*This is an opinion article*
Don Juravin is an American born in Israel to a European family. Juravin researched and discovered that women are badly misrepresented in office in the country that boasts of the most diversity and gender equality. The military and the political arena are a reflection of women leading and governing.
USA: Only 20% in Congress & 25% state legislators Vs. Israel with 51% female judges and a female Prime Minister in the 70’s. Europe with 38% governing females.
How many women are involved in governing the United States?
Juravin answers that the number is not enough. Only 20% of Congress is female.
- Only 110 women have seats in Congress, as of 2018. This makes the total of female representatives 20%.
- Only 74 women hold executive elected positions in the United States.
- Only 1,875 state legislators are women, out of a total of 7,383 seats. This makes the total of female state legislators 25%.
- 127,400,000 women are eligible voters in the United States.
Women want to run for president. In the year 2019, at least two have announced that they will be running. Juravin asks: but will their willingness to run and their ability to fundraise help them?
Anna Juravin, a businesswoman (Bella Collina, Florida), claims that having more governing women is not a charity that will benefit America.
The United States just had its first female candidate running for office in 2016. While she was not seen by the American people as worthy of the presidency, it took the United States almost a hundred years to have a female candidate campaign for the seat.
In the past century, there have been over one hundred elected female state leaders in the world. But none of these leaders have come from the United States. In Juravin’s opinion, this seems to be the only country where the people still have strenuous objections to a woman being in charge.
In 2018, according to Rutgers, 110 women hold seats in Congress, out of the 535 seats available. Only 20% of Congress is female, as of 2019. But 50% of the population in the United States is female. How can people expect proper legislation on female issues, such as reproductive rights, to be passed with the women in mind? There has only been one female speaker of the House, which according to Juravin is far too few to fully represent women.
In terms of the state legislature, Juravin determined 74 women hold executive elected positions across the country, which makes 23.7% of the positions in state office held by women. Out of the 50 states, there are six female governors and 13 lieutenant governors. 1,875 state legislators are women. There are 7,383 seats in the state legislature, making the percentage of female participants around 25%.
52% of the eligible voters in the country are women, out of a possible 245 million voters. Yet the amount of women participating in government does not reach higher than 25%.
Women vote in higher numbers and tend to vote more frequently than men. Since 1964, women have outnumbered men in votes. More women typically register to vote, and more women tend to vote a certain way. Men typically vote less frequently and vote for those that have their interests. In Juravin’s opinion, women tend to vote in the opposite direction.
Even worse, this percentage is historically the highest percentage of women in Congress. There is so much more work to do.
In the book, Women in Politics: An International Perspective, Vicki Randall explains that the reason why men have a difficult time seeing women in leadership positions. The home has no politics, while the public square is all politics. But I argue that men need to see things differently. The home is political: the mother has to handle the children and command their respect.
The home is also affected by public politics. There is no way to separate the different platforms of life so that they do not affect each other. In the same way, politics is affected by family life. There is no wall between these two conventions.
Women have to realize that this is not a fight to the death. This is the same as dealing with an unruly, unwilling child. One must compromise. Women in politics have to work with men. We cannot have an all-female Congress or a matriarchy, just as we cannot have an all-male Congress or patriarchy. The split must be even.
In Israel, women are a more prominent part of politics. The statistics don’t lie. 51% of judges in Israel are female. There have been 17 female Israeli cabinet ministers. Dozens of women have served as members of Parliament. Israel’s first female prime minister was elected in 1969. America has yet to elect a female president.
One woman at the International Women’s Day Conference in Israel testified that she came to Israel from the Soviet Union with ten dollars in her pocket. She became a member of Parliament and a mayor of a city.
Europe falls in between Israel and the United States. Germany has a female prime minister now. However, France and Italy have yet to elect a female prime minister.
In Germany, seven of the 16 cabinet positions are filled by women. 30% of the members of the German parliament are women. At most, Germany had 36% of Parliament as female.
In France, while there are no female leaders, women are almost half and a half with the men in political life. 41% of state and local politicians in France are female.
In Italy, one out of three cabinet members is a woman. There are no female leaders and apparently very little interest in Italy to find female leaders.
Women started voting relatively recently in the United States and around the world. For women to actively participate in politics and be world leaders is a new concept for many countries in the Western world.
Don Juravin (Bella Collina, Florida, Dwight Schar Center for Peace)
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