Introduction to Women in Politics
History has reflected that women take part in political life but number of women leader is very low as compare to men leader. But, in modern life, participation of women in public life is became very high but they have to face different obstacles. The current research report is based on subject of women in politics (Randall and Waylen, 2012). Regarding this, research will focus on two different questions in which one is “Why have there been so few women leaders in Britain and globally?” and another one is “Are the qualities required by women to succeed in public life different to those required by men?”. So, study will focus on the reasons behind the existence of few women leaders in Britain and all over the world. Along with this, it will also focus on the requirements of qualities for being a successful leader in political life and difference of this requirement in men and women.
Why Have There Been So Few Women Leaders In Britain And Globally
The report discusses on the reason as to why there are very few women leaders in Britain and in other countries. Women are criticized and are given less opportunities then men in the global world. Though the picture seems to be fair from society’s perspective, there are many backlogs created for women in politics knowingly or unknowingly. The research studies the reasons that are prevailing in international countries as well. Women all around the world are scrutinized of being a weak gender then Men. Feminism has been brought into light for this fact, but has not created a harsh impact in curbing the social evils that creates challenges for women (Franceschet, Krook and Piscopo, 2012).
The Queen being the most important women leader of UK deserves her own different category in politics. Though not being part of politics she is a live example of excellence and royalty serving needs of citizen and society. For example in early 17 century Britain received its first early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft as advocate of women education. In 1979 Margaret Thatcher was first ever women prime minister of Britain by winning in-precedence third general elections. She was renowned politician known as the “Iron Lady” for her pro-privatization policy. There are more names that can be added to the list of most popular faces of Britain's Politics like, Samantha Cameron, Sayeeda Warsi, Caroline Lucas, Yvette Cooper and many more. Though there are many influential women names in Britain's politics (Blagg and et.al, 2014). Women still lack to outgrow the number of men in politics. Anderson, Diabah and Mensa state that “even after introduction of motion regarding equality of both genders for the royal throne i.e. The first child rather than first son can be the successor of the royal crown, there are eventually many evidence that male are considered to be the first choice of royal throne” (Anderson, Diabah and Mensa, 2011). Eventually, on global level as well the situation is not different to Britain. Women have faced many challenges and issues in reaching to a position of name and fame in politics. Reasons as to why there are few women leaders in Britain and globally are discussed below as:
Gender inequality is the unequal treatment towards female gender by the society and men. It is due to the fact that social background constructs women's image as not being equal then men.& A significant portion of the society feels that men can do a certain job better than women (Facts and statistics on gender inequality, 2015). Though women are equally capable of performing any job or task like men. Even biological structure of women like brain structure, hormonal difference and etc. is considered a reason of inequality towards women. As per reports only 1 in 4 MPs is a women in Britain specifically. UK is ranked at 58th number in regards to the presence of women in parliament (Smit, 2015). Many feminist groups claim that gender inequality was a problem which was created by men. Gardiner said that “Gender equality is due to the fact that men consider that power lies in their own will”. And they can mold the society and situation according to their will (Gardiner, 2013). The set difference of men and society towards forced will of power on women creates gender inequality in Britain as well as globally. Intelligent in men and women are respectively equal but still men are consider to have a better intelligent quotient then women. These ill mind set of a specific gender towards the opposite has created issue for women (Facts and statistics on gender inequality, 2015).
This kind of gender inrquality is still present in many nations where females are not givdn a right to vote. But it is also true that there has been a drastic chane in politicla setup ofg mabny nations that have given women a right to vote. For example, womenm voting was regarded as a major political issue in the late 19th century.; But things saw a change with latter half of the 19th century, where females were rendered a right to vote. It was only after the voting right was executed that Elizabeth Yates became Mayor of Onehunga. It was first ever such post that was held by a female in British Empire. In this regard, it is further to be noted that Soviet Union, Austria and Germany were the nations that introduced women's right to vote during the time span of 1917-1919. But switzerland ontorduced the same very late being in the year 1971 (Switzerland's Long Way to Women's Right to Vote, 2004).
Likewise gender inequality, gender stereotype is termed as over generalization of a particular gender. Women roles is generalized or fixed by the opposite gender or society. Earlier women were considered to be just a household figure who will perform only their household duty (Koonz, 2013). Now the situation has improved but still no such extra advancements have been made. Men still consider women to be generalized by their social image of past (Gender stereotypes, 2015). They have a preconception about performance of women in politics or as a leader. It is a wrongful act as it violates the basic right of women to be considered equally by the society. Women loss their fundamental right of freedom by getting stereotyped of them being born as a equal and capable gender. Gender stereotypes arises from motions that men can do all sort of work to earn their daily bread whereas women cannot. This creates wrongful judgment in society for women specifically in politics. For example, a clear trend is followed on society that only a women can take better care of their child and not men. This is due the fact that men are obliged to earn for their family. This is wrong as both men and women have same maturity to raise and take of a child (100 most powerful women in Britain: Business, Academia and Politics, 2015). This is type of stereotype is also known as been caused due to cultural significance of the country. Women are typically associated to domesticity and men to occupation rising complexities for women to work as a leader in politics.
