Why We Need Women in Politics

As our world continues to become more and more controversial, policies and legislation that goes against women’s rights and freedoms continue to be brought up in both levels of Congress. With that being said, laws and bills that protect women’s rights are also being continuously questioned and challenged by lawmakers that are primarily male. Before we go into the why we need women in politics, let’s look at the current numbers of how many women are in Congress, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. Firstly, let’s look a Congress. According to cawp.edu, there are currently 127 women that hold seats in the United States Congress. There are 535 members of Congress, so percentage wise, women make up only 23.7% of Congress. In the House of Representatives, of the 435 voting members, women only hold 101 of those seats, which equals out to 23.2% of women in the House of Representatives. Lastly, In the United States Senate, of the 100 members, women only hold 26 seats, making up 26% of the Senate. Looking a bit deeper, of the 127 women in Congress, only 22 are African American, 13 are Latina, eight are Asian American/ Pacific Islanders, two are Native American, two are Middle Eastern/North American, and only one is multiracial. Of the 101 women in the House of Representatives, 22 are African American, 12 are Latinas, six are Asian American/ Pacific Islanders, two are Native American, and two are Middle Eastern/North American. Lastly, of the 26 members of the Senate, there are only two Asian American Pacific Islanders, one Latina, and one multiracial woman. So, not only are women severely underrated, women of color are also brutally underrepresented. Why is women representation important? One of the biggest reason is the fight

for reproductive rights. In 2019, women all over the United States saw one of the largest attacks on abortion rights from President Trump enacting a Title X gag rule, linked is more about the gag rule, to Alabama signing the harshest abortion policies into law since Row v. Wade in 1973. If we continue to lack in women’s voices in our highest representation of government, then the challenges for women to have free reproductive rights will be in extreme jeopardy. Why should we as women let older men who are behind in the times get to decide what we, as women, do with our bodies? Why do older men get to decide that all women are taking birth control to only prevent pregnancies when we, as women, know that birth control is used for so many other purposes? Why do our male politicians continuously criminalize and defame Planned Parenthood for allegedly only being a place where women get abortions when in reality, abortions is only 3% of what Planned Parenthood does? As I mentioned previously, we are in desperate need of not only women, but women of color in office. As racial tensions continue to rise among our country, we need the voices of the African American, the Latina, and all of our other diverse communities to push for laws and legislations that not only encourage America to be equal in gender, but also equal in race. We have also seen how several illnesses target minority communities more and more, and yet, we still see minority women unable to get proper healthcare. For example, according to endofound.org, black women are more susceptible to higher birth mortality rates, disproportionate health conditions impacting black women who receive little government research funding, and underrepresentation of black women in clinical trials. We have made such significant progress with women becoming more and more politically active; however, we have such a long way to go until we see equality. With that, I will

leave you with a quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg which perfectly sums up the point of this article. “When I’m sometimes asked when where there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”