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A FIGHT FOR GENDER EQUALITY WITHIN THE UNITED STATES’

GOVERNMENT
by
Albertus, Yanuar
Department of International Relations
Universitas Airlangga
Surabaya, INDONESIA
E-mail: yanuar.albertus@yahoo.com

Dewi, Ni Made Citra Kusuma
Department of International Relations
Universitas Airlangga
Surabaya, INDONESIA
E-mail: made.citrakusumadewi@gmail.com

Ginting, Bastiano Giveraldy
Department of International Relations
Universitas Airlangga
Surabaya, INDONESIA
E-mail: bastianogiveraldy@gmail.com

Hartono, Anastasia Devina
Department of International Relations
Universitas Airlangga
Surabaya, INDONESIA
E-mail: anastasiadevina20@gmail.com

Larasati, Naomi Devi
Department of International Relations
Universitas Airlangga
Surabaya, INDONESIA
E-mail: ndevilarasati@gmail.com

Primaristy, Devira Adventia
Department of International Relations
Universitas Airlangga
Surabaya, INDONESIA
E-mail: adventiadevira@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

KEY WORDS: Gender equality. the inequality between men and women has affected various part of human life. such as women’s wage being lower than men’s and women’s marginalized role in the United States’ government. like Indonesia and Germany. With the existence of a set of analysis tool with gender as the basis. which has a great education and intensity of values and ethics cultivation. Feminism issues in various countries have started to be addressed with many policies that are relevant to the achievement of equality in various areas of human life. feminism tried to reveal the fact that there is an inequality in the society. This case eventually results in the emergence of various doubts on the United States as a role model for countries around the world that promote her civilian rights as the main priority. especially human rights. especially in the political and governmental field. so the phenomena that are relevant with feminism can be comprehensively parsed. Those cases show that there is an emergence of a causal relation that sees a woman as an entity who does not have enough capability and competence to work and reach her own success. violates human’s right to reach their social welfare. United States become one of the countries with high rates of feminism issues. United States only ranked 73 out of 144 countries in women’s political empowerment. that was only thriving domestically.Due to the stereotypes that women are unable to do jobs besides household chores. feminism. become an important focus in the struggle to reach equality between men and women. 2017). Despite being the only superpower country in the world (Time Magazine 2015). specifically in the Congress by analyzing the current situation through literature reading. Unfortunately. The bureaucracy that is able to guarantee and support the existence of women is rising (UNDESA 2005). aims to explore how women are perceived and treated in the government of the United States. the United States. In some countries. As a country that can affect . This condition is also supported by the existence of many negative stereotypes on the female that thrive among the society (Biddle. The presence of a stigma in the society that men have higher social status and that men have higher chances to reach prosperity is one of the reasons feminism was formed in the first place (Jackson & Sorensen 2013). implicitly. In point of fact. the people mostly assume that women are unable to work in politics and government as well as men do. Women’s rights are starting to be fought for. women’s right. the authors argue that gender equality has not been applied properly in the United States’ political system. a woman leader is no longer a strange thing. specifically between men and women (True 2001). Feminism is an analysis theory that is used to examine various social phenomena regarding gender bias or role that comes with a person’s sex. has started to expand and affect people globally. the Congress. even fulfilled. hence. In its development. This assumption. in the research done by the World Economic Forum in 2016. This paper. Based on the historical studies. Many problems that concern gender inequality.

64 cents and 53 cents respectively (Biddle 2017). women are more likely to be poor than men. place of residence. By referring to its emancipatