Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and their spouses during the 59th inauguration in D.C.
President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and their spouses during the 59th inauguration in D.C.
Photo by U.S. Army Private 1st Class Laura Hardin distributed under a Public Domain Mark 1.0 license
Culture > News

In 2021, We’re Redefining Women’s Role in Politics

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.


On January 20, 2021, America’s first female Vice President, Kamala Harris, was inaugurated. It was arguably one of the most defining moments regarding women in politics. Before Harris, there were only a few female leaders in such high positions of power, like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As more women continue to venture into the field of law and politics, it has become even more crucial to incorporate women in key policy changes and ideas. 

According to the UN Women, only 21 countries have a female head of state or government, and 119 countries have never had a woman leader. Although there have been certain improvements regarding women’s participation in politics, the inequality is still apparent. For instance, for every one woman in Congress, three men take their seats. America and the rest of the world still have a long way to go to fully bridge the gender gap.

Even before women held any official legal rights to be involved in politics, they still found ways to participate in political activism. Following the first wave of feminism in the 1920s which led to the 19th Amendment, and a second surge during the 60s to 70s, the key movement focused on defining women’s place in politics. However, with a growing rise in female activism, the role has transitioned into equal power and representation in a field that is, like many, still dominated by men. 

For true representation, it is crucial for women to be able to actively participate in policy-making, especially regarding topics such as abortion, where women should hold the right to decide what happens to their bodies, not men. Only when politics fully embraces the policy of women and adheres to their needs, will true empowerment be chartered.


If you are interested in these types of topics, check out this list of feminist books to read regarding women empowerment:

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

The Feminin Mystique by Betty Friedan

A Room of One’s One by Virginia Woolf

Sally Kim

Northwestern '24

Sally is a first-year from Chicago, IL, majoring in Social Policy and double minoring in Psychology and Legal Studies. She enjoys playing tennis, biking, paddle-boarding, and running in her spare time, and also loves to bullet journal and read. You can find her rewatching Criminal Minds for the millionth time on a night in.
Jenna Spray

Northwestern '23

Jenna is a journalism and legal studies double major at Northwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys binge eating dark chocolate and studying Italian in hopes that she can one day become an honorary Italian citizen. As a washed-up high school athlete, fitness is one of Jenna's passions, and her goal is to encourage more young women to get in the weight room. You can find her curled up in her bed watching Gossip Girl or using the squat rack at your local gym.