

Generation USA breaks down barriers for marginalized communities to improve and increase opportunities in education and employment. (Image credit: PR Newswire)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Solve, a marketplace for social impact innovation, announced Generation USA, a global workforce development nonprofit, as a winner of its 2021 Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge and recipient of $125,000 in funding to launch pilot programs across the country in collaboration with US Workforce Boards. The initiative combats racial and gender injustices in the US that continue to hinder the education, employment, and earning potential of historically marginalized communities. 

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