Women have progressed a lot over the years. They have fought for the right to vote, equal employment, right to health, freedom of movement, etc. After coming so far and having made so much progress worldwide. One might think that women have accomplished it all, but the fact is that women still get paid less than men and hold very less leadership positions in The United States. In fact, in the 115th United States Congress, women hold only 83 of the 435 seats, i.e. 19.1%, and hold 22 of the 100 seats in the senate (22%). Women of colour are even further behind, holding only 7.1% of the seats in congress. Out of the 106 women that hold seats, only 38 are women of colour (Catalyst 2018). The United States of America, being a developed country, till date has not had a female president. Whereas under developed and developing countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Lithuania and many more have already had a female representative ruling their country and some of them currently have one.
Statistically in the United States, political elites prefer female candidates over male candidates and there seems to be no statically significance difference when it comes to double standards between men and women. However, political elites do prefer married individuals that have children. This preference tends to penalize women more than men because of the socialized gendered roles in society (Teele, Kalla, & Rosenbluth 2018).
On the other hand, religious belief on typical gender roles also play an effect in how many women come up to participate in leadership roles. While at the same time people that hold such traditional views of women having to confide to gender roles, tend not to vote for women (Setzler & Yanus 2017). The Evangelical Protestants are a huge, nation-wide subgroup in the United States, that accounted for up to 27% of nation electorate in 2012 and an even greater part of the Republican Party that are responsible for recruiting and selecting the parties nominees (Setzler & Yanus 2017).
Although surprisingly enough, when it comes to electing a female president or accepting the fact that a women representative will be ruling their country, men and women show the same amount of negativity, but when it comes to biases toward electing a person of the same gender, this equality disappears in women. However, Democratic Party show no significant negativity towards a female president, whereas the Republican Party does (Burden, Ono & Yamada 2017). Conclusions can be made between the two researches showing how religion does in fact effect women’s representation in politics. It can be seen how Protestants being a significant part of the Republican Party affects the biasness of the party towards male representatives.
Male candidates are viewed as much more competent, capable and strong leaders, whereas female candidates are often seen as lacking leadership qualities. Even further, female candidates are required to be more qualified than male candidates, it is a fact that female candidates face more challenges than males (Branton, English, Pettey, & Barnes 2018). Men and women candidates tend to have the same amount of communication for their campaigns on social media, they however tend to communicate in different ways. As well as, people think that women focus more on women issues than men do, when in fact women focus on the same bills that men tend to focus on.
But they need to work harder and run more campaigns than men do to get the same or greater amount of votes when compared to a man or even to be taken seriously (Cormack 2016). The participation of women in political leadership roles and parties not only has to do with biasedness in recruitment, but also that of beliefs of women, that restrict or discourage them from applying or ambitioning for the job in the first place. Women tend to think that recruiters would prefer male candidates over them or would see them as more capable candidates, they are hesitant to move forward or take part in campaigns because they firmly believe in gender bias (Butler & Preece 2016).
Religion clearly seems to play an impact on the representation of women in politics. However, there isn’t much research available on this topic. There also needs to be more focus on why there is such a drastic difference in views of the two major parties in the United States on the issues of underrepresentation of women in politics or biasness. While at the same time it is unclearly on the reasons to why women have the same negativity towards a female president when compared to men. All researches tend to provide facts and statistics on how women face biasness and have to work harder than men to reach the same position.
However, most of them fail to present with a reason as to why this is happening. Nor are there many researches focusing on the fact that The United Sates has not yet had a women represent their country. While at the same time there is also no data present on women of colour and their representation in American politics.
If I were to conduct a research on the underrepresentation of women in politics in the United States, I would focus on the fact that both parties have representatives that identify strongly with one particular religion. Hence I would want to know if that is one of the reasons for such drastic views on the same topic. While at the same time try and find out why it is that despite of the United States claiming to be so liberal in their views and being a developed country that has had independence for over 300 years, has still not had a female president.
Whereas countries that are developing, have recently got independence and have a narrower mind when it comes to women in society, have women ruling or have had a women rule their country. Is it due to the representation of women and media and how they are objectified in the Hollywood, and what values or ideals is it that these developing or underdeveloped countries have that The United States is lacking.