In the Loop: Women underrepresented in positions of political power locally, nationally

Last week the Whitworth student body elected the three male executives of Associated Students of Whitworth University. In the past two academic years, the ASWU executive board has been composed of two male leaders and one female leader. Specifically at Whitworth, the correlation between student body gender ratio and ASWU executive candidates does not correlate proportionately year after year. Next year, the university’s ratio will be approximately 60 percent female to 40 percent male. Only two females participated in the ASWU elections this year, with only one advancing past primaries.

This board wishes to raise the question: Why aren’t more women in prominent positions in politics?

Although women make up the majority — only slightly, in the case of the United States, or by a growing margin, as in the case of Whitworth — those who hold office are not representative of the electorate.

Research shows that “women get less encouragement to run for office, men are more likely to get involved in College Democrats or Republicans or read political news, and women are less likely than men to think they’ll be qualified to run for office,” according to an article in PolicyMic.com.

Nationally, women hold only 99 of 535 seats in the 113th Congress, 20 of the 100 seats in Senate and 79 of 435 seats in the House of Representatives, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. However, the ratio of females to males in the United States is 50.8 to 49.2, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

This board does not condemn the ASWU executives for their gender, as The Whitworthian election board endorsed three male candidates, and we anticipate each will do an admirable job in leading the student body next year.

However, this board would encourage the women of Whitworth University to consider positions of leadership; in their dorms, in ASWU, and in all spheres foreign and domestic in order to accurately represent — and serve — your fellow students and citizens.

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of four editors. 

 

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