We are quite lucky to have the right to vote for who we want to represent us in office and make big decisions. Around the world, men and women both are taking positions of power. So, why has America not had a woman president, or even a woman vice president before Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris?
It’s important to recognize just how important it is that Harris will be the first female, Black and South Asian vice president. It is crazy to think about the lack of diversity within American politics, especially when diversity is so essential in all other aspects of American life.
Many women have worked their way up to other important political positions, such as seats in Congress and the Supreme Court. Rutgers reports that Congress is made up of 23.7% women and 76.3% men. This is a great step for feminism and women’s rights. It is one of the first times in history that women comprised around ¼ of Congress. On the other hand, this still raises the question: Why is it not more?
Presidential demographics call into question the progressivism of America. Women, like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, have both gotten farther in the presidential election process than any other women in the past. Clinton even won the popular vote in 2016, meaning more people ended up voting for a woman compared to a man. The election of 2020 featured six female democratic presidential candidates, a record number.
“Right now in the United States, I feel like women’s rights are ever changing. Women can vote, women can have a job, women can have health benefits, etc. However, it is no secret that other countries are more developed. Women are presidents in other countries, women do not have to constantly fear sexual assault, women receive equal pay, women receive paid maternity leave,” Katie Ache said.
It is difficult to come to a conclusion, because for women’s rights, America is far ahead of many countries and also far behind others. For example, women couldn’t vote until 1869, when Wyoming became the first state to grant women the right. The FDA also did not approve the now commonly accepted birth control pill until 1960, which was only 60 years ago. Modern day women’s rights are still recent developments.
It is a great start for America to elect a female vice president of color. For upcoming elections, it is important to support women of color and vote them into positions of power, and not only for the presidential election, but Congress as well. The goal is to make those percentages reach parity. A quarter is not good enough.