In the patriarchal society, women participation in politics is marginalized. In many global societies, women are perceived to have enough to deal with rather than engaging in leadership positions because men are perceived to rule. Inadequate representation of women in social participation derives them the power to engage and run for political offices. It is only until recently that women were allowed in the majority of the countries worldwide to be in elective posts in governance. By the year 2013, women globally only constituted to eight percent of the national elective positions but, in recent days as at January 2017 women representation in national parliamentary seats amounted to 23.3 percent internationally (Henderson & Jeydel 21). These statistics show an increase in female participation in politics. This paper will discuss the trends of women's participation in politics covering the global status of policy intervention and challenges identification faced by women in governance offices.
The current status of women representation and pathways to political involvement show that countries of the world are increasing women participation in politics. The gender gap experienced in political representation in the majority of the countries attribute from the uneven participation trends of women in governance positions (Bauer 699). Women empowerment through education and other advocacy strategies is geared towards achieving gender parity in all aspects of life. Countries like Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Egypt, Rwanda, and South Africa have advanced gender balancing levels in national legislative posts. Increased women representation in education is translating to their positive pathway to political participation. International conventions by United Nations, Commonwealth, and other advocacy bodies emphasize of the political rights for women to participate in political activities like voting and even vying for elective posts. Although, women are regarded as better and competent leaders in different levels holding political office is perceived differently in the society. Only a few countries have seen women run powerful positions in government and where they succeed in vying for elective posts they are faced with multiple challenges that compromise their effectiveness in office.
However, women participation in many countries in the world has attained at least ten percent representation yet, multiple challenges and barriers are still hindering their participation in political positions. For instance, in Canada female politicians suffer from gender stigma from their male counterparts who perceive them to be incapacitated to hold powerful positions in political leadership (Bauer 703). Again, in other low economy countries, women suffer from gender stereotyping and other cultural barriers in patriarchal societies that advocate for male dominance in leadership positions. According to Carmichael, Dilli, and Rijpma women struggle to have their voices heard compromises their effective participation in political office. Other politic participation barriers facing women include their family and gender roles that give their male counterpart advantages over them in running for political positions (244). Sexism and other gendered exploitation cause women to shy away from holding or vying for elective posts. Competition in the electoral environment is biased against female candidature. For instance, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton candidacies in political election suffered uproar of gender biases in the electro arena causing women to be less likely to qualify for political participation due to the challenges facing female candidacy. The situation in the United States election completion between Clinton and Donald Trump is evident that women gender challenges in elective posts are not limited to developing countries only but a global affair. Women candidacy is faced by a wide alley of challenges that disadvantage their chances to their male counterparts.
Policy interventions to increase female participation in politics have seen concerned bodies look out for equalization strategies to increase female representation in governance. The primary empowerment agent is education increased participation in formal education to change their positions in the society and their abilities to hold elective office posts elevating their participation levels in politics. Education has been one of the best and successful pathways to increase equalization and women empowerment globally (Henderson & Jeydel 20). Giving females equal chances in education with males has in recent decades increased the positions and social perception of the girl child. Other policy intervention measures include affirmative action where political and other legislative positions are constitutionally dictated to have a two-thirds representation of one gender and the other third must be from the other gender. Through affirmative action and other participation, agendas have seen women participation in elective posts increase (Hicks, Hicks & Maldonado 57). In countries like Rwanda women representation through affirmative action has constantly maintained almost a fifty-fifty representation. In other developing countries women are given preserved seats to increase their participation in legislative positions.
In conclusion, women in politics have over the years remained a global concern where underrepresentation and stereotypic challenges hinder effective participation. Globally, women have recorded high statistics of academic attainment as opposed to their male counterparts yet, their representation in politics remains relatively low. Although, various international empowerment agencies and advocacy bodies have made numerous policy interventions to increase women's participation in politics much needs to be done to change the orthodox perception of gendered leadership. Intervention policies have in recent days seen an increase in women representation though much need to be done to increase women participation in politics.
Bauer, Nichole M. Emotional, sensitive, and unfit for office? Gender stereotype activation and support female candidates. Political Psychology. Wiley. 2015, 36 (6): 691-708. doi:10.1111/pops.12186.
Carmichael, Sarah; Dilli, Selin & Rijpma, Auke. Women in the global economic history, In Baten, Jorg, A history of the global economy: from 1500 to the present, Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016, pp. 244, 245. ISBN 9781107507180.
Henderson, Sarah L. & Jeydel, Alana S. Women and International Politics: Women and Politics in a Global World. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 2014, p. 20-21. ISBN 0199899665.
Hicks, Daniel L.; Hicks, Hamory, Joan, &Maldonado, Beatriz. Women as policymakers and donors: female legislators and foreign aid. European Journal of Political Economy. Elsevier. 2016, 41: 46-60. doi:10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2015.10.007.
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