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Women and Politics


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Women and Politics

Have Their Chances of Holding Office Improved?
Women and Politics

Only 60 seats out of the 1,319 seats of the historic Senate have been filled by women. That is less than 1/20 of anyone who has ever held a seat in the Senate. Why is that? The scales are tipped and not in women’s favor.

The first ever time that a woman was appointed to the Senate was in 1922. Her name was Rebecca Latimer Felton, and she only served for a day then her term was over because she was appointed, which means she only got her seat because they needed a representative and there was no election coming up.

Soon after Felton, Hattie Wyatt Caraway became the 1st woman elected to the Senate. The way she got into politics was from her husband. The first time she was in the Senate was because her husband died. The senate didn’t have anyone lined up so they decided – who better than his wife to fill his seat? She did such a good job that when she ran again, she won all on her own in a regular election. She was amazing, but she would have never been recognized if it weren’t for her husband, and that should not have been the case. 

Shirley Chisholm was the first ever woman to run for president and even though everyone hated Richard Nixon, who was her opponent, they still voted for him. Why, because she was a minority woman, (Minority means a small group of people who are discriminated against because of their differences). It was even harder for her, a Democrat that everyone agreed with to win the race than a Republican that everyone disagreed with. This was all because she was a woman. She had the same views as the majority of the people yet they still didn’t want a sophisticated woman to run their country all because of her gender. How unfair was that?  Nixon actively hurt the economy during his term. One of the horrible things Nixon did was called “The Watergate Scandal”. The Watergate Scandal was when Nixon hired 5 burglars to take photos and install wiretaps on the telephone. According to “Nixon, a Republican, would stop at nothing to win this war of hearts and minds, and in the end, even was willing to break the law to do it.” Despite all of that because Shirley’s skin and gender people didn’t vote for her. Nixon caused an economic depression in the USA yet he still got the votes. And that is very wrong. 

According to the Eagleton Institute of Politics, 14 out of the 50 states have only Elected one woman to the Senate ever. 13 states have been represented by women twice in the Senate. And only 6 states have had 3 women in the Senate. That is way too low of a number. This is part of the reason why it will take a long time to have a congress that reflects the whole country. A senate that represents the whole nation would have 50% women, which is currently nowhere near that. Currently, we only have 25% of the senate seats filled with women. Right now we have a lot more women in politics than we started with. We have women like Hillary Clinton and Nikki Hailey running for president and going on to the primaries (the primaries are where the parties vote for their representatives). Despite that, there is still work to do because neither of them has become the final candidate.

We finally have our first woman vice president, Kamala Harris. Kamala Harris started as a senator from California and then Joe Biden chose her to be his vice president. We also had a woman win the Democratic primary and go on to lose the final election. There are still women being elected into the congress but there are not nearly as many women as men.

The future seems a long way away. Right? But it isn’t. The future is two seconds ahead of you, the future could be you touching the next key on your keyboard. The future of politics could be women. Women politicians should be more common, but some people do not think they are as capable as men. 

The future of women in politics is younger women like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. She started to gain recognition when she beat Joe Crowly in 2018 to become the US representative for New York’s 14th Congressional District. When she took office at 29 she officially became the youngest woman ever to serve in the US Congress. She inspires young women to follow their dreams no matter what the odds are even if they are the underdog, they can still win. So she inspires everyone to try no matter what.

Did that surprise you? It surprised me the first time I found it out. This country has been set up unfairly for women. We are slowly correcting this wrong. It still takes time for this change to fully happen. It started with the past and people like Rebecca Latimer Felton, Hattie Wyatt Caraway, and Shirley Chisholm. Their hard work did not go to waste; it encouraged people like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Kamala Harris. Now the only way all of these legacies can continue is if women get a fair shot and try.

Works Cited

Center for American Women and Politics.


Paulus, Rajdeep. The Most Influential Women in Politics. New York City, Rosen Publishing Group, 2019.

“Watergate: The Scandal That Brought down President Nixon.” Newsela,

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