The Women Of Politics


Qualified women are not hard to come by in the United States and yet there is a huge gender gap in politics; the numbers, however, are gradually diminishing with more women running in the 2018 midterms.

On August 18, 1920, The 19th Amendment was put in place and allowed women to vote in elections. Since then, the U.S. Government has opened positions to minorities who are elected but the ratio of men to women in office is not quite equal. The House of Representatives only has 83 women in seats out of 435 total.

“I think it’s important for us to be diverse, we can’t just have men deciding what we do,” stated Matthew Garcia, a sophomore at Da Vinci Communications, when talking about how it’s important for women to be included in politics.

The year 1992 had the largest number of women elected into office since the beginning of American history. Twenty four women were elected into the House of Representatives and the number of women elected into the Senate was tripled. 1992 was seen as the “year of the woman.”

“ Originally men were the big faces in politics and I don’t think it was until recently that women started gaining more of a movement,” said Ethan Cusick, a senior at Communications. “I don’t think a lot of women had the standing to make a big case for themselves but now that we have this big movement, there is a bigger opportunity to make a stand, to make a change for themselves.”

Women are vital contributors to political equality. The gender gap in government positions has been an obstacle to women who are qualified to be involved in American politics. The belief that women can be inferior has been a type of discrimination women have had to deal with for centuries. The Pew Research Center recently conducted a survey and found that most Americans believe women needing to do more to prove themselves than men is a major reason why there are fewer women in high political offices.

“We need to have younger voters go out there and make sure they are making the right educated decisions because in some cases, men could be the wrong vote, but we need to make sure that we are voting for change,” Cusick explained. “Millennials are gonna be the ones that change the tides and the gender gap.”

There is no doubt that there is another opinion on the subject of the gender gap in politics. The more conservative side defends the current structure of government and thinks there is no need to bring in more women or to take out any. There is no traditional route into politics when it comes to either gender.

The Republican politician David Hadley said in an interview via email, “While the styles of female and male leaders may be different in some cases, I don’t think that having more or fewer women in high political office will transform our politics in the sense that what women want from our government and what men want from our government is not drastically different.”

Hadley then went on to say later in the email when answering a question on men being a “traditional” route in politics, “I don’t think there is one traditional route in politics in the US anymore if there ever was. There have always been a number of routes into American politics.” He continued, “The law, the military, union leadership, business entrepreneurship, and other professions have been widely accepted routes into elective politics. And that does not include the American tradition of protest politics which has also bred future politicians.”

Even though some believe that there is barely a gender gap in American politics, others disagree and think that citizens should be working to close that gap.

“What’s really nice, when you are talking about the gender gap specifically is that there is a record number of women who are running for seats this year specifically in Congress,” said Deepti Reim a teacher at DVC.

The New Yorker stated that 472 women are running for a position in the House of Representatives, 57 either filed or are likely to run for the Senate, and 78 women are likely to run for governor. Women like Dianne Feinstein, who is one of California’s current senators, are running for a position in the California Senate and many other women in California are running for a spot in the House of Representatives.

“Having a diversity of perspectives, voices and choices sharpens our discussion and increases the likelihood that we will turn back from mistakes,” Hadley stated when discussing diversity in politics.

Reim expressed in this year’s election, she believes there will be a, “greater likelihood in there being more women in office.”

“So, not to say that you should vote just because; ultimately why you should vote for someone is because of experience, qualifications, the issues they support and will advocate for in Congress. Having women in the office allows for that representation to participate in the governing body of our country, which is important.,” Reim added.

First Ladies

Melania Trump is currently the first lady in the White House. During the 2016 campaign, she said her main focus, if she were to become the first lady,, would be to stop cyberbullying. “I always believe that you need to treat each other with respect, and kindness and compassion,” stated Melania at Orchard Lake Middle School when participating in the #NoOneEatsAlone movement after her husband was elected as president.

Michelle Obama was a former first lady whose main focus was ending childhood obesity with healthier school lunches and set the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 in place. The Let’s Move initiative pushed students to participate in sports and live a healthier life.

Laura Bush held the place of the first lady from 2001 to 2009. With education as her goal, the Ready to Read * Ready to Learn initiative was promoted to increase reading at an early age. She later went to Afghanistan to introduce a teacher training institute for the women who lived there.

Hillary Clinton started out as a first lady to Bill Clinton in 1993 to 2001 but then upheld a seat in the U.S. Senate. She later became a secretary of state in 2009 and in 2016 she was the first woman to be a presidential nominee for the democratic party. She frequently advocated for women’s rights during her campaign.