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The Role of Women in Politics

             By failing to address the gender bias that discounts the contributions of women, many development policies and programs intended to alleviate impoverishment actually are making the problem worse. There are developmental groups in both the private and public sphere that focus on the role of women, but the flaws inherent I current development practices cannot be fixed by relatively minor allocations of funds to women. Fundamental changes are needed in mainstream politics and approaches in order to better suit and account for women in today's private and public sectors.
             Historically, women have played a relatively small role in politics. For more than half of the history of America, women were not even given the right to vote. However, women today are as active as men in most electoral activities and generally turn out in higher numbers to vote in elections (Junn, 390). This paper will analyze the involvement of women in politics and political positions, what issues are most important to women, and the voting patterns of women.
             In 1920 the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed. This Amendment, giving women the right to vote, launched a reform in the American political system. Since that time, it has been documented that women vote less frequently, talk about politics less, and are less likely to run for office. These conclusions about the political behavior of women were based on data gathered between the mid-1950s and the beginning of the 1970s. However, since the mid-1970s, the gap in political participation between men and women has begun to narrow and even disappear in some areas. Now that women are better educated, more likely to be employed outside the home, and have more access to better economic resources, they are just as likely to take an active role in politics. The 1980s and 1990s ended after an explosion in the numbers of women in official and elected political positions at all levels of the government; it also bore witness to a massive increase in participation by women in electoral politics (Junn 388).

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