When women went to vote this election, they were hoping to elect people into office who would chip away at the sexism and misogynoir that corrupts the woman’s ability to advance. Here are a few initiatives we would’ve written in on the ballot.
Women vote for the right to make decisions over their own bodies versus the government, most likely a man, make those decisions for them. Reproductive justice goes beyond the pro-life versus pro-choice debate, however. This issue includes proper access to sexual education, STI treatment and healthcare during and after pregnancy. The Current Population Survey reported in 2019 that Black, Hispanic and Indigenous women suffer at a poverty rate between 20 and 25%. When those women head to the polls, they are fighting for their access to resources they have a right to receive.
Women also vote in hopes of closing the wage gap. Currently, women make 81 cents per every dollar earned by men. It’s almost petty there’s a 20 cent difference. PayScale reported that the median salary for men in about 19% higher than that for women. Over time the wage gap has only increased making almost a 10 cent difference from 2015 while the male dollar has been steady. Women struggle to make the same amount as men for reasons like having to take maternity leave or even the type of positions they work in. though, none of those are excuses. In reality, it’s a result of the perpetuated stereotype women cannot perform as well as men in the workplace.
The Center for American Women and Politics reported 131 women will serve in the next Congress. Though they still only make up less than a quarter of the seats in legislature, there are more women climbing the political ladder to change that number. The fact Sen. Kamala Harris made it from a presidential bid to a vice presidential nomination is a significant win for women getting their foot in the White House. Since before Shirley Chisolm’s campaign and the women’s suffrage movement, women had a determination to be in the room where decisions were made affecting their lives.
Women should not be the means of meeting a gender quota. They should be positioned in their occupations because they have full capability to do so. According to McKinsey & Company, women are still at risk of being stuck at entry level instead of ascending to managers. Gender bias continues to taint the work women put twice the effort into doing just to be considered on the same level as their male counterparts. Along with unequal advancement, women are treated unfairly, objectified and often sexualized just because of their gender. Women deserve to be treated with the same respect as men whether in leadership or as the average coworker.
Diversity and Inclusivity
The fight for women’s equality means all women including Black women, women of color and transgender women. Gender plays as a major setback, but on top of any other identity, it seems some women get pushed farther down the social pyramid. When women head to the ballots, they look for someone who takes into account the socioeconomic disparities women of color face and the LGBT rights that are yet to be taken seriously by the government. Trans advocacy organizations are accounting for their own community and funding their own community. Black and brown organizations have been providing specific resources to the women who are affected by systematic racism. The minority is swiftly becoming the majority, meaning women want someone in power who looks like them.
Stereotypes fed by patriarchal beliefs are what keep women in a limbo when it comes to equality. Electing women to positions of power raises hope that one day we will live in a country ran by a government that recognizes women to be a vital asset toward decision making.
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