“It’s an issue we are all aware of and most choose not talk about; it’s the issue of women’s inequality in the political system. Gender inequality was an issue talked about among students and staff of the department of political science. Dr. Bill Lyons, Gail Garbrandt and Dr.””
It’s an issue we are all aware of and most choose not talk about; it’s the issue of women’s inequality in the political system.
Gender inequality was an issue talked about among students and staff of the department of political science.
Dr. Bill Lyons, Gail Garbrandt and Dr. Helen Qammar contributed different ideas to the discussion.
Gail Garbrandt, manager of internships at the Bliss Institute, was the one who wanted to hold the discussion because she went to conference in Austria this past summer.
It was a working conference and it was entitled ‘Securing the contributions of women,’ Garbrandt said. We were looking at women in their role as peacekeepers, soldiers, conflict situations and in reconstruction after conflict and also women in government.
She pointed to the fact that women have been the catalyst of every social movement including slavery, the civil war and human rights.
More recently, woman have had an impact on conflict management.
It’s because women are disproportionably the victims in conflict, she continued. They are the ones who become widows. They’re the ones that are internally displaced in the country. Their children are killed, raped, tortured and sold into human trafficking and all kind of atrocities that we don’t even consider here in the United States.
Women and men have different life experiences and are socialized differently. Because women are often targeted in war, they have become a large force in conflict management.
That is why she believes it is important to have women at the policy making table; they are not mothers and not caregivers.
Dr. Bill Lyons was the only male professor to speak at the lecture. He gave students some interesting statistics about women in the political field.
Since 1789, only two percent of the members in congress were women. Today there are only 16 women senators out of 100 and 71 women out of 435 Representatives.
When mentioning women presidential candidates most people have visions of Hillary Clinton’s historical run for the White House, while few know of those that came before her. In 1872, Victoria Claflin Woodhuff paved the way for future women leaders by becoming the first woman to run for office.
Since then 11 women, including Clinton, have gone against the grain in hopes of calling 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. home.
This is in addition to the five that stepped into the passenger seats running beside men such as Walter Mondale, Ralph Nader and Senator John McCain.
Lyons also pointed out to students that for every dollar that men earn women only earn 77 cents for the same job.
Insuring equal pay is easier said than done. According to Lyons, there is an act that is trying to do just that.
There’s a movement out there called the pay equity movement, he said. It is trying to require that if you do the same job then you should get the same pay. This was something that Lyons said he believes will pass.
Unequal pay is a form of discrimination. Also, women are less likely to be seen as capable and as skilled in a world where decisions are made on golf courses and in saunas.
This is something that Garbrandt said women taking more leadership roles is becoming more common, but has yet to reach the United States.
Lyons offered one last thought on what can be done to help ensure the equality between the two genders.
I wouldn’t focus my question on what can women do. I would focus my question more on what can men do, he said.
He thought that if men can do at least 50 percent of the domestic labor, women can have similar successes in the public sector.
It is often easier for someone to do well in a public or private sector if they have another person to take care of the family back at home; something that normally women do not have.
If women had this support it would be easier for women to get involved with politics and other leadership positions.
Women are already doing a lot, he said. I don’t know that I would point my finger at women and say ‘you need to work harder.’ I would point my finger at myself and other men and say we need to share the load.