DATE OF SUBMISSION
There exists a huge skew and disparity in the women political representation between the states of Germany and United States. The number of women in political and governmental representation is lower in U.S than it is in Germany. This is because the German political parties have made a voluntary adoption of gender quotas. Of the five major political parties, four have established the quotas which assist in increasing the women numbers in the Bundestag to a proportion nearing one-third of their total membership. Germany has therefore become one of the Europe’s many countries within the entirety of the world to introduce gender quotas. The gender quotas are primarily aimed at addressing the low number of women who directly take part in the making of political decisions. This has led to an increased number of elected female officials resulting to a greater number of descriptive women representations in the German government (Sparke, 2012 pg 316).
In Germany, there is also the advocating and ultimate passing of legislations which are in favor of the women’s interest. The legislations are in relation to improving the substantive women representation in a proportional manner. On the other hand, the United States however has made it extremely difficult to allow for women representation in politics. This is because it has no gender quota system and rarely addresses the issue. Another shortcoming of U.S is that it has remained to largely un-examine and fail in the passing of legislations which can be in favor of women interests. Also, there is the one-candidate majoritarian system in U.S allowing for the election of only one candidate to the political positions as explained by Ferree (2012 pg. 7). This has made it highly impossible for the electoral women representation in political offices.
The United States can develop the spirit of improving gender equality in political representation through a number of ways. First of all and most vitally is that it should introduce the system of gender quota to improve substantive women representation in politics. The majoritarian system that only allows one candidate’s election should also be changed into a system that provides for all inclusive and proportional election system. In addition, the U.s government should advocate for passing of more legislations which provide favor for the women interests as well as re-examining the existing volatile and discriminative feminist policies. Finally, the government should formulate policies that will be tailored towards eradicating the attitude of egalitarianism. This will ensure that no woman is undermined on the basis relative to anti-gender-equality so as to raise the acceptability social-wise of the both the women feminists views in political decisions making (Ferree, 2012 pg. 16).
According to Sparke (2012, pg. 348)Gender equality is still a work in progress towards the attainment of the perfect and balanced equality between men and women desired. However, tremendous improvement has been recorded in ensuring political opportunities equality in the governmental positions representations. There is a suggestion from the German context view that the descriptive representation of women in national legislatures has the capability of contributing to their representation substantively. A proposal is also made that the states of the world need to develop a society which is gender neutral so as to get rid of the gender based stereotypes in order to create a world that is truly equal to every person and to all.
Structural Adjustment Programs vs Microcredit Programs
Non-governmental organizations in many of the third world countries communities like Rural Bangladesh have introduced the use of various programs to promote women’s lives. The programs include use of SAP (system adjustment programs) and Microcredit programs tailored towards improving the socioeconomic status of the poor women in such locations. The Grameen Bank in Bangladesh has made astounding example of providing such credit programs of small scale nature to the poor especially women (Cooke 2011, pg.121).
The Micro-credit programs got introduced in Bangladesh following the establishment of GB (Grameen Bank) in the year 1976. The major objective of the bank’s establishment was to eradicate poverty in the rural areas. This was based on the establishment that lack of capital was considered to be the primary major obstacle to productive self employment among the poor women. A number of NGOs arose following GB establishment like BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), ASA (Association for Social Advancement) and BRDB (Bangladesh Rural Development Board) according to Faraizi., Rahman., & McAllister (2014, pg 114).
On other hand, SAP got introduced in the years 1980s by the push of ILA (International Lending Agencies) such as IMF (international monetary fund). The program at its inception had devastating negative effect on the borrowing country. Corrupt government embezzled loan funds making countries to into financial distress and debts, and the prices of commodities on the global market were falling. This phenomenon especially affected women because they tried to increase their workload in order to help in curbing the increased living cost. A prime victim example is Kenya, one of the third world’s poorest countries. SAPs through the bodies like IMF instituted programs that meant to increase debt repayments and improve economic growth- the programs rather served to fuel inflation hence making the poor even poorer.
In contrast, SAP was aimed at reducing government interventions in the economy, reduce the government spending to favor balanced budgets and embrace the free global market forces. Alternatively, Micro credit programs were of the concern of giving loans of small amount primarily to the poor women in order to boost their economic status in qualifying for bank loans. Sap focused on the entire world countries as a whole while micro-credit program focused on an individual (DeFilippis & Saegert, 2013 pg.268)
In comparison, both the programs were based to provide a potential and an innovative mechanism for credit distribution to the poor especially the poor women. The aim was to alleviate poverty in the rural areas by using a basis of peer monitoring as a collateral substitute.
Micro-credit programs have however drawn much attention as poverty alleviation means in Bangladesh among the poor women. It has proved to be much successful in its acceptance and coverage level than the SAPs.
Cooke, Lynn, P. Gender class Equality in Political Economies. Surrey, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2011.
DeFilippis, James., & Saegert, Susan. Community Development. Routledge, 2013. Internet Source.
Faraizi, Aminul., Rahman, Taskinur., & McAllister, Jim. Microcredit and Women’s Empowerment: A Case Study of Bangladesh. Routledge, 2014. Internet Source.
Ferree, Myra M. Varieties of Feminism: German Gender Politics in Global Perspective. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 2012. Internet resource.
Sparke, Matthew. Introducing Globalization: Ties, Tensions, and Uneven Integration. Chicester: Wiley, 2012. Internet resource.