More women in politics, even in Georgia

Female representation in politics is vital since it inspires more women to break the glass ceiling. Photo by Kirsten Jackson | The Signal

The 2016 election race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump served as inspiration for more women to get involved in the political world, and Georgia is no exception.

“It’s something that has been building for a long time,” said Georgia State Political Science professor Alexandra Pauley. “The more women we see in positions of power, the more women will aspire to those positions.”

This is known as the concept of descriptive representation, wherein a person wants to feel represented in a demographic, and therefore will run for a position in order to be represented.

In America, there is a binary of being Republican or Democrat, and as a politician, it is very hard to go against the policies and ideals of your party. According to Pauley, this is a reason why the rigid institutions have continued to let white men get elected to leadership positions and have the power to make policies that predominantly involve women.

However, other countries under female leadership have succeeded and thrived.

“Having women in power does change dynamics,” said Pauley. “It forces a change in status quo simply because women have been forced to play the subservient role for centuries.”

Pauley believes having women in charge would be very beneficial and necessary for faster change. She also emphasized the importance of the younger generation playing a part in politics, and that every vote matters, which was evident in the 2016 presidential election.

Georgia is seeing the effects of women embracing their political side; currently, two of the four candidates running on the Democratic ticket for governor of Georgia are both women, Stacey Evans and Stacey Abrams.

While the odds are somewhat stacked against them in the race for governor, another problem they will potentially run into is the race to beat out each other.

“They could potentially knock each other out during the primary campaign, and the right wing media can come out and say neither of them were fit for the role because of their gender,” Pauley said.

Kristyn Drummonds, a Georgia State student, head Freshman Liaison for SGA and intern for Stacey Evans, said the candidate was inspired by seeing more women run for positions, as well as from her own struggles growing up in rural Georgia.

“She wants to make policies that will help people that need it, instead of benefitting people that have been benefitting forever,” said Drummonds.

Seeing women striving for leadership positions has also inspired young students at Georgia State with big goals. Madeline Moore, a freshman political science major at Georgia State has big career aspirations of someday being a senator from Georgia, but she is aware of the challenges she might face of being a woman.

“Other candidates would probably bring up stuff in debates referring to the fact that I’m a woman and incapable of holding office,” said Moore. “But I’m not going to stop that from letting me live my dream. That would just be the patriarchy at work.”