Thursday, October 17, 2019

Female and Male Political Elites in the U.S Essay

Female and Male Political Elites in the U.S - Essay Example Although great achievements have been made with regards women's rights, equality and representation in the past decades, the number of legislators and women in the cabinet still comprise of a few female elites. Only sixteen percent of women hold seats in the Congress and five females serve in President Bush's cabinet (Wolbrecht 1-10). In recent years, two women served as Secretary of State and another one will be serving with the President-elect once he assumes office. Another great stride for women is when Nancy Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House just recently. However, during the last election, the number of women seeking office for state legislatures faced a decline as compared to the previous elections and membership of women in national groups that could enhance their political influence also dropped in number.1 This is interesting to note as research have shown that the lower level of nominations and elections in the past contributed to the dearth of women in politics. How ever, this does not mean that women are disadvantaged in experience or sources of fund (Gaddie and Bullock, 761). On the contrary, women who sought office fared equally well with males in terms of financial ability. Gaddie and Bullock also asserts that the decline in the number of seats in crucial and elite positions in politics can be attributed to the dismal percentage of nominees among republicans (761). What is striking is that women who held more experience have a high probability of getting elected whereas voters pick men who are less experienced than women with less experience (Gaddie and Bullock 97). Nevertheless, women are still hesitant to run for office (Dolan in Wolbrecht 1-10). This only illustrates, that for women to achieve equal representation in the elite political circles, more women should run for office and gain further experience. In addition, there are factors that hinder women from achieving equal power and representation in contemporary political life. Although politics held a significance place for women before their enfranchisement, the realization of women's suffrage came after nearly a century of struggle. Yet this lengthy struggle only brought forth gender equality and equal citizenship but not equal representation and power in politics. (Wolbrecht, 6). Moreover, although women serve in different areas of politics, especially in legislature where their chances of increasing influence is considerable, this service is not matched by an increase in authority and power as they are thwarted by party affiliations, committees and caucuses (Reingold 33). Even Hillary Clinton, the most elite of the female politicians and a former first lady, is considered a mere 'junior senator' whose tenure in office is relatively short in the standard of a male elite politician. This is worsened by the perceived disparity of political focus that exists between male and female politicians. The notion that women enter politics on gender basis and considerations is asserted in the work of Kirkpatrick (242). Scholars observe that politics are different when women are involved (Wolbrecht, 5) and contend that activism plays a major role for decision and policy-making of a female politician. Naples, for instance, purports that the path that most female politician tread is one that center on progressive and

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