The political event I attended related to how sex shapes governance in the world, but I particularly focused on the United States and how women were involved in politics. From the colonial period, women have been involved with politics. Women that owned property in a few colonies had the right to vote. Women that couldn’t vote showed their political participation either supporting or opposing the Revolution through their words, sacrifices, or works.
The participation of women in politics and government is fundamental to building sturdy communities and a democracy in which women and men can thrive. By voting, running for office, and engaging in civil society as leaders and activists, women help form laws, policies, and decision-making in ways that reflect their interests and needs, as well as those of their families and communities.
- The subjugation of women is a threat to the common security of the world and the national security of the United States http://cup.columbia.edu/book/the-hillary-doctrine/9780231164924
- The suffering of women and the instability of nations go hand in hand.
Public opinion polling shows that women express different political preferences from men, even in the context of the recent economic recession and recovery, when the economy and jobs topped the list of priorities for both women and men. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2012 found that women express more concern about issues such as political economic performance, health & well being, education, environmental protection, and demographic security at higher rates than men. Women’s involvement in the political process, both voting and running for office, is essential to ensuring that these issues are addressed in ways that reflect their needs. Research indicates that women in elected office make the concerns of women, children, and families vital to their policy agendas (Center for American Women and Politics n.d.; Swers 2002 and 2013).
Women constitute a powerful force in the electorate and inform policymaking at all levels of government. But, women continue to be underrepresented in governments across the nation and face barriers that often make it difficult for them to exercise political power and assume leadership positions in the public sphere. Women have been thought of as being too emotional to hold political power in a country that has been so long dominated by political power of men. There have been studies conducted that show data on several aspects of women’s involvement in the political process in the United States: voter registration and turnout, female state and federal elected and appointed representation, and state-based institutional resources for women. It examines how women fare on these indicators of women’s status, the progress women have made and where it has stalled, and how racial and ethnic disparities compound gender disparities in specific forms of political participation.
In 2015, 20 of 100 members of the U.S. Senate and 84 of 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are women. These numbers represent an increase since 2004 when women held 14 of 100 seats in the U.S. Senate and 60 of 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives (CAWP 2015a; IWPR 2004). Still, even though at an all-time high for the U.S. Congress, the share of seats held by women in the U.S. Congress is well below women’s share of the overall population. As of June 2019, 11 women are serving as head of state and 12 serving as head of government.
Although there are many institutions that promote women’s civic engagement and political participation, obstacles to women’s political participation and leadership still persist. Women not having access to economic resources compared with men’s, their greater caregiving responsibilities, their more limited access to important supports that would help them to run for office, succeed as officeholders, and the greater scrutiny that women candidates seem to face from the public and the media, all restrict women’s political participation and leadership in states across the nation. Women’s active participation in elective office is critical to ensuring the democratic character of our nation. Still to this day, women are largely underrepresented at every level of office, and progress toward achieving political equality has nearly stalled.