American Women And Politics In The Media A Review Essay

Women now constitute about one-third of all Democratic representatives in Congress, whereas the share of Republican women has leveled off since hitting approximately 10 percent in the mid-2000s.This growing partisan gap is particularly stark given the Republican Party’s overall electoral success at the state and federal levels over the past several election cycles.

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And in recent months, the #Me Too movement has sparked an unprecedented national debate on harassment and abuses that undermine women’s professional advancement, including in the political sphere.

The movement has also led to renewed calls for more women in positions of power.

Women remain underrepresented at the federal, state, and local levels. reformers could learn from European experiences and push for measures that tackle broader institutional barriers to equal political representation.

The current uptick in women running for office, while encouraging, is unlikely to close this gender gap. The United States lags behind most established democracies with respect to women’s representation in politics.

And they are generally more likely to consider how any policy reform will impact women as a group, while women of color tend to advance political agendas that take into account the particular concerns of both women and communities of color. In the United States, civil society organizations have tried to fight this imbalance by recruiting, training, and supporting female candidates.

The spike in women’s political mobilization following the 2016 presidential election has given a dramatic boost to these efforts.While a surge in women running for office represents a positive trend, there are reasons to remain cautious.Any uptick in female candidates is likely to accrue primarily to the Democratic Party, without fundamentally changing the—much greater—gender imbalance on the Republican side.A May 2017 survey showed that while many Democratic women have been politically energized, men are still significantly more likely to have considered running for office or taken concrete steps to do so ahead of the 20 elections.These findings suggest that closing the gender gap in U. politics in the near term may require more comprehensive and ambitious action.In this context, European reform experiences provide useful comparative insights.In contrast to the United States, the debate over women’s political representation in Europe has focused less on the supply of female candidates and more on persistent structural barriers that work against women’s political participation.Women currently hold 19.8 percent of 535 seats in the U. The same gap in representation also extends to the state and local levels: women hold only six governorships, about one-quarter of state legislative seats and statewide elective executive offices, and one-fifth of mayoral positions in the hundred largest U. Women of color now hold elected office at historically unprecedented levels—of the 105 women serving in the 115th Congress, 36.2 percent are women of color. In 1990, Democrats and Republicans fielded female House candidates at roughly similar rates.Yet by 2012, Democrats accounted for 70 percent of the women running for election to the House.Activists for gender equality in Europe have generally prioritized lobbying for institutional reforms, such as party targets and quotas, over incremental attitudinal and behavioral changes. Not all of these lessons are easily transferable to the United States.Specific features of Western European democracies—such as proportional representation rules, public election financing, and party-driven candidate selection—have facilitated such efforts and provided a more favorable context for women’s political advancement than the U. A transatlantic comparison nevertheless highlights several key areas for policy change that could complement current efforts to train and support women aspirants and deepen the debate over political equality in the United States.


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