Women should have more representation in politics


Photo By: Official Portraits

Nancy Pelosi, Lisa Murkowski, Elizabeth Warren, and Susan Collins

Up until 1920, women did not have the right to vote, let alone a voice in how America’s laws were created. A little over 100 years ago, women were finally given these rights. 

And now, in 2021, our country is celebrating the election of our first female Vice President, Kamala Harris. 

The fight for women’s rights is as old as our nation itself. One of the first vocal advocates was first lady Abigail Adams, wife of Founding Father John Adams. In 1776, she used her influence with her husband and the Continental Congress to plead for women’s rights and warned that if ignored, women would rebel against the laws that did not support them.

Women did rebel. 

Across the country, women continued to rally, protest, and advocate for both equitable laws and the right to vote. Many important events in the fight for women’s rights took place in the 1800s, but progress was incredibly slow. As a few individual states began giving women the right to vote, our nation saw women achieve numerous important milestones, such as Belva Lockwood, who was the first woman allowed to practice law; Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the first woman to run for the U.S. House of Representatives; Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president, and Susanna Salter, the first woman to be elected as a mayor. 

However, the 19th Amendment wasn’t approved until 1920. Ending over a century of protest, this amendment gave every woman across the United States the right and opportunity to vote in any future elections. 

As the decades went by, women worked tirelessly to go from simply voters to actual policymakers. And the 1900s saw women being elected to office in larger numbers than ever before.

In 1995, another influential first lady, Hillary Clinton, said, “if there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.” In 2008, she went on to be the first female Presidential candidate of a major political party. After being defeated in 2008, she ran again in 2016. In that election, Clinton won the popular vote but was beat out by Donald Trump who won the electoral college. 

Although Clinton lost the election, many agree she remade American politics, paving the way for Kamala Harris to be elected Vice President just four years later.

According to statistics, women make up over 50% of the US population, yet only a little over a quarter of all the members of the 117th U.S. Congress are female. However, this is the highest record in history and a substantial increase within the last decade. A combined 27 percent of seats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate are held by women.  

Democratic U.S. House of Representatives member Nancy Pelosi sought out equal pay for women in The United States and passed The Affordable Care Act. U.S. Senate member Elizabeth Warren called for an end to inequality, ran against corruption, and was shortly considered a front runner before she dropped her campaign. Republican U.S. Senate member Lisa Murkowski is a leader on public land issues and has pursued policies to make America’s energy cleaner, reliable, and affordable. U.S. Senate Member Susan Collins was actually named “one of the most powerful women in Washington” by Elle magazine due to her accomplishments in very critical areas. 

As we celebrate these many victories for women’s rights, we have to reflect on the fact that in our nation’s almost 250-year history, we have still never had a female President. Meanwhile, more than 50 other countries have had or currently do have a female leader. So looking at our country today, we’ve come a long way, but have we come far enough? Women in The United States have achieved incredible things throughout the years, but we still have so much more to fight for.


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