The Importance Of Women In Politics

The role of women in politics has only been accepted very recently with women getting the vote in the 1920s in both America and the UK. However, some countries only gave women the vote far more recently, such as in the United Arab Emirates where they got the vote in 2006. Other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, women are still not allowed to have the vote and will not do so until 2015. So, as a world where the demographics make a roughly even split between males and females, there is quite an obvious and important role that women play in politics today.

In the 2012 presidential election there was considerable debate over women and how they would vote – of course, most of their views were in favour of equal rights, which corresponded with the Democrat Party. Unfortunately for the Republican party women are not so interested in their conservative agenda. This can be seen by the result of the presidential election where 55% of Women voted for Obama and 44% of women voted for Romney (1% other parties). This is partly due to gaffes made within the Republican Party, such as Todd Akin who made a remark about ‘legitimate rape’, however it is equally due to Obama – through the ‘coat-tails effect’ – where lower ranking women candidates gain popularity through a high ranking person within the party.


The result of the ‘coat-tails effect’ has seen the destruction of the glass-ceiling enabling women a greater role in Congress. Therefore, women’s rights and women in general are better represented further increasing the importance of pleasing this section of voters and aggregating their demands.

The 2012 election produced 20 senators who are women, which is the most ever in history. One of these women is Elizabeth Warren, who is the Senator of Massachussettes, replaced Scott Brown who came into office shortly after Ted Kennedy’s death in the state. There are also a record amount of congresswomen, beating the previous record of 73 women.

In previous times, women have been disregarded in politics claiming that they are not citizens. However, now, they are the future of politics and it seems only inevitable that we will see more women reaching increasingly powerful spots in politics; and it is likely that in the near future the world’s most powerful office – the president – will be a women.

What are your views on women in politics?

Thanks for reading,

Digestible Politics

6 comments on “The Importance Of Women In Politics

  1. They are a welcome site. The more diverse we are the better. Plus it seems like many women don’t stop until a permanent solution is reached.

  2. lsthurman says:

    I say..bring it on!!! Thanks for sharing your perspective and insight..more people should write about this topic.

  3. Great post. I definitely want to see more women involved. Given the way many conservatives want to regulate a woman’s body or fight against equal pay or violence against women legislation, it only makes sense that more women should be involved in these decisions. Women should be near half of all representatives since they are half the population.

  4. kumadorian says:

    In my country Ghana, women are gradually getting involved in politics. Thats good.

  5. Guls says:

    Interesting post, though a number of issues were skimmed over in short order which I feel could benefit froma little more qualification. I certainly agree with you – and the above respondents – in suggesting that politics would benefit from more women becoming involved, at all levels. I’d suggest, however, that your declamation re ‘…the destruction of the glass ceiling…’ is a little premature – still a ways to go there, in US and world politics generally. The coatttail effect is an interesting point, and raises questions about how many citizens cast their votes: I’m guessing that the Democrats were fielding more women candidates than the Republicans in the first place, and it’s quite possible that some of those candidates did ride in on Obama’s coatttails; though it’s also possible that being women attracted more women voters, or pro-women voters to the polls. It also may be the case that those voters would have voted Democrat anyway, or that their last representative (or the other candidate on the day) was Republican and they did a lousy job which encouraged the voters to switch… I’m not claiming any great knowledge here, just speculating.

    Another point I’d like to make is that, as much as I welcome greater female engagement in politics, I’m dubious as to what actual impact that has on the political system itself. It’s often observed in the corporate sphere that when women do rise in the ranks, they often as not ‘toe the party line’ and perpetuate policies hostile to women – such as passing over other able women for promotion in favour or less-able men; or non-family-friendly working hours. I don’t blame individuals – women or men – for this, it’s the accepted way to ‘get on’ I’m merely observing that the system tends to swallow the individual. In politics, one might cite examples such as Margaret Thatcher or Sarah Palin who are ultra conservative. Tom Wolfe’s great novel, ‘A Man In Full’ illustrates this with wit and humanity from the perspective of an idealistic African-American mayor in Atlanta. Will more women in political life bear much on a political system which defends to the death ‘a man’s right to bear arms’ yet year-on-year, clamps down ever-tighter on women’s access to reproductive – and other – healthcare services in the name of ‘pro-life’? Obviously, living in the UK I’m not totally au-fait with the finer details of these issues in the US, all I can say from afar is ‘does not compute’ (unless one is viewing thru a radical feminist lens in which case it all makes perfect sense, but I digress…)

    In fact, for the benefit of non-US subscribers, a rudimentary explanation of the US political system might be an idea for a future post, to give us an insight into where you’re coming from?

    Oh, and lastly, I came across this infographic via Upworthy the other day which tracks the progress of women and minorities in world political life, which you may find interesting. One thing that amused me was that women were eligible to stand for election in 1788, a woman first received votes in 1884, but it wasn’t until 1920 that women were themselves allowed to vote (in the US)! How fucked up is that?!

    Anyway, thanks for a stimulating and thought-provoking post. Take care,


  6. my blog says:

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