Some notes on women in US politics

Today although more than 90% are open to a female candidate
Factors that lead to her defeat
1. Rules favor men => did not win as many d
2. In the beginning Hill’s message was not a clear
Clear winner, not inviting people into
3. Gender bias in the media => commentary throughout the campaign (tear, tough, pms, passionate…)
4. Clinton had been on the stage for a long time – 16 years

We question our selves as women
We need to challenge our selves more – be willing to aim as high as men – being more assertive, without fear
Afraid to speak out, let someone else do that
Need to have more women framing the debate
Not just reactive
Rarely do we see female legislators making the Sunday rounds
What sets the glass ceiling level?
Does women’s confidence set the glass ceiling level?
Easier to not take responsibility?

Why is it taking so long for women to be integrated into position of power in the US G?
Given current trends women will have 50% by this year
  • 2071 H of Rep
  • 2100 senate
  • US congresswomen make up 17% only
  • 75 of 435 h of Reps
  • 17 of 100 senators

  • Rules are important
  • Weak parties – lack of control over who runs
  • Individual campaigns, rules focus on individual
  • Single member district system favors incumbs
The power of incumbency => easy to get reelected
95% even in 2008
Favors old guard => old white men i.e. ted Kennedy 48 years => makes him very powerful

Oldest congress in history
57 yo in house
63 yo in senate

Knowing how to maneuver around the social attitudes and how they hold us back
  • Expectations of women and others have of us
  • 4 day leadership training for young girl – HW to run for office
  • Getting girls to believe in it is the first step
  • Husbands do not encourage wives to run the way wives support husband's campaigns


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