About Role of Women in Congress

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Gender equality is an aspect of life, that is still being fought for in the workplace, education, and the media. Equality is the state of receiving the equal amounts of life qualities between men and women. Some examples of life qualities are wages, voting, human rights and more.Men are almost always to most often, likely to be put into leadership or significant positions in the labor field. Congress is a perfect example. Up to the 65th congress, approximately 7,00 representatives served and they were all men. Since the birth of congress in 1789, the first woman to be sworn in occured 128 years later on April 2,1917.As of today, 23.7% of women make up The United States Congress. Out of the 535 representatives, 127 of them are women, leaving 408 of the members to be men. For over 200 years, there have always been more men than women representatives in both the house and senate. As America becomes more diverse and gender freedom is highly acknowledged, the lack of female representation in congress should be advocated for and changed to there will be an equal amount of women, as men, to serve in Congress.

The first woman sworn into congress was Jeannette Rankin, On April 2nd 1917, into the 65th Congress. Jeannette Rankin attended and graduated from Montana State University, the New York School of Philanthropy, and the University of Washington in Seattle where she was at one point a social worker and an activist in the women’s suffrage movement. As she was becoming more actively involved in the movement of women’s rights, she became a professional lobbyist for the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA helping the women of Montana gain the vote in 1914. Three years later, Jeannette Rankin was elected into the house of representatives being the first woman to ever be sworn into congress. After Jeannette Rankin, Alice Mary Robertson was sworn in on the 67th congress, followed by numerous amounts of women to be elected over the years. According to the website Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics As of “ 2019, 127 (106D, 21R) women hold seats in the United States Congress, comprising 23.7% of the 535 members; 25 women (25%) serve in the U.S. Senate, and 102 women (23.4%) serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.” Although there are more women in congress now than in the 1900s, the representation amongst men and women are not equal. Women in general suffer the representation in congress, yet women of color lack even more representations. According to Rutgers Elegant Institute of Politics, “47 Of the 127 women serving in the 116th U.S. Congress, 47, or 37.0%, are women of color; in addition, a Black woman, a Latina, an Asian Pacific Islander, and a Caribbean American woman serve as Delegates to the House from Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands, respectively. Women of color constitute 8.8% of the total 535 members of Congress.” The forty seven women of color represent a small portion of this countries diversity and culture amongst the entire nation. The U.S Census Bureau states that 76.6% of the population is white, resulting in less than 25% of the population being a different race and ethnicity. The United States congress is one of the few countries who lack women representation in legislature. Furthermore, according to the IPU website, the United States is far behind many countries whom have women in their legislature. Rwanda’s legislature is made up of approximately %61.3 of women. Countries like Cuba, Bolivia and Mexico, at least half of their representatives in government to be women

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Credentials of a United States Congressman depends on whether they want to be a representative of the house or the senate.In the article, ¨What Are the Qualifications for a Congressman?¨by Shane Hall ”In order to run for a spot in the U.S. House of Representatives, an individual must be a U.S. citizen for at least seven years, be at least 25 years old and reside in the state in which he or she hopes to serve. To serve in the U.S. Senate, an individual must be a U.S. citizen for at least nine years, be at least 30 years old and reside in the state where he or she wants to serve. Each state might have other requirements that need to be met in order to serve as a member of Congress from that state, so each individual should check with his or her election office for specific information.” These requirements seem simple to full fill if you are a person of interest in politics. Hence, a woman should easily be able to get sworn into senate, but do not. The problem is that women don’t have the vote or the support to push them into congress. Men are easily appraised for running for election because it’s a common thing to see a man in politics. Even during presidential elections, a woman who is running to become president has yet cast enough votes to put her into office. Hence, according to enuris.com, there were more women attending law school than there were men. From the following six law schools in california, California Western School of Law, Berkeley, Davis, Hastings, Irvine and Los Angeles, 50% of the students whom attended these universities were female an the rest were men. With more women attending college and law school, why aren’t there more women, or equal amount of women than men in the United States Legislature?

Women are belittled when it comes to running for a seat in congress. They can have exceeded the qualifications and requirements but still lack the confidence that they can do more because they feel that running for office can be highly competitive.Women also believe that will not raise enough votes or money, when campaigning, just as much as men. For instance, According to Associate Professor of Government at American University, Jennifer L. Lawless and Associate Professor of Political Science at Marymount University, Richard Fox, they concluded seven factors that explain the gender gap amongst men and women in politics. Of the seven factors, one of them states that “ Women are substantially more likely than men to perceive the electoral environment as highly competitive and biased against female candidates” Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard Fox had asked respondents, both men and women, to what extent do they consider the foundation of local and congressional elections foundations competitive. Out of the 1,753 women, 55%of women answered that local elections are highly competitive, yet 62% answered that congressional elections are highly competitive. As for men, 58% of the 1,833 surveyed voted that women who run for office win similarly to men. Compared to men, more than half of the women believe that women do not win as often as men, and 27% state that women do not raise as much money as men do when running for office. Another one of the factors by Jennifer L.and Richard Fox, stated how women feel that “[They] are much less likely than men to think they are qualified to run for office.” Following is the factor that “Female potential candidates are less competitive, less confident, and more risk averse than their male counterparts.”

