Women in Politics and Their Role in History

Women In Politics
Women throughout history have made an impact of have had a significant role in the society of their time. These women from the beginning of time have led us to the roles of women in our society today. They have boosted the standing of women in society and have tried to be individuals. In some time periods, women were controlled completely by men and in others they were moderately controlled by men. From not being able to vote, taking a stand for what women believe in as well as having the same political interest as men, women have come a long way to have their say in politics. This paper discusses these points on the steps that women have taken that have made them part of politics today.

Throughout history, women generally have had fewer legal rights and career opportunities tan men. Wifehood and motherhood were regarded as women’s most significant professions. Women did not have the right to own property, maintain their wages, or sign a contract of any sort, much less vote. Women were expected to be obedient wives, and never think or have an opinion that differs from their husbands. It wasn’t until the presidential election in 1872, that women really started to take the stand in what they believe in when Susan B. Anthony was arrested when she was trying to vote for Ulysses S Grant. Six years later in 1878, a Woman’s Suffrage Amendment was introduced to the United States Congress. The U.S. involvement in World War I in 1918 slowed down the women’s suffrage campaign because women pitched in for the war effort. However, in 1919, after years of petitioning, and protests, the Nineteenth Amendment, which allowed women to vote was passed by both houses of Congress and in 1920 it became ratified under the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. This Amendment stated two things:

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1.      The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
2.      Congress shall have power to enforce this Article by appropriate legislation.

After this win, the demand to eliminate discrimination on the basis of gender failed to pass. The Equal Rights Amendment was still being accepted on a state-by-state basis (Women and Social Movements in the United States). The National Organization of Women launched a campaign in the 1960’s, and although with the many protests and difference in opinions about women’s rights, the Equal Rights Amendments was passed by Congress in 1972, and has never been ratified.

Women have stood up for what they believe in, and that is why we are where we are in today’s society. Many major early American Activists include Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Elizabeth Blackwell (Women, Power and Politics). These women made their mark on women and where they should stand in society. Susan B. Anthony, as discussed earlier, led the struggle to gain the right to vote for women. Lucretia Mott was an American abolitionist and feminist that helped blacks escape to freedom and was involved in women’s rights as well. Elizabeth Stanton was an American Social Reformer who worked with Susan B. Anthony and led the struggle for woman suffrage. Lucy Stone founded the Woman’s Journal and was the leader of the American Woman Suffrage Association. And lastly, Elizabeth Blackwell was the first women to receive a medical degree in the United States, showing that woman were just as good as men. These women stood up for what they believed in. that women were equal to men and that they were just as good the men were.

   Why is it that woman in politics is shun upon? Women who are in the world of politics have the same political interests as men. They want what is best for the people of their state or even the nation. From education to current and future students, healthcare for all citizens to jobs, taxes, and benefits are all issues that are important to both male and female political representatives. Both men and women want their citizens to further their education. They want financial aid programs that will help the citizens capable of affording their education progression. Both parties want healthcare. Not just any healthcare, but affordable yet reliable healthcare. In today’s economy, jobs have been few and far between, but politicians want there to be jobs for all, in order to have the income to be able to provide a lifestyle for the individual as well as for their family. Along with jobs, comes benefits with those jobs. Fromm health insurance to even retirement plans, these are all topics that bots men and women politicians want to help their citizens with. In my opinion, one topic that is most important is taxes. Citizens pay taxes to help with schools, roads, our safety (police officers, firefighters, etc). However, the ultimate question is how much is too much, yet how much is enough. This is a topic that both the men and the woman politicians answer. So overall the men and the woman have the same interests when it comes to the broken down topics of politics. Although they have the same interests in mind, the difference when it comes to these decisions and men and women politicians is their view. You will have the males point of view, and then the women’s point of view. So who decides which is right and what is wrong? Well as we all know, politicians are elected, there for the determining factor is you, the citizen and voter.

In the United States, women have been part of politics. Statistically, since 1789, only 2 percent of members of Congress have been women. In the Senate, from 1922-2006, only 33 women have served in the Senate: 20 Democrats and 13 Republicans. Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire & Vermont are the only states never to have a woman represent the state in either House of Congress. Women who have been involved in the United States are Victoria Woodhull who ran for president of the United States on the Equal Rights Party ticket in 1872. Jeannette Rankin who was the first women who was elected to the US House of Representative in 1917. The first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate was Rebecca Felton who only served but was not elected in 1922. Frances Perkins was the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet in 1933. In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman on the Supreme Court Representative. In 1984 Geraldine A. Ferraro is the first woman on a major party’s national ticket and in 2007 the first women to lead the House of Representatives was and still is Nancy Pelosi. And most recently you have political figures like Hilary Clinton, Sara Palin. (Center for American Women and Politics)

Although America has not had a woman as an elected national leader, other countries have: the Presidents of Finland, Indonesia, Ireland, Latvia ,Panama, the Philippines, Sri Lanka; the Prime Ministers of Bangladesh, Britain, Finland, New Zealand, Peru, Sâo Tom and Príncipe; the Vice Presidents of Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Gambia , Palau, Taiwan; and the Governor-Generals of the Bahamas, Canada , Saint Lucia, New Zealand.

It is hard to believe that many years ago women were not allowed to be on the same level as men. And now women are running for president, and have their say in politics. The numbers are growing, and will continue to grow as time and acceptance of women in the political light grow. Women not being able to vote did not allow all the citizens of the United States participate in elections. Now there is a diverse amount of opinions on what citizens not only want but need as well. We need a leader who has the best interest of all citizens, and having both men and women voting allows this to happen. Women have essentially taken a stand in what they believe in no matter what the consequences were. If it weren’t for the early women leaders like Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone and Elizabeth Blackwell who knows where women rights would stand today. And lastly no matter if we have a male or female political figure, that he or she has in mind what is best for their city, county, state or even nation. We have come a long way since the early days of politics, and looking back and researching women and their role in politics and even in society, I have nothing but high hopes for women and their future in today’s society. We have proven that women are just as smart as men, and that there should not be any discrimination to women. Women have played important roles in society and it will continue to grow.

Bias Against Women in Politics. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,358179,00.html
This article gives a brief history on women in politics. It also explores and gives examples on if there is bias against women in politics.

Center for American Women and Politics. http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/
This site contains scholarly research as well as data on women’s political participation. This site also provides detailed information as well a statistics on each state on women in politics.

Women and Social Movements in the United States. http://womhist.alexanderstreet.com/
This site provides detailed document on different social movement that women have been involved in. Different topics that are explored are women who aided the slaves to freedom, suffrage movements and other key topics that have played helped women get to where they are today in the political world.

Women, Power and Politics. http://www.imow.ord/wpp/index.
This site provides stories of different women and how they have made and impact around the world.

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Women in Politics and Their Role in History. (2016, Jul 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/women-in-politics/