What are the characteristics that make a good leader for a country; honesty, leadership, trust and two Y chromosomes? So far in the US, there have been 44 presidents, all male. Recently though, women have been making huge strides in overcoming gender bias in attaining important political positions, in 2018 we saw more women than ever before elected to Congress in the midterm elections. It doesn’t stop there, this year there is a record number of six women running for the democratic party for the 2020 presidential nomination in the US. This inspires hope that maybe one day soon the pattern of a male president of the US will break.
There are many various factors that have contributed to this overwhelming spike in female candidates. The first being Hillary Clinton. “I’m With Her” was Hillary’s slogan campaign, depicting how gender bias and gender inequality were some of the largest barriers that she had to overcome during the campaign. She is seen as a trailblazer for women, empowering women nationwide, only to lose to Donald Trump after having made it to the final round. Donald Trump and what he represents has also incentivised women to run for the presidential nomination. Trump has been publicly outed for sexual harassment and controversial statements he made towards women in the past. Such behavior has lit a fire in the bellies of women for them to see change and to be the source of that change. This has been demonstrated through public surveys, which demonstrated that whilst 49% of men disapprove of Trump’s behavior, 65% of women do. Furthermore, Trump not stemming from the traditional background suited to a presidential candidate, has women asking themselves the same question, “if he can do it, why can’t I?.”
As aforementioned, last year saw more women elected to Congress than ever before, as well as a more diverse array of elected members overall. This has the effect of inspiring younger women and making such positions seem more accessible to them. Role models have always been vital in inspiring the future generation, so the more women who attain such esteemed positions will have the continued effect of encouraging more and more women to apply to such positions as well.
Despite having a record number of women running, an outstanding issue is that they tend to be lesser known than their male counterparts. The current front runners for the Democratic nomination being male candidates. The first you might recognize from the memes of his friendship with Obama is former vice-president, Joe Biden, at 28% of voter support. Second runner up is currently Bernie Sanders who was a previous presidential candidate in 2016, who currently holds 25% of voter support. A female candidate who stands out due to her unconventional background is the friend and
spiritual advisor to Oprah, Marianne Williamson, who through her spiritual teaching background will most likely offer a fresh insight into current problems.
The next US presidential election is scheduled for November 3rd of 2020, so stay tuned and follow the election over the next year, for with this many female nominees this presidential election might just lead to history in the making.