Women’s History Month and Under-Representation

Women’s History Month and Under-Representation
Mar 20, 2023

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of women throughout history. As we reflect on the progress that has been made, it’s important to acknowledge the barriers that women have faced, and continue to face, in achieving equality in all aspects of life, including politics.

In the United States, women have made significant strides in the political arena, but there is still much work to be done. While women make up over half of the US population, they are vastly underrepresented in Congress, in Cabinet positions, and as Governors.

Currently, women make up only 27% of the United States Congress, with 26% of the Senate and 27% of the House of Representatives being female. This is a marked improvement from just a few decades ago when women made up less than 5% of Congress.

Women have also been historically underrepresented in Cabinet positions, with only a handful of women serving as Cabinet Secretaries in US history. In fact, it wasn’t until 1933 that the first woman was appointed to a Cabinet position, with Frances Perkins serving as Secretary of Labor under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Similarly, women have been underrepresented in the position of Governor, with only 44 women serving as Governors in the entire history of the United States. Currently, only 9 out of 50 US states have female Governors.

The lack of women in positions of power in politics is not just a matter of representation; it has real-world consequences for women’s lives. Women’s perspectives and experiences are essential in shaping policies that affect them, their families, and their communities. The underrepresentation of women in politics means that women’s voices are often left out of important policy discussions and decisions.

Furthermore, the underrepresentation of women in politics sends a message to young girls and women that their voices are not valued in political leadership. This can discourage women from pursuing careers in politics and perpetuate the cycle of underrepresentation.

Additionally, the under-representation of women in politics can have significant implications for women’s health, including neo-natal care and birth injury. This is because women’s health needs and experiences are often not fully understood or addressed in policy decisions related to healthcare.

For example, policies related to maternal health and childbirth are often shaped by policymakers who are not directly affected by these issues. This can result in policies that do not fully consider the needs and experiences of pregnant women and new mothers, leading to inadequate or inappropriate care.

Additionally, women’s health issues are often stigmatized or not taken seriously, leading to a lack of funding and resources for research and treatment. This can be particularly problematic for neo-natal care and birth injury, where early detection and intervention can be critical for the health and well-being of both mother and child.

Furthermore, the under-representation of women in politics can result in a lack of focus on women’s health issues in general. This can mean that important healthcare issues affecting women, such as reproductive rights and access to contraception, are not prioritized, leading to inadequate or inaccessible care.

In short, the under-representation of women in politics can have far-reaching implications for women’s health, including neo-natal care and birth injury. It is essential that women’s voices and perspectives are fully represented in political decision-making to ensure that policies related to healthcare reflect the needs and experiences of all women.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let us not only recognize the accomplishments of women in politics but also recognize the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender parity in political leadership. Only when women are fully represented in politics can we truly have a government that reflects the diversity and needs of all its citizens.