Will Women Ever Have a Significant Presence in Politics?

July 14, 2008 | NeW Staff

         I have just returned from in Chicago where I attended a seminar for work. At the seminar, I was quite surprised at the ratio of men to women. Out of about sixty or so participants on the conference, less than ten were women. In addition, of the four visiting faculty, none were women. The conference was given by a free-market/Libertarian organization, but I don’t think there is anything in tha view that is specifically against women. I am inclined to think that if there were a parallel Communist seminar, women wouldn’t be highly represented either.

       Now, I am by no means saying there was any sort of discrimination, nor that I’d like there to be more women at conferences just for diversity’s sake (Ok, for my own benefit, it would be nice to have more women with whom to socialize). I just wonder why these ratios are observed. I am the first to say that women and men are inherently different in many ways. I took a class in my 2nd year which highlighted some of the areas of divergence between the sexes and I’m sure we covered this one…. Maybe it is women’s tendency to work for conflict resolution, which debating politics may seem destructive more than constructive.

          What I want to know is your thoughts on why. Why do women in general seem to be less interested in politics than men? Also, is this difference something that will change with time and effort or does it stem from natural and perhaps immutable differences? The last extension, to me, seems to be then our role as NeW in helping shape the next generation of these women, and how that looks in light of my previous suppositions.

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