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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, March 02, 2024
Clinton has devoted her adult life to promoting women's rights.

Clinton has devoted her adult life to promoting women's rights.

Clinton paves the way for young women

This general election is historic for many reasons. However, one of the most groundbreaking reasons is Hillary Clinton’s fantastic strides for women. Not only is she the first woman to be nominated by a major party, but she is looking at an impressive lead over her opponent, Donald Trump. She could potentially steamroll her way to being the first female president in United States history. 

For many, it is a wonder how it has taken until 2016 for a woman to make it to politics’ highest office. It has been almost a century since women got the right to vote and women have taken many other offices across the political spectrum. But, there is still much work to do when it comes to gender equality in the realm of politics. 

Women are massively outnumbered across political bodies in this country. They make up under 20 percent of seats in Congress, with 104 out of 535 congresspeople being women. In the Senate, there are 20 women. On a state level, women make up a quarter of members of the state legislature across the country. 

When we see this huge disparity between genders in the way we represent our country, it is shocking. Why are women not more prominent as elected officials?

After seeing the way Hillary Clinton has been treated during her campaign for president, it is not surprising why there aren’t more women who want to be elected officials. Clinton has repeatedly been  questioned as to whether or not she is qualified to be President, and many people believe this doubt held in the eyes of some American voters because she is a woman. With her resumé—former first lady, senator and secretary of state—she has the connections and experience that American voters should expect from a presidential candidate. However, when put next to Donald Trump, some people still question whether or not she is qualified.

The way women have been treated in this election as a whole is also a red flag for women and girls who want to go into politics. Sometimes it seems that offending women is a cornerstone of Trump’s campaign; whether he is accusing Megyn Kelly of being on her period when she questioned his policies, admitting to using his fame to seduce women or most recently calling Clinton a “nasty woman” at the final presidential debate, Trump has been overtly insulting and demeaning towards women throughout his campaign. 

Why would women want to willingly go into a field where they will be outnumbered and bullied? If Clinton, one of the most influential voices in politics, is victim to gender stereotypes and mistreatment, women in lower offices must be experiencing the same scrutiny. 

While it may not be easy, one of the only surefire cures against this inherent sexism in American politics may be to get more women in office. We as a country need to help settle the fears of young girls and women and instead encourage them to take part in the democracy that is our country. When more women hold office and become active voices in government, sexism and the mistreatment of women will become more and more unacceptable.

Hillary Clinton is dominating in the polls against Donald Trump and will hopefully be elected president this November. While she is not everyone’s favorite nominee, she is ultimately helping pave the way for women for generations to come in the world of politics. She is taking the courageous first steps into a world that doesn’t welcome her with open arms, but will nonetheless succeed. 

Samantha is a sophomore majoring in journalism and communication arts.  Please send all comments, questions and concerns to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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