The conference’s panel discussions will aim to highlight four crucial discussion topics for the representation of women in elected office, and will provide both legal and policy-oriented points of view.
Models from Abroad: International Pathways to Women’s Political Participation
The historic nature of the 2012 election has given rise to an important comparison between the U.S. and other nations around the world in terms of women’s political participation. Despite its leadership in a number of areas, the U.S. has fallen behind in achieving equality of gender representation in our nation’s most influential and powerful posts. On this panel, women who study and work on issues of gender equality across the globe will discuss foreign models of government and how women have fared within them, helping us learn how America can continue to move forward in advancing women’s political participation.
- Fawzia Koofi, Afghan Parliamentarian & Presidential Candidate, Women’s Rights Advocate
- Cathy Allen, President of The Connections Group, International Political Consultant
- Dr. Mona Lena Krook, Rutgers Associate Professor and Founder of Electoral Gender Quotas Project
- Susan Markham, Director of Women’s Political Participation at the National Democratic Institution
Tips from the Trail: Gender in Political Campaigns
Representation of women in political office may be at an all-time high, but it still pales in comparison to that of men. One source of the disparity is a smaller field of female candidates. Numerous factors contribute to the gap between the number of men and women running, and the differences don’t end once candidates hit the campaign trail. This panel brings together women with significant campaigning experience to discuss how gender has played out in elections and how women can better prepare themselves for and change the most problematic aspects of campaigning.
- Katie Biber Chen, General Counsel of Romney 2012 Campaign
- Beth Williams, Former Special Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee
- Michelle Wu, HLS ’12, Candidate for Boston City Council
- Brandi Hoffine, Communications Director for Senator Tim Kaine’s Campaign
Voter Disenfranchisement: Whose Voices are Represented?
Restrictive voting laws are not merely a blunder in our history – they continue to disenfranchise law-abiding American citizens even today. Redistricting, ID laws, and different balloting systems can each have a significant impact on the pool of voters and outcome of elections. On this panel, women who work everyday to protect the integrity of elections and voters’ right will speak about the reality of voter disenfranchisement, its effect on women, and what it means for American democracy more broadly.
- Jennifer Clarke, Executive Director of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
- Cynthia Bauerly, Former FEC Commissioner and Former Legislative Director for Senator Schumer
- Hannah Fried, Florida Voter Protection Coordinator for the Obama Campaign
- Sonia Gill, Election Protection Attorney for Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights
2012: The Year of the Woman
In 2012, new debates about reproductive rights, work-life balance, and women’s roles in government and industry held prominent places in the public discourse, and culminated in a historic election cycle that brought more women into public office than ever before. Here to comment on the meaning of the year behind and the year ahead for women in public discourse and public office are accomplished women from different generations, specialties, and political parties, all of whom have held important positions in government and have unique and powerful insights to share.
- Bay Buchanan, Conservative Political Commentator and Former United States Treasurer
- Alison Omens, Director of Media Outreach at AFL-CIO
- Karen Dunn, Former White House Associate Counsel and Communications Director for Senator Clinton
- Chloe Angyal, Writer and Political Commentator, Editor at Feministing