Ch 1 P&H - Intro to Women in Politics
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This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Vincent Jerkovich on Monday February 9, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to a course at Kansas taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 43 views.
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Date Created: 02/09/15
Ch 1 Introduction to Women in Politics I Some introductory stats on representation 0 The worldwide average percentage of women in national parliaments is only 20 0 Of more than 190 countries in the world a woman is the head of government in only 13 Today 75 of countries have at least 10 women in national legislatures 0 Between 2000 and 2010 the average number of women in parliaments nearly doubled from 117 to 194 0 Sweden elected the first female PM in history in 1958 0 As of December 2011 the US ranked 95th of 188 countries in percentage of women 0 France Italy and the US have never had a female president but Sri Lanka the 0 Philippines and Indonesia have 0 Six countries have no women in politics at all I Arguments for women s representation 0 Male lawmakers are less likely to initiate and pass laws that serve women s and children s interests I Men less often think about rape domestic violence women s health and child care 0 Pakistan I Girls in Pakistan are often beaten for not producing sons for being raped trying to choose a husband for themselves or killed as a matter of family honor I Some estimates suggest that three quarters of women in Pakistan s jails are rape victims 0 Many African countries still do not have domestic violence laws on the books 0 Election of Clarence Thomas to Supreme Court I Two days before Thomas was to be voted foragainst Anita Hill accused Thomas of sexually assaulting her in 1981 I But the schedule seemed to be progressing as usual 98 of Senate was male I Brought to light that maybe women s issues weren t important in the halls of power I The hearings helped increase awareness of sexual harassment of women in the workplace which was only incorporated into the guidelines set by the Equal Opportunity Commission in 1980 0 Justice Arguments I Formal representation most basic formulation of equal representation women have the legal right to participate in politics on an equal basis with men 0 Women must have the same opportunity as men to participate as men in politics 0 This doesn t happen in places like Kuwait Lebanon and Saudi Arabia 0 The goal of formal representation is the absence of direct and overt discrimination against women in politics 0 Equal opportunity through formal representation doesn t automatically produce large numbers of women in politics I Descriptive representation if women make up 50 of the population they should also make up roughly 50 of legislative and representative bodies 0 Rights alone do not remedy the substantial social and economic inequalities that prevent women from taking advantage of their political opportunities 0 This argument isn t essentialist 0 It doesn t assume that all women share an essential identity with the same interests and concerns 0 Descriptive representation requires that women have a legislative presence I Substantive representation women s interests must be advocated in the political arena 0 Women skew towards the political left I But much of the difference between men and women disappears when the political party is taken into account 0 ie men of more leftwing parties may espouse more support for issues critical to women than women of parties on the political right 0 women in politics are denigrated or marginalized if their minority is too small 0 The UN says that to make a difference women need to have a critical mass of 30 of a legislature 0 Utility arguments I Improved quality of deliberation 0 Different interests different ideas better overall quality of problem solving 0 Homogenous governing body is less capable to respond to changes in the internal or international environment I Women as visible role models for younger women 0 Brief Overview of Women s Participation in Politics 0 New Zealand 1893 was the first and only country to give women suffrage in the 19th century 0 By 1945 46 of the world s countries allowed women to vote 0 World Rankings for Women in Parliament 1 Rwanda 563 2 Andorra 500 3 Cuba 452 4 Sweden 447 5 Seychelles 438 59 UK 223 69 China 213 95 USA 168 177 Egypt 20 183183 Saudi ArabiaMicronesia 00 0 12 female heads of government around the world Bangladesh Germany Liberia Argentina Costa Rica Australia Trinidad and Tobago Thailand Denmark and Malawi 0 Gender and Gender Stratification 0 Sex refers to the biological differences between men and women 0 Gender refers to the socially constructed differences between men and women Rationalemotional aggressivepassive competitivecooperative assertivecompliant etc Humans among least sexually dimorphous species but most cultures actively work to distinguish men and women through different dress ornamentation and exaggeration of physiological differences Children begin to refer to themselves as member of their gender as soon as they learn to speak Simone de Beauvoir 1952 One is not born but rather becomes a woman it is civilization as a whole that produces this creature which is described as feminine Gender is neither fixed nor static 0 Gender and Power Concepts Patriarchy Public versus Private Intersectionality 0 Gender stratification gender inequality female disadvantage and sexism all refer to patriarchy 0 In patriarchal societies women have more power in the home than in political or economic environments private versus public sphere In this perspective women should be focused on their family and children and making their husbands happy On this tangent the Cult of True Womanhood present in the USA in the 1800s believed that women had four virtues piety purity submissiveness and domesticity 0 Early women s activists like Mary Wollstonecaft mother of Mary Shelley writer of Frankenstein Francis Wright and Harriet Martineau were considered semiwomen or mental hermaphrodites o Intersectionality are multiple sources of power or disadvantage like region class religion race and ethnicity
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