Women are increasingly concerned that men will not elect them to high-ranking political positions. Sixty-three percent of women cite this is the primary reason for their underrepresentation in leadership positions, compared to thirty-one percent of men. This isn’t only a problem in the political arena. The same problem exists within party systems. Women are more likely than men to believe that obstacles stop them from achieving.
Some examples of female leaders in international politics include former presidents of Malawi, Finland, and Sweden. Joyce Banda, former president of Malawi is a prime example of women in politics. She served as a member of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights and was co-chair of the UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability. She is an inspirational role model for girls and a positive role model for women who are in leadership positions. There are many obstacles to women’s political leadership, but there are solutions to these obstacles.
One of the primary reasons why women have not been given the chance to lead is because they have been “cut.” Simone de Beauvoir said, “Her wings were clipped.” That was the case for decades. Women were not considered fit to be in the public sphere however, a few women have made exceptions to their opinions. Today, women are in leadership positions at all levels of government, including the White House, Senate, and the U.S. Senate.
The public has a different opinion of women who hold leadership posts. In a recent survey we asked people to describe their opinions about women who hold the highest political positions. Women believe that female leaders are more compassionate than their male counterparts. While half of all adults believe that gender doesn’t have an impact on the way women act and behave, more believe that women in high political positions maintain a tone of civility.
A prime example of this is the first Native American women elected to Congress. They are Debra Halaand, Teresa Leger Fernandez, and Mary Kunesh-Podein. Debra Halaand was actually chosen by Joe Biden to serve as his secretary of the interior in January 2021. Other examples include Stephanie Bice, the first Iranian-American woman to be elected to the House. She is also the first Iranian-American to serve in the U.S. Congress. And Cory Bush, the first Black woman elected to the Missouri legislature, is a pioneer in the history of women in leadership positions. Learn more about Women\’s political leadership here.
The Biden administration’s Summit for Democracy launched a variety of commitments to combat the anti-democratic headwinds in various countries. One of the most recent U.S. government initiative is the Advancing Women’s and Girls’ Civic and Political Leadership Initiative. This initiative will invest $33.5million to help women participate in civic life and overcome the barriers that hinder them from voting. We should be hopeful about the coming months!
Gender analysis is a method to gain an understanding of the root causes of women’s lack of political power. While gender is still an important factor in the development of political power it is not enough to eliminate all the barriers that prevent women from participating in the political process. Change in the political landscape cannot be achieved without social change. Women’s political representation can be guaranteed by creating social change. Because gender equality is essential for equal representation in politics, this is why it is so vital to ensure that women are represented equally in politics.
Policymakers must not only empower women in leadership positions, but also seek to increase participation of women in decision-making. It is not always easy to measure power dynamics within institutions of power. For instance, in Nepal a gender-based quota for women that was progressive was implemented. This increased the number of women represented within local government. However, men still dominate local decision making. Men hold 98 percent of municipal chair and mayoral posts. Women are often relegated to deputies.
To advance women’s political leadership, there are several training programs that encourage diverse leadership. For example, the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy (CWPPP) provides a range of core programs. They provide resources and training for women who are candidates and new leaders. Women who are interested in politics can apply for the WELead2023 program. The WeLead program is offered at no cost to applicants who are accepted.
Participation of women in politics is critical to achieving democratic justice and equality. Equal representation in political institutions results in better outcomes for girls and women. Further, it promotes economic growth and growth. It is clear that women’s empowerment is a compelling argument. Women can’t afford to make up less than half the population. It is essential that women’s leadership is promoted in politics. What are you waiting on?! Start now!