Running Head: English Breaking the Barrier: A Review of the Past and Present Status of Women in Politics Name Name of Professor Introduction In spite of the accomplishments of women throughout history, they remain greatly underrepresented in political or public life…
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In the past, it was usual for women candidates to experience discrimination and unfairness by party leaders. These party elites refuse to employ women to compete for office, and they did not advocate women candidates (Thomas & Wilcox, 1998). Consequently, women experienced hardships in raising financial supports and in being respected as trustworthy candidates by the electorate and the mass media. Women in Politics: Past and Present Recent studies report that such inequities and discrimination has ebbed significantly. As stated by Georgia Duerst-Lahti, although women have been normally defeated by the men in elections in the past, it ceases to be the case nowadays (Thomas & Wilcox, 1998). As Barbara Burrell claims, in recent elections women have been more triumphant than men at all phases of the procedure from ‘early money through the general election’ (Thomas & Wilcox, 1998, 4). Negative responses of the electorate to women candidates have been reported as well. In the past, large numbers of voters believed that the place of women was not in politics (Carroll, 2003). Recent studies discover that women elected officials have mainly surmounted these barriers. According to Foerstel and Foerstel (1996), a significant percentage of the masses remain quite less sympathetic or accommodating of women candidates, but the percentage of citizens having this sentiment has decreased drastically, and although such sentiments remain they are frequently overpowered by incumbency status or party allegiance. Scholars studying fund-raising performances, voter preference, and party leaders’ treatment or perception of women candidates have assumed that when women compete for office, they win elections as frequently as their male counterparts do (Foerstel & Foerstel, 1996). Nevertheless, the removal of several barriers does not imply that men and women play on an even field. Barriers to the representational parity of women remain and contribute in the explanation of the relatively low proportions of women running for political positions (Rajoppi, 1993). These barriers comprise the rigidity of the incumbency aspect, media exposure of candidates, social qualification, electoral system, and socialization impacts. New Barriers to Women’s Political Participation Social qualifications relate to the expectations of the public about the eligibilities of those who are qualified contenders. Usually this involves specific job-related backgrounds, educational achievements, military involvement, and number and form of earlier political experiences, and so on (Carroll, 2003). Even though there has been a great deal of progress, women nowadays remain less probable than their male counterparts to occupy political positions from legal professions, for instance, and are more probable to have joined politics from women’s organizations or community assistance (Carroll, 2003). Thus, women may be perceived as less competent aspirants. Even though the impact of social qualifications have weakened later on, the gap in this aspect imply the women still confront bigger or new barriers to surmount to attain the same objectives. One implication of the conflicting qualifications and backgrounds is that women are less predisposed to view themselves as competent contenders for political positions (Thomas & Wilcox, 1998). The kind of socialization that encourages women to look for professions in law firms or business organizations also leads to their lower degree of self-esteem (Thomas & Wilcox,
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