Gender affects public opinion, decision-making, voting behavior, and political involvement at all levels – national, local and on campuses.
The feminists of the 19th and early 20th century envisioned a day when women would not only vote, but also when women’s votes would affect the outcome of elections, and would create a more compassionate, nonviolent society. Such a society would outlaw child labor, aid the poor, treat the sick, care for the elderly, end war as well as violence toward women, and educate the young.
The gender gap in voting is a powerful weapon for women to win equality, reproductive freedom, and a change in the spending priorities of the nation. What the suffragists had envisioned at the turn of the century has now happened at the end of this century. Women are influencing the agenda of the nation with their votes.
William Jefferson Clinton is the first president of the United States elected by the gender gap. Not only did a majority of women vote for Clinton – if only men had voted in 1996, Bob Dole would be the President. The gender gap in favor of Clinton was fueled by women’s concerns about Medicare, Social Security, education, and abortion rights. Men placed greater emphasis on taxes and the deficit in their presidential voting.
Today the under representation of women in the decision-making spheres of all the major areas of our society – elections and appointed office, in business, executive suites, in college and university administration, law, medicine, science, athletics, media and religion – leads to a devaluation of women’s concerns, needs, and issues. Most importantly, the under representation of women in leadership roles leads to a narrowing of choices not only in leadership itself but also in options for decision-making. The under-valuing of women’s talents and contributions to decision-making hurts not only women and girls but also our society as a whole.
If women were equally represented in Congress and state legislatures today, the issue of reproductive choice for women would be settled and the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would be ratified. Additionally, affirmative action for women and people of color would remain intact until discrimination had ended, and spending for family planning, health care, the elderly, education, and the poor would be dramatically increased. This is not just wishful thinking – public opinion poll after poll shows a major gender gap on all of these issues. Moreover, studies with elected officials show these same gender gaps (Center for the American Woman and Politics). gender gap on all of these issues. Moreover, studies with elected officials show these same gender gaps (Center for the American Woman and Politics).
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .