Women are generally the few represented in public offices despite them forming the majority of the population in most countries. Specifically in America women form the majority of the population but they are still the least represented in the public office and judging by the 2008 political campaign that saw the now president barrack Obama chosen over the female candidate Clinton, it clearly shows that women did not vote as a block in support of the female candidate. It raises concern to find out why women do not vote as a block to increase the number of the female representative in public offices. Before the modern America, women were oppressed and could not hold positions in public office and the women gender was not recognized as equal members in the society with their male counterparts. The women in the 1960 organized women movements to fight for their rights and to make themselves recognized as equals in the society: These were movements to fight for equality between genders. The typical American family was patriarchal, with the men enjoying dominance over the females. Some families still have the males being dominant over the females. The failure of the women to vote and support other female candidates in getting to the public office can therefore be blamed on the kind of culture that was instilled in women and is still being experienced by the women. For example in the job market, women are still paid less compared to the males despite holding the same position and even doing the same task as the males. The inequality that comes with one being male or female is therefore an issue of culture rather than the biology that leads to the different gender.
According to Farber (1994) the civil rights movement of 1960 saw the movement of women to protest against discrimination caused by gender differences. This saw the enactment of the civil rights act of 1964 that banned all discrimination against gender. It is however researched and found that the women few umbers in public office is mainly because the women lack a political ambition compared to their male counterparts and also because of the incumbency advantage. The incumbency advantage is the benefit that comes with having held a public office before. The people who have been in any public before attract more media attention, can easily raise funds for the campaign and they already have a record that people can relate with. The lack of political ambition is caused by the responsibilities that come with womanhood like child bearing and taking care of the home. The lack of women in such public offices can also be blamed on the lack of the young generation to have role models to look up to and ream of achieving what the others have achieved thus leading to a whole generation of women with no political ambition.
Discrimination of women in public offices can be seen as a contributing factor to the discouragement of the women to join the political scene and have political ambitions. Women who decide to run for public office face very hard times than those who choose to work in other offices that are not in the public eye. The dominance of the men in such offices is the main cause of such discrimination and the little support the women receive from their male counterparts also plays a major role in discouraging women, (Brigid 2008). The few number of women in public office is also associated with the male conspiracy and physiological factors that gives the women the mentality that the public office is suited to the males and not the women. Bahati (2001) argues that the hypothetical are culture, physiological roles, male conspiracy and the institutional constraints that arise from the perception of the society on the roles that different gender should hold.
It can therefore be concluded that very few women hold positions in public office because of the culture instilled in them, the lack of political ambition and physiological roles.
David, Farber. (1994). the age of great dreams: America in the 1960. U.S.A: hill and Wang publishers.
Brigid, C. and Thomas, R. (2008). Power and society: an introduction to the social sciences. Boston: Thompson Wadsworth publishers.
Bahati, K. (2001). Gender and social movements. United Kingdom: Altamira press.