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Women in Politics:

Have they finally found their voice in leadership?

Women have struggled since the beginning of time for one simple American right, equality. Leaders like Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, Elizabeth Statton, and Mary Church Terrell spent if not their entire life, a great majority of it protesting and fighting for the rights of women. Yes, suffrage is a thing of the past, but it took 72 years of perseverance, courage, and determination to obtain.

Today, voting organizations are targeted and controlled by women have very different issues at hand. Issues like unmarried women in America, equality and fairness for all, and extensive research projects are there main priorities. Also, despite gaining the right to vote 87 years ago, there is still an extreme lack of women being successful in politics. We are still dealing with the sad truth that we have to take “baby steps” or make slow advancements just to make a significant difference.

The organization Women’s Voices, Women’s Vote is concentrating on giving the forgotten women a voice. Their main priority is the unmarried women in America. Of the 28 million single, divorced, and widowed women, 18 million are not registered to vote, and 5 million of those registered chose not to vote in the last election

The League of Women Voters focus on equality. All of them are appealing to socially and politically people of across all races and both genders who want their voices to be heard in American society. The League of Women Voters also wants the District of Columbia to have a voice in Congress. The only representation they have is a non-voting delegate.

The League of Women Voters are pushing for District of Columbia presence in Congress but they need to be pushing for more of a woman’s presence in Congress. “As of spring 2002, women hold 13 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate and 60 of the 435 in the U.S. House. They make up just 22.4 percent of state legislatures and are just 5 of 50 governors across the country.” (Caiazza, 464) As of 2007, the have only been 3 more women elected to the Senate but there has been 11 more women elected to the House of Representatives, which is still a slow advancement compared to the 435 seats available.

“Membership in the state legislatures varies quite a bit by region-from a high of about one third female in such East and West Coast states as Washington, Maine, and Vermont to a low of less than 3 percent in such southern states as Louisiana.” (Benokraitis & Feagin, 441) This quote came from a statistic in the 1990’s and not much has changed for women in politics since then. Vermont is the state with the most women state legislatures, with a little over one third of state legislature at 35.8 percent. Coincidently, in Vermont they allow same sex marriage and you do not need parental consent to have an abortion. According to the National Women’s Law Center, it is also the best state for women’s health. Their presence of women in office makes a big difference.



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