The issue of gender stereptyie can be seen in Scandinavian countries by the manner they treat the& female politicians. This is as the country has got maximum proportion of women in politics but still there is an absence of any female that hols the posiotion of Prime Minister. It is aoo account of the gender sterptyrs that does not allow females to attsainpostion of leader (Cook and Cussack, 2011).
In the same way, the gender stereotypes can be witnessed in the Arab world where the nations still lag behind with respect to political status of its women. The arab world has been ranked as second-lowest region in world wqith respect to Gender Empowerment Measure as done by United Nations Development Programme. It is also the lowest in terms of percentage of women in parliaments (Sabbagh, 2015).
Only 35% of women are elected councilors of government and just 34% of civil servants are women. Occupational discrimination is followed on the basis of jobs based on a person’s gender. The above figures states that women are considered to be a weak gender when it comes to politics. They have low opportunities of becoming a part of political system of the society. Gender discrimination is based on the fact that woman's gender is considered to be a barrier to professional growth (Women and Work: The Facts, 2015). On the other hand wage discrimination occurs when women are paid low wages due to them been born as a women. This issue the fact that men are considered to be a powerful gender in political field specifically. Women are dealing with issues of posturized as a weak gender in the society (Randall and Waylen, 2012). Blagg said that “women have undergone sexual and violent harassment on them, when raising their employment skills in politics” (Blagg, 2014). In 1893 only Switzerland was the first country to evolve right to vote for women. In a age of technological advancements Saudi Arabia granted right to vote to women in 2015. This clearly depicts the challenges faced by women due to high instances of discrimination against them.
Cultural in-significance of male dominant society
In culture of society, it is analysed that men are head of the family and they are superior to women in any field. In aspects of society, males are more dominant as compare to women and they generally take the decisions which are related to women. They do not give that much liberty to women that they can take their own decisions. If any women are trying to start work or to take their own decisions, the issues of male ego and dominance may arise (Muller, 2015). In case of politics, men generally do not accept controls of women on them and in case if this happens then dominance and ego factor arises. As per Clots-Figueras, “through the male dominance, many women accepted that they are lacking their confidence level because men are not giving opportunities to take any external responsibilities and risks” (Clots-Figueras, 2011). The issue of male dominance and their ego gives adverse effect on women because women are lacking their self-belief and confidence level. The lack of mentoring opportunities increases the lack of confidence level in women. In politics, men largely dominate political arena in which they formulate rules and policies of political games (Wang and Kelan, 2013). To create a leader, it is important to provide right conditions in society for women to flourish.
Work and life challenges
Working women have to balance their both life and profession equally and for this they have to give importance to both. Both are equally important for women but they have to smartly handle both. If women are working, she has also responsibilities of family with work. Gardiner states that “In many situations, to balance both work and social life women were perceived to be lacking flexibility” (Gardiner, 2013). They have to take care of, family, relatives and office works. They have to complete both responsibilities with equal importance. Many times at workplace women are not considered to be serious about their work and career because they are also taking the responsibilities of home (Otten, 2012).
Lack of female role models
The female role models which are at leader position are less in politics. If there are more female leaders present than they will motivate and influence many other women to work hard and to achieve healthy and higher position. Due to lack of knowledge, skills and experience, few women become leader (Wittmer and Bouche, 2013). Koonz said that “The main reason behind lack of role model is their career is interrupted and they do not get chance to complete their studies and due to lack of knowledge they feel more isolated and less confident” (Koonz, 2013). When women get to university level, the picture seems to be change because many women refused to study further. Due to this fewer women are not capable to enter in politics and lead the public in right direction. In many cases not enough women holds the higher level jobs due to their several personal reasons. Further, in case of politics the political life is form according to norms and values of men (Women in Politics, 2014).
Eventually, on global level as well as in Britain, the above reasons describe that why less females leaders are in politics. Women face many challenges in personal life and at workplace. In society males easily do not accept women at their equal and same place due to gender stereotype and inequality. Here, it can be advised that if females are required to be given more mentoring roles in leadership then need is that the female responsibilities should be shared equally by the males as well. The males, families and political parties have to give support to females and also have to provide encouragement and motivation which will help to lead the parties. With all these suggestions the confidence level of women will also increase.
In most of the countries women take part in political life but still there are some nations where women cannot be a good leader because of different barriers. The current research report have discussed that different reasons behind so few women leaders in Britain and Global. Including this, research has also concluded that there are no different between required qualities to succeed in public life for men and women. As per the study major reason behind the few women leaders in Britain are Gender Inequality, Gender stereotypes, Motherhood Responsibility, Discrimination, Masculinity, Cultural in-significance of male dominant society and Lack of female role models, etc. therefore, due to all these reasons number of women leaders are less in Britain. Similarly, project has also concluded that, there is no different in qualities required by women and men to succeed in public life. These qualities include honesty, intelligence, decisive, organized, compassionate, innovative and ambitious.
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