Underrepresentation of Women in Politics 

By Jen Mejia 

In the United States, women make up 51% of the nation’s population but only make up 20% of congress, an underrepresented portion. This accounts for fewer than half of the members of Congress. In the 1990s, the number of women in Congress increased from 29 to 47. The thought of a woman becoming president has become more prevalent in the United States since Hillary Clinton fought for presidency in 2016.

Women vote, but how can we raise the number of women in positions of power?  More women running for office does not guarantee that more of them will be elected. One major factor of underrepresentation of women in politics includes gender discrimination. Many Americans believe that women do not have the qualifications to serve in our government. However, many women who run for office do have skills which make them very competent. Those in current positions of power have outstanding qualifications. As a result, continuing to highlight strong women like Kamala Harris, Marjorie Taylor Green, and others allow for more citizens to elect women. Another factor is women become far less likely than males to run for government because they are more emotional and hence unwilling to leave their families.  Women also dislike competition, states Christopher Berry, professor at the University of Chicago. If a woman and a man both have the same qualifications, women tend to underestimate themselves and assume they do not have the skills it takes. Women do win as often as men but this does not mean that gender discrimation does not exist. Which reminds us that women have not been a part of this nation’s politics for a long time.  

Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to Congress. “I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last,” she declared. The United States is the 103rd country in terms of women being included in government. The first step in addressing the underlying issue of women’s underrepresentation in politics is to utilize your voice and empower women.