In 2001, Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard Fox conducted a self assessment that concludes the barrier of why women do not emerge as candidates. Self doubt of qualifications, is amongst the high in women answers. The survey was conducted between men and women on whether they feel they are “not as qualified, somewhat qualified, qualified and very qualified”. 12% of women stated that they were “Not at all qualified” compared to 5% of men who answered the same. Only 22% of women considered themselves as “very qualified” meanwhile 35% of males answered the same question.Womens self doubt and low assessment reveals how they feel that there is a gender biased barrier taunting them from running for office. Another study that Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard Fox conducted was the confidence amongst men and women and how they will take a risk amongst themselves and others.

From the five categories that described how men and women view themselves as being confident,competitive, risk-taking, entrepreneur and thick skinned, men had the upper hand on all of them. Women were found to be less likely to take risk and men are more likely to embed in risk because of the reward. These two studies indicate how women lack the confidence they need to pursuit a career in office because of the feeling that men will always have the upper hand because of their gender. Being a potential candidate can be nerve wrecking for a woman because they face more challenges than men do. Another factor noted is that women still have children and household responsibilities to attend to compared to men. Having children and a family that depends on you is also a key factor that affects women’s chance in running for legislature.

With their being a small amount of women in congress, the amount of women representation is very limited. Amongst many laws and regulations passed by congress, laws that affect women heavily are often times debated on amongst majority of men. How can a law about women, that affect women, be created and debated on amongst men. As we scientifically know, men and women are not the same physically, emotionally, and mentally so how is this logical? Women in legislation support and advocate for issues that pertain to women . Kelley E. Dittmar reviews her days work under representative Rosa DeLauro on May 2012 in her jornal A Woman on the Hill: A Front-Row Seat to Women’s Impact in Congress, Kelley E. Ditmar states ¨The Paycheck Fairness Act, [that would end pay secrecy, strengthen workers’ ability to challenge discrimination, and bring equal pay law into line with other civil rights laws.] was being voted upon and Representative Rosa DeLauro was active for it. Kelley E. Dittmar further describes how the congresswoman mobilized her supporters and advocated [to highlight the importance of the legislation, secure the strongest Senate support possible, and—assuming it would not pass in the current political climate— protect the integrity of the legislation for future Congresses and eventual passage.]

Kelley E. Ditmars case illustrates one of the many cases that a congress woman was advocating on a women- centered bill like The paycheck Fairness Act or the Equal Employment opportunity restoration act of 2012, that will have a great impact on bringing equality amongst women and men. This also demonstrates how a woman in congress are protecting and advocating for something that will affect herself as a woman also. Michele L. Swers from Harvard University tested the theory that women representatives vote on issues that affect women. In her journal “Are Women More Likely to Vote for Women’s Issue Bills than Their Male Colleagues?” Michele L , Sewers states how she “[analyzed] the voting records of all representatives in the 103rd Congress on a set of women’s issues.]” Michele L. Swers concluded in her ournal that congresswomen are much more determinate to advocate and participate on legislature that partake on women’s issues compared to congressmen.

Although women are a great advocacy for women’s issues, not all men are against supporting and advocating for them also. Before there were more women in congress, men had to address the issues that affect women. With the results from Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard Foxa study, women are not as confident and willing to take risk for what could be a good outcome. Men have the confidence and mobility that allow them to take the risk women are afraid to do. If congressmen would have been hesitate since the birth of congress, what would our world be like today? Nonetheless, men have been in power since 1789 when the government was created. Having more women in congress will have a significant impact on the nation as a whole because women are more sentimental and realistic to ideas in which they affect people. Compared to men, women do not seek in interest in having all of the money in the world and all of the power. There have been several scandals made by congressmen who have participated in money laundering, sexual harassment, and insider trading. Some recent scandals involved using taxpayer money to silence sexual harassment victims and use campaign accounts as personal spending money.

Bribery, greed, and sexual harassment are a few of the common cases amongst the scandals of congressmen. The inequality amongst all of this is how men in congress have the platform and advantage of being elected compared to women. Women face more challenges going into office because they lack the confidence in themselves that the gender barrier gives them. The audience responds more to men because they have been in power for so long it has become a normative. Presidency is a fine example of this. The first president of the united states was a man, and when Hillary Clinton announced she was running for president, every thing she participated in was blasted on the headlines of every newspaper. Women face a different perspective when they are running for a position in power. Such position can be as little as a mayor of a city, to ceo of a company, the lack of representation amongst leadership positions is not there. In the case of congress, women do not have the equal platform as men. Furthermore, with women being unequal in congress, it also illustrates how women citizens of America are also facing inequality.

In conclusion equality is receiving the same amount of life factors amongst men and women. Women have made complete progress in fighting for equality for themselves over the years. In 2019, congress finally has the most women representatives ever to serve in legislature. Although this is a big accomplishment for women, it is still an example of inequality that women still face today. As previously stated, out of the 535 representatives, 127 of them are women, leaving 408 of the members to be men. Women face barriers and experience gender barriers when they do attempt to run for office. Although men do put forth their effort in their campaigning, and oftentimes feel more confident in their chances of winning, women are the ones who face that abnormality of failing in a male dominated field. For over 200 years men have been in control of presidency and congress. The lack of women representation is a prime example of inequality because men are not the only citizens ins America. Women are the ones who are affected more by issues that are explicitly for women. How can a man understand what a woman needs without being an actual woman? We need more women in congress to advocate and address the issues that affect all different types of women.

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About Role Of Women in Congress. (2021, Mar 05). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/about-role-of-women-in-congress/