Women in politics: progress made, more progress to come
Dr. Courtney Burns, professor of political science, discusses the nuances of the impact of politics on gender and gender on politics. Dr. Burns reviews the history and progress of women in politics.
We see gender impacting politics in a variety of ways and politics
impacting gender in a variety of ways.
We have the most women in national government in history. So we're sitting at about 27.9% of women in Congress
with 25% in the Senate and 28.5% in the House of Representatives. And this is a pretty big deal, because just 10 years ago,
there were only 100 women across both legislative bodies. And so what we've seen is a pretty marked growth
in the representation of women at the national level. There are just as many women in the electorate that are qualified to run for office as men.
But as we move down the pipeline of a woman going from qualified to be a candidate to actually considering being a candidate,
a lot of women drop out and men don't. So more men are viewing themselves as qualified to be a candidate.
And then from there, what happens is the party serves as a gatekeeper. So the party decides who their candidates are going to be,
and we see a drop off there as well. So we tend to see, again, fewer women are
reaching the candidate level and running for office. There are extra obstacles and extra hurdles
for women of color in trying to get elected to government or being represented. So where white women face gendered stereotypes
and perhaps access to funding, Black women face not only gendered stereotypes but also
racial stereotypes and also access to funding since we know Black women make even less than white women when we're looking at the gender wage gap.
This is incredibly important in diversifying viewpoints, because really you can't have the best
government you can possibly have if voices are excluded from it. [MUSIC PLAYING]
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