8 Reasons Why Women Need to Be in Politics
MAKERS is taking time to celebrate the women who are changing the face of politics, while taking a realistic look at the progress we still need to make. The 2014 midterm elections marked a series of exciting firsts, like the first black Republican woman elected to Congress, and the first 30-year-old woman in Congress. It’s also the first time Congress has included 104 female members.
While we applaud these markers of improvement, it’s important to note that progress has been incredibly slow. Are you looking for a reason to get involved? Here are 10:
1. 95 years after women got the vote, we still don’t have equal representation in government. In 2000, Barbara Boxer predicted the ranks of female senators would rise to 50 in 10 or 20 years. Sadly, she got it wrong - today the Senate includes only 20 women.
2. Women make up nearly 60 percent of college students, and law schools are half-female—but Congress doesn’t reflect those numbers. Women are qualified, but maybe not confident.
3. With a Republican majority Congress, the number of women chairing committees has been reduced from 9 to 2. Leaving less women in powerful positions.
4. 63 other nations have had past or present female heads of government. We’re not even close to leaders in governmental equality.
5. 95% of American voters would vote for a well-qualified woman. This is up 20% from 1978 according to a Gallup poll.
6. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton achieved the highest favorability ratings of any member of the Obama Administration. She's a powerful example that women can attain and succeed at this kind of position.
7. When women run, they’re as likely as men to win. The odds are in our favor! A March 2013 study by American University reports, “For the last few decades, researchers have provided compelling evidence that when women run for office - regardless of the position they seek - they are just as likely as men to win their races.”
8. And every time another woman runs for office, she shows the women and girls around her that it's a viable, important opportunity. In MAKERS: Women in Politics, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton's respective campaigns are positive evidence: