Women’s rise positive trend
Published: November 16, 2012
Whatever your view of the current state of politics and governance, one indisputable fact about that state is that it’s almost entirely the work of men.
Even though voters last week decided to keep in place the basic framework of the national government’s gridlock — Democratic president and Senate, Republican House — they implemented significant change in a different but significant way. They elected women.
Even as two male Republican Senate candidates who had been favorites blew up their candidacies by spouting nonsense about rape and abortion, voters embraced female candidates. Elizabeth Warren won in Massachusetts. Claire McCaskill won in Missouri. Tammy Baldwin captured a seat in Wisconsin. Heidi Heitkamp prevailed in Nebraska and Deb Fisher won in North Dakota. In January, the Senate will have 20 female members, a record.
The House will have at least 77 female members, also a record.
And the trend wasn’t limited to the federal level. Kathleen Kane of Lackawanna County, for example, became the first woman to be elected attorney general in Pennsylvania.
One aspect of the trend is that it illustrates part of the Republican Party’s national electoral loss, in that the vast majority of elected women are Democrats.
But the trend also could herald a shift of governance beyond traditional party affiliation. How a larger contingent of women officeholders would affect governance long has been an open question because politics has been dominated by men. Now, with the number of women candidates and victors finally increasing, the question might finally be answered.
Given the effectiveness of many women who have served in the United States, and the positive influence of high-ranking women officials in other democracies around the world, the trend likely is very positive.