The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Slow Ride To City Hall For Female Candidates

Jul 17, 2013
Originally published on July 18, 2013 4:36 pm

This is a big year for mayor's races. And it was supposed to be "the year of the woman" for mayoral candidates.

When 2013 began, there was a fair amount of hope that women could make up for their relatively measly representation in local offices nationwide by capturing the mayoralty in three of the nation's five largest cities.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker still looks like a good bet for re-election, but New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has slipped in polls behind former Rep. Anthony Weiner in the race to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Quinn still has a chance, but out in Los Angeles, onetime front-runner Wendy Greuel lost the mayor's race in May.

"Progress has been slow," says Nichole Bauer, who is writing a dissertation on women and politics at Indiana University.

In all the U.S. cities with populations above 30,000, only 17 percent have women serving as mayor. EMILY's List, the political action committee that seeks to elect women who are pro-abortion rights, hopes to change that.

The PAC, which has declared 2013 to be the "year of the woman mayor," has provided support to eight mayoral candidates thus far.

"It's about building the pipeline, getting women to run for local offices because we know they'll run for higher office," says Marcy Stech, the group's press secretary.

So far, though, it's been tough getting anywhere near proportional representation for women in city halls.

Women are already serving as mayor in Baltimore, Charlotte, Fresno, Las Vegas and Fort Worth — but, along with Houston, those are the only ones with populations above 500,000.

"It's encouraging that there are so many women running for mayor around the country, but there's still not equality there," says Mary Ann Lutz, the mayor of Monrovia, Calif.

Betsy Hodges, a member of the City Council, remains in contention in Minneapolis, but beyond that the races where women are favored or have a strong chance are taking place in relatively smaller cities such as Dayton, Ohio; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Tacoma, Wash.

The low number of female mayors nationwide roughly tracks with the percentage of women holding other offices. Women make up 18 percent of the House and 20 percent of the Senate — despite record gains in 2012. They've made up 20 to 24 percent of state legislators for the past two decades.

Lutz says that voters still expect women to concentrate on education and health care — "quote, unquote, women's issues," she says. As a result, many female candidates will consciously adopt a strategy of talking more about matters such as crime and financial matters.

"Sometimes women get painted unfairly with the brush of unfettered compassion over concern with law and order," says Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Female mayors and their champions such as Stech say that women are less likely to engage in partisan gamesmanship than men and more willing to compromise. That's presented as a plus, but it may not come across as such to voters, says Bauer, who says that voters often picture women as not being as "decisive and aggressive" as they want leaders to be.

Political science research has also shown that successful women in careers such as the law are much less likely than men to consider careers in politics in the first place.

"Men over the years have developed better networking, going back to the expression 'good ol' boys,'" says Lori Moseley, the mayor of Miramar, Fla.

But she says the increasing number of women running for local office provides a way of changing all that.

"We're going to continue to be a force to be reckoned with," she says. "You have to know we're not going to accept anything else."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.