If politics are meant to "enable the members of a society to collectively achieve important human goals they cannot otherwise achieve individually", one could conclude that 50% of those humans they refer to are women, so why exactly would they not be involved in deciding what those goals should be and how they should be achieved? Precisely why women, and their views, needs and experiences are important in politics.
Nowadays, ''through negotiation, debate, legislation and other political structures, politics procures safety, order and general welfare within the state." At least that is what we think it should achieve. There are several ancient cultures in Africa and the East whose female participation, like Queen Hatshepsut, was invaluable to their male counterparts. While leadership was certainly a different game in past centuries, women still played prominent roles in their countries, as leaders, as mothers, and sometimes as working women.
So where did this change in society? For years, in later centuries, women took a backseat to politics and professional careers and were forced to solely assume the role of child-rearing and home-making. While raising children is extremely rewarding and most women wouldn't trade this amazing opportunity for anything in the world, there is still a place in society for women political leaders.
Why is it important to have female representation?
The role of women in politics has been changing in recent years, giving females a chance to serve their communities and countries. While it is definitely a shift for men to yield to women, research has shown that having females in leadership increases productivity and helps boost profits. It's safe to assume women would be beneficial in politics as well, not only because they bring a diverse perspective to the table, but because female participation in politics can actually increase trust in the government.
Women tend to believe more in compromise and consensus and are willing to negotiate between parties to come to an agreement that benefits everyone. So it's no surprise that women have also shown a bigger desire to close the bipartisan gaps and truly focus on having one complete government that serves all people.
What are women’s issues in politics?
Women focus on a variety of complex issues when thy are in office. Many of them also take a stance on rampant sexism and discrimination to ensure women specific issues like equal pay, reproductive rights, family healthcare, and violence against women are treated with the urgency they deserve. Male politicians tend to not be as close to these issues and in contrast may not support them.
Most issues that political leaders should be concerned with like education, economic growth, healthcare and family affairs affect everyone in some way, and both men and women leaders benefit from solving them. But women understand that another female will understand their situations and plights better than a male.
Can women gain equal rights by being in politics?
Equal rights amendments were introduced and passed over 50 years ago, but in reality, women's rights are still not equal to men's in many cases. Having women in politics can help bridge this gap, but only as a country's leadership becomes more and more accepting of women. Until we have a leadership team that has significant female representation and men who share equitable values, females will struggle.
Let's clear the air once and for all - women aren't trying to overtake men. We want strong, decisive, strategic leaders, but we also want empathetic, collaborative and resourceful ones too.
It's not about men vs. women, but about how both genders have their strengths and working together collaboratively has proven to be the most successful leadership style to date. Can we make countries whole and favorable for everyone? Can women lead in Congresses and Parliaments across the globe?
Black women in politics are leading the pack
Jennifer McClellan. Peppered with questions about her electability, she fought through and won the race to become the first Black woman in the House to represent Virginia.
Barbara Lee. Barbara has been serving in the House since 1998 as a Representative for California, leading the way for other black women. She is running for the Senate in 2024.
Leslyn Lewis. A Canadian lawyer and Conservative party politician known for contesting the party leadership and speaking out strongly against the mismanagement of the current Liberal government.
Andrea Joy Campbell. Currently the Attorney General of Massachusetts, she has talked about running for other offices, possibly the Senate or Governor.
Lisa Blunt Rochester. Lisa is currently serving in the House and is the first Black person to represent the state of Delaware.
And Mia Mottley, the first Prime Minister of Barbados has such a strong voice of reason and represents the educated, well-spoken Caribbean woman with every fibre.
These women were built on the backs of women like Barbara Jordan, Karen Bass and Shirley Chisholm, previous lawmakers working to shape the next generation of Black women. The talent is here and these women are standing proudly, determined to serve their countries. The biggest question now is, "What will you learn from them? How will you support them?"
Join us for our special Women's month tough convos with two wonderful entrepreneurs discussing their corporate experience with discriminatory beauty standards and how to equip our youth with the self confidence to show up as themselves in their future.