I'm skeptical of this claim:

twitter image about something attributed to gavin newsom

And did he even say that?


2 Answers 2


On the basis of relating the claim to proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments (%) as a part of elected governments referring to World Bank Inter-Parliamentary Union data, the answer would be yes.

United States has lesser percentage of proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments than the other countries per numbers mentioned below.

  • Cuba-49%
  • China-24%
  • Iraq-27%
  • Afghanistan-28%
  • United States-19%
  • 28
    Note that in Afghanistan's case this is somewhat misleading. The country's constitution, which they drafted and accepted while there were lots of US troops in their country, sets aside 25% of their seats for women. There's no way of knowing what an unencumbered vote would give, but given that they only got about 3% of the rest of the seats, I think its fair to say it would be less than 28% (but at least 3%).
    – T.E.D.
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 21:33
  • 6
    I have the impression that militant-theocratic nations view the government as just a housekeeper. The real decisions are made by the religious and military leaders.
    – Joe L.
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 22:23
  • 25
    @JoeL. None of the governments mentioned in the quote are theocracies, so I'm not sure how that comment is relevant. Commented May 31, 2016 at 22:30
  • 13
    @MaxvonHippel It is a general term. Skeptics is for fact finding not terminology picking.
    – Insane
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 5:11
  • 1
    Could also add that for example both India and Pakistan (Muslims!) have had women as head of their Government - ie. as Prime Minister, the leader of their Cabinet (although admittedly not as President, the Head of State... but in these countries those positions are more ceremonial). Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 19:03

Since the validity of the claim has already been expertly addressed, I'll answer the second part:

And did he even say that?

Yes, apparently in the 2011 documentary Miss Representation. I can't find a direct source for the quote in the film itself and I haven't seen it, but I did find the book What Will It Take to Make A Woman President? by Marianne Schnall on Google Books.

One of the chapters is an interview with Gavin Newsom, and on pages 158-169:

MS: I remember in Miss Representation, you said this line and it was shocking to hear: "If more people knew that Cuba, China, Iraq, and Afghanistan have more women in government than the United States of America, that would get some people upset."

Note that the wording is slightly different than the image in the original post, so presumably it or Schnall slightly misquoted Newsom.


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