There is no doubt the number of women in politics is often fewer than men in any country; however, the number is getting better. The US is still lagging when it comes to women in politics. So are all the gender equality laws and regulations working?
Miki Kittilson’s article “Gender and Political Behavior” fully discusses gendered politics. Although the article covers the political scene in the US, it gives you the generall ideal of how gender plays in political behavior, voting preferences, political involvement, voting turnout, other electoral activities, nonelectoral participation, and political engagement.
Although men and women vote at similar rates today, women still trail men in important participatory attitudes and activities such as political interest and discussion.Miki Caul Kittilson
Over time, women have more access to education, resources, and information, which can be enough to sway their involvement in politics. Women’s political involvement comes in different forms as for the current climate on abortion rights. There are a lot of people who take it to the street, while senator compares protections for fetuses and sea turtle eggs in abortion speech. Such action to strip abortion rights from women can result in more women to involve in politics because no one would introduce bills to women other than women themselves.
It has been noted in the media (CNBC) that the US ranks 75th (out of 193 countries) globally in women’s representation in government. From the same article, “Only three countries boast a female majority in government. Rwanda tops the list, with women holding 61.4 percent of parliament seats, followed by Cuba (53.2 percent) and Bolivia (53.1 percent). The remaining top countries are Latin American, Caribbean, African, and European: Mexico (48.2 percent), Grenada (46.7 percent), Nicaragua (45.7 percent), Costa Rica (45.6 percent), Namibia (46.2 percent), South Africa (42.7 percent) and Sweden (46.1 percent).”
The Rhetoric of Women in Politics – is a film that presents distinguished women speaking about the prejudices and obstacles they face in the predominately male world of politics published by Films Media Group. You can check with WorldCat to see if it is available at your local library.
After watching the movie, several things stood out to me.
Jennet Rankin was the first elected to the congress and the only one who voted against the war in her time. I am astonished that she led the protest against the Vietnam War at the age of 87 at the time. She set a great example for the other women. She reminds me of Nancy Pelosi was an advocate for family warfare. More importantly, she stood for what was right. Many women ran for the US president but never got elected to become the US president. I think this has a lot to do with the ads in the 20th century. It depicted the gender role of the women to be housewives. I believe that it played a huge role in holding back women to become the US president. More importantly, most Americans believe that the US president is one of the masculine job.
In 1965, the first Asian American to be elected to the congress followed by an African American in 1972. It took a long time and effort for women of color to join the congress. Both Mink and Chisholm lost the nomination due to the fact they were women and their advocacy for people, education, and women’s issues.
The barrier to the presidency is the reflection of the social construct and its value in the US. She will be put down based on her appearance and not her intellectual experiences. It says through the media with subtle language, which distracted all the women’s qualifications. It still happens in the 21st century during the presidential debate. It tells us that there is still a lot of work ahead of us to undo the social construct and norms toward women, people of color, and minority.
Milestones for Women in America – (center for american women and politics)
Where Negative Stereotypes About Feminists Come From (Links to an external site.) (HuffPost)
Quick Facts: Title IX Download Quick Facts: Title IX (AAUW)
What Happens When Women Win Elections (Vox)
We Need Women in Politics – Ted Talk Nancy Pelosi