Women in Politics: It’s Not Just About Getting Women in Office

Author’s Note: The following article is an expression of the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted.

For about the last two years of so I have researched female political representation. Most of this research has focused on Latin America but I have tired to become abreast of general trends when it comes to female political representation especially in the United States.

One thing I have learned as I have looked at this topic is that women in politics is not just about getting more females in office it is about getting women in office that will work on certain agenda issues. To me, preferable issues are those that deal with helping women, other “minority” groups and the middle and working classes. Not every female politician that comes into the picture is a good choice. One example of this is German chancellor Angela Merkel. The Economist in its 24 March 2007 issue has an article, on page 58, about Angela Merkel and how she has more appeal abroad than she does at home in Germany. The article does not get into detail about her lack in stirring support at home but it does go to show that it is possible that the key to increasing women in politics is getting the “right” women in politics. Please note however that the “right” woman for me may not be the “right” woman for you, which leads me to my next point.

Currently in the United States, US citizens are contemplating presidential nominees for the two big political parties. (Let us all remember that these candidates are NOT running for president they are running for their party’s presidential nomination) This race for the presidential nomination is an historical one as there are two minorities running for the Democratic Party nomination- Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Looking to Sen. Clinton for sake of this article, I do not feel that Hillary Clinton is the “right” woman for the presidency. Yes, she has been the first lady of the United States and yes, she is a second term senator that won re-election by a large margin. However, my question to Hillary is this, “what are your issues and can I see these issues written?” The Hillcasts seem nice but I would like to see a plan on paper before I decide to contribute to your campaign. This is not to say that there are not other presidential nomination candidates that I feel should do the same. Lastly, at this point I do not feel that Hillary’s areas of expertise are what are needed in the United States at this time. I feel that we need someone with expertise and years of experience dealing with international issues. I do understand that the Senator sits on the Armed Forces committee and as First Lady she did travel overseas but this is not the type or length of international experience I feel this country needs.

In closing, I write this article to say that when the time to vote does come- look at the WHOLE candidate not just their gender and not just their race or races for that matter. As much as I desire the percentage of female political representation to increase in the United States and worldwide I want women that ARE voted into office to work for their constituents and to work on making a difference in their area of expertise for the people of their nation and of their world.

© Danielle Pritchett 2013