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Woman and Political status

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Woman and Political status

According to UN women executive Michelle Bachelet (2012), ‘’Democracy grows stronger with the full and equal participation of women”. Today, as women form half of the world population, their voices are still lacking in politics. According to UN women (2011), worldwide, less than one in five members of most parliaments is a woman. And women make up less than 10 percent of world leaders. Simply turn on the television and one will find that most world leaders are men. Whereas women in almost every country can participate in politics; they can vote, create a political party, they are still underrepresented in the political decision-making process. Claims that women are not interested or know nothing about politics are wrong. For a well-functioning democracy, female participation is healthy and necessary. The UN has already stressed the equal participation of women in decision-making positions. In fact, women need to be equally represented in politics like men for several reasons.

The first reason for this is that women would be able to represent their interests better which are healthy for a society. Since men and women have different interests which can even be conflicting, it is important that women can represent their issues. For example, while the agenda of women consists of issues such as health, education, safe drinking which have long-term benefits, the men’s agenda primarily focuses on issues like infrastructure that have immediate returns. According to a study by the centre for the American Women and Politics (2012), the impact of women as legislation makers is profound and distinct. The results of this study showed that women public officials are strongly committed to woman rights policies.

Woman are very committed to address socio-economic and political challenges facing woman, children and other disadvantaged groups. In relation to this, evidence has shown that with higher female political participation, issues such as gender bias, child care, education, rape, domestic violence and divorce law are more likely to be addressed (Handelman, 2013, p. 169). As a result, as rates of woman development and empowerment become higher, the standards of living also become higher. In many countries this has already proven. One example is India, where greater woman’s representation has led more focus on gender-sensitive programs. In conclusion, women political participation is crucial in the political decision-making process.

Secondly, studies have found that women in power are less corrupt then men (Nawaz, 2011). Corruption is the wrongdoing on the part of an authority or powerful party through means that are illegitimate, immoral, or incompatible with ethical standards. Nowadays, corruption is still a big worldwide problem. But according to studies, corruption tends to diminish with the presence of women in political institutions. According to a study (Nawaz, 2011) of 150 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia by the World Bank, countries with higher representation of women have lower levels of corruption. Nawaz argued that women are more trustworthy and less prone to corruption. Some scholars relate this to the differences in risk-taking behavior. They claim that women tend to take less risks due to their particular role in society. As Maria Fernanda Rivas (2008) expressed, woman tend to react more strongly to the risk of detection. Her research (2008) in the form of an laboratory experiment reveals that women decisions have lower bribes than men.

This research proves that woman have higher standards of ethical behavior and may be more concerned with the common good than men are (an experiment on corruption and gender, 2008). Also, women are particularly effective in promoting honest government, especially in public services. One example is the health sector, where women have greater needs than men. In order to help other women, female politician work with integrity and want to help women in their countries more. Clearly, women are strongly committed to peace building. Not only in politics but also in other fields. One interesting example, are the so-called blue helmets, women working for the UN as peacekeepers in developing countries. The third reason why women should be more represented in politics is that female politicians serve as political role models for young woman. According to a study of Girl Guides UK, there is a lack of positive role models for young women. Results have shown that many girls use reality television and celebrities as their way of living (Coleman, 2012). On the other hand, studies have also found that female political role models such as Hilary Clinton and Angela Merkel have an empowering effect on young women (Looking At Female Role Models May Make Women Better Leaders Says Study, 2013).

The study (2013) revealed that when young women look at images of strong female political role models, they give longer speeches and are more likely to demonstrate strong leadership skills. These results are very positive and women should be more familiar with strong female role models. In conclusion, female political role models are needed for the future. Clearly, women political involvement has a positive impact on societies. As UN women executive director Michelle Bachelet (2011) once stated, ‘’democracy cannot be called a true democracy, unless women participate fully’’. This is definitely true and although women are still underrepresented in important political positions, they are gaining more and more support worldwide.

Take for example, the feminists groups in the Arab world. As revolutions tend to liberate women from traditional social structure and values, women are now presented to some unique opportunities (Handelman, 2013). For example, military that recruits female soldiers. Many of those female military officers have moved into important political positions after revolutions. However, women also contribute to politics through grass roots organizations and communities. As women are now gathering together and using the internet and the media to gain more awareness from the international community, they have successfully achieved awareness for gender issues. These issues were before ignored and locked up. The UN has now recognized women empowerment in their millennial goals for 2015. Claims that women are not qualified as politicians are wrong. Often, the media does not take female politicians seriously and want to intrude on their personal lives. This is how prejudices are created against female politicians. The female participation in politics are important for values such as democracy and justice. Therefore, woman should have more opportunities to enter important political decision-making positions. Woman participation does not only lead to positive change, it also leads to social development.

For example, empowering women is linked to empowering children and thus the society. Furthermore the empowerment of women gives new workforce. Concluding, as women population is increasing, the empowerment of women has become very important. Governments should include female politicians in order to achieve more gender equality in political institutions. For example through the use of seats or quotas. This change will help women all over the world. In fact, government should try to accomplish equal political participation of men and women. Increasing female political participating is like investing in the future of social development. There are several reason why woman political involvement is important. Firstly, with higher female participation, woman issues and policies can be better addressed. These issues are helping many groups in society. Secondly, studies has shown that women in professional settings are less corrupt because women tend to work with more integrity. This is an important finding. Thirdly, female politicians serve as great role models for the younger generation. Obviously, role models form an inspiration for all women.


Boosting women’s political participation vital for democracy, UN forum stresses. (September 2011). UN news center. Retrieved on 7 September, 2013, from the UN website: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39607#.UizRY39cNL4

Chemal, S. (January 2012). Woman in politics. Why we need more woman in office. Huffingonpost Woman. Retrieved on September 9, 2013, from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/women-in-politics_b_1307586.html

Coleman, J. (2012). Towie E among shows criticised over ‘lack of role models’. BBC news. Retrieved on 3 September, 2013, from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/18035512

Fernanda Rivas, M. (December 2008). An experiment on corruption and gender. Retrieved on 16 September, 2013, from: http://www.ugr.es/~teoriahe/RePEc/gra/wpaper/thepapers08_10.pdf

Handelman, H. (2012). The challenge of third world development. Pearson.

Looking At Female Role Models May Make Women Better Leaders, Says Study. (April, 2013). The Huffingtonpost. Retrieved on 6 September, 2013, from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/20/looking-at-female-role-models-women-better-leaders-study_n_3122504.html

Nawaz. F (2011). Are woman less corrupt than men? And other gender/corruption questions. Transparency International. Retrieved on 5 September, 2013, from: http://blog.transparency.org/2011/10/07/are-women-less-corrupt-than-men-and-other-gendercorruption-questions/

Nawaz. F. (n.d.) Gender and Corruption. Anti-corruption research network. Retrieved on 5 September, 2013, from: http://corruptionresearchnetwork.org/resources/frontpage-articles/gender-and-corruption

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