America’s Gender-Equality Fail

– Jasmine Jacobmuthu, The RINJ Foundation, Philippines

Traditional Sterotypes

Men and women are born gender equals until mom and dad assign to them a dress or pants or,  give them a doll or a motor car as child’s toys.

We seldom realize the impact that brings to their future. Why can’t the girl have a motor car toy and and the boy have a doll?

Is this only because through the ages a woman is expected to learn how to sew; cook; care for babies; tend a garden and please her man.

America's Gender-Equality FailMales play football; throw themselves in the  mud; learn a skill; and go to work to earn money to compete with other men, support their ego, and feed their family. The traditional role for men is head of the family.

Women Have New Historical Milestone in American Politics –The Challenge to the all-male POTUS Tradition

It took a century for American women to obtain the right to vote and more than double that time for women to present themselves for presidency in America.

If, Hillary Clinton had truly arrived to this level on her own merit and not her husband’s popularity, she had to count on many fights of previous generations of women.

Victoria Woodhull is one such woman who sought elected office in 1872 while ironically she didn’t have the right to vote.

America's Gender-Equality Fail

In the United States, women obtained the right to vote before their European sisters which is a plus in some respect but most European countries are performing better than the United States in inclusiveness.

Hillary Clinton gave some women hope of breaking the glass ceiling. Even though she was not the first woman running for election her candidacy has been an historic milestone in American history and while she endured a surprising loss following what looked like very positive polling, she got to that point. That was an achievement of note in the misogynistic American patriarch.

Her being a woman and being a formidable opponent to a bully man’s man was a significant step toward balancing power inequalities between men and women, but America still could not face being led by a woman.

The Patriarchal United States – Gender Equality Fail

The American population split is skewed toward women at 51% of total according to census data. Yet government offices representing the people of America are occupied by men in the vast majority. Women are thereby underrepresented.

In 2016, the director of the Center for American Women and Politics, Debbie Walsh, said that “women account for more than half of the population, but we are far from a reasonable representation, and even further from parity”.

According to the Inter- parliamentary Union, in 1997, the United States ranked 52nd in the percentage of women in the political sphere. By 2017, the USA had dropped to 101st place.

The Republican Party is the most masculine of two main US political groups with 15  Congress women. The Democratic Party is at 33%.  Black, Latin American and Asian-Pacific women still struggle to take their places comprising only 6.2% of Congress. Only 3 of these 33 women are Republican.

“We will not reach parity in Congress if only one party achieves it. Change must be on both sides,” notes Debbie Walsh.

Research shows that women are elected to the same extent as men, if they reach the general election as candidates. For some reason women are impeded by the Party selection process.

The Gender War in American Politics

According to Leah Pizar, Doctor of Political Science and former adviser to President Bill Clinton (1993-2001), “a woman politician must both meet the criteria of femininity, to which her gestures and modalities of oral expression must comply, but also criteria perceived as masculine: skills based on experience, and, for a future president, an ability to assert oneself as chief of armies. ”

In addition, it has been observed that inequalities in terms of wages, access to politics and the discrimination that women suffer, persist. But even if we see progress, they remain weak.

Many other countries shame America by performing well on the issue of gender equality, like Iceland.

The Gender Gap Report, is published each year using a 4-point index:

  • integration and economic opportunities,
  • access to education,
  • health, and
  • the political integration of women.

Iceland is in first place with 47% of women in its legislative assembly. Finland, Norway and Sweden follow in the top four.

The United States should take the lead from Nordic countries and seek gender equality.

With gender parity in the United States, draconian laws preventing medical procedures for women such as induced abortion, for example, would be a thing of the past.

As former President Barack Obama once said, “women must have the right to make their own decisions about their own health.” The RINJ Foundation views abortion as a medical procedure that should only ever be decided by doctor and patient and should never be used as a method of birth control.

America's Gender-Equality Fail

A more gender-equal America with attached better focus on human development, communications, social conscience and empathy, the United States would not be in the awkward position of having a testosterone-pumping group of back room boys led by President Donald Trump provoking countries like North Korea to war and breaking every friendship the United States ever had.

War-like Patriarch