Women In Politics Essay Research Paper Discrimination

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Discrimination against Women in Politicss:

Myth or Reality?

The United States of America prides itself on its democratic tradition. Yet does democracy non intend that citizens from all races and categories and both sexes should be represented? Since adult females were granted right to vote in 1920, they have made great advancement. Even so, adult females continue to be underrepresented in authorities sing their proportion of the population. There are some barriers that have traditionally stood in the manner of adult females running for elected office, but most of them have been overcome. Much of the population still views these barriers as maintaining adult females from obtaining elected office, and many people believe that adult females are discriminated against at the polls, being voted for much less than work forces. But this is non true. American citizens who still hold that out-of-date sentiment demand to be informed of the truth.

Statisticss show that adult females do non really have a harder clip running for office than work forces. To analyze this premiss, allow us first expression at some recent additions made by adult females in political relations and some of the traditional barriers that have been overcome. Then we will see an of import survey which supports the thought that adult females are non discriminated against. Wholly, we will see that adult females are non being discriminated against. They do non hold a harder clip winning elections, and they are doing great advancement.

When looking for recent advancement of adult females in American political relations, the elections of 1992 base out. That twelvemonth has been called The Year of the Woman by many people. A record figure of adult females campaigners competed and won in congressional races. One hundred six adult females won major party nominations for the House of Representatives and 47 won their general election races. In races for seats in the Senate, 11 adult females ran and 6 won ( Darcy, Welch, and Clark, 1994 ) ..

To understand why adult females do non hold worse opportunities than work forces when running for office, it is of import to understand some of the traditional barriers that have been suppressing in the yesteryear. For illustration, in the yesteryear, adult females campaigners faced favoritism by party elites. They had small motive to enroll adult females to run for office, and those who did desire to run were encouraged to run for unimportant places. Their campaignings were non good supported or good funded. As a consequence, adult females had trouble in fund-raising and in set uping credibleness in the eyes of the media and the electors ( Gertzog, 1995 ) . Another barrier that used to be was the attitude of electors toward adult females in general. In the yesteryear, significant per centums of citizens felt that the adult females s topographic point was in the place, non in elected places. A 3rd barrier that used to be has been termed the societal eligibility pool concerns of the citizens. Many electors have certain outlooks about the backgrounds of quality campaigners. This could include military service, educational achievements, and old elected experiences. While work forces normally entered political relations through legal or other professional callings, adult females normally entered political relations through community volunteerism or adult females s groups ( Darcy, Welch, and Clark, 1994 ) .

Today, the three barriers mentioned supra have shrunk well. Sing run finance, adult females have about achieved equality with work forces in the sum of money raised and spent. In 1988, for the first clip of all time, female campaigners in the US House of Representatives races raised and spent more money on norm than male campaigners. The old ages since so have shown adult females still raising and passing about or equal the sum of work forces ( Burrell, 1994 ) . The attitudes of the population have besides changed well through the old ages. More and more adult females have been go forthing the place to come in the work force. Whether one views this as good or bad, it can non be denied that this tendency is lending to a more accepting position of adult females in the work force, in general. The 3rd barrier, the backgrounds of adult females, is besides being overcome. More and more adult females are come ining legal callings and other professional callings that contribute to a background that electors view to be believable ( Darcy, Welch, and Clark, 1994 ) .

Despite these grea

T additions, adult females still keep fewer elected places than work forces do. This twelvemonth ( 1999 ) , merely 65 adult females are functioning in the US Congress. Merely nine of these hold places in the senate. Womans are non every bit represented in province legislative assemblies either. This twelvemonth, they hold merely 22.3 % of the seats of province legislative assemblies ( CAWP ) . At face value, these Numberss indicate that adult females have may still be discriminated against by electors at the polls. As stated before, this is non the instance. There is another account for the smaller figure of adult females keeping elected office. The account has to make with the low tenure rate of adult females who run for office. In other words, most adult females run as rivals or campaigners for open-seats, alternatively of running for re-election.

Womans do non keep fewer offices because they are discriminated against, but because they are non officeholders. Most surveies that have compared the success rates of work forces and adult females who ran in an election examined merely the per centum of each sex that ran and the per centum of each sex that won. This attack is lead oning. Women win at much lower rates than work forces do, but this does non intend that they are disadvantaged at the polls. A expression at informations collected more carefully will uncover that work forces win more frequently because most officeholders are work forces. Surveies should contrast work forces and adult females in the same fortunes, officeholders with officeholders, rivals with rivals, and open-seats with open-seats ( Newman, 1994 ) .

In 1992, the National Women s Political Caucus ( NWPC ) devised a survey to find the success rate of female campaigners through a survey comparing them to males in the same state of affairss. The database included every major party campaigner who ran in a general election, with information on the office, twelvemonth, party, sex, and whether he or she was an incumbent, rival, or campaigner for an unfastened place. It included all campaigners from 1972 to 1992 running for the stations of US House, US Senate, and governors. In entire, 50,563 campaigners were studied ( Newman, 1994. )

The findings were surprising. Jody Newman, so executive manager of NWPC, said, When adult females run, adult females win every bit frequently as work forces. In the US House, incumbent adult females won 96 per centum of their races compared to 95 % of incumbent work forces. Womans and work forces running for open-seats won 48 % and 51 % of the clip, severally. As rivals, adult females won merely 4 % of the clip, but work forces merely won 6 % of the clip. These triumph rates are really similar. The figure of adult females who ran for US Senate and governor are excessively little to supply conclusive informations. Even so, there is no grounds that suggests that adult females would be any less likely to win these offices than work forces would, either ( Newman, 1994 ) .

Obviously, officeholders of either sex are much more likely to win elections than rivals or people running for open-seats. Therefore, adult females are non discriminated against at the polls, as many people believe. The ground adult females are still underrepresented is because there are still really few adult females officeholders. Womans are doing slow but steady advancement. There are many attempts by organisations and other people to enroll adult females to go campaigners. Peoples who want more adult females to keep public offices should non give up hope. Like work forces who win in political relations, adult females must besides work for their success. The survey by the NWPC shows that adult females win when they run about every bit frequently as work forces do. If more adult females run for office, more adult females will finally be elected to office.

Plants Cited

Burrell, Barbara C. 1994. A Woman s Place is in the House: Campaigning for Congress in the

Feminist Era. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

CAWP. ( Center For the American Woman and Politics ) Retrieved September 23, 1999.

hypertext transfer protocol: //www.rci.rutgers.edu/ cawp/facts/cawpfs.html

Darcy, Robert, Susan Welch, and Janet Clark. 1994. Women, Elections, and Representation. 2d

erectile dysfunction. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Gertzog, Irwin N. 1995. Congressional Women. 2d erectile dysfunction. Westport, CT. : Praeger.

Newman, Jody. 1994. Percept and World: A Study Comparing the Success of Men and

Women Candidates. Washington, D.C. : National Women s Political Caucus.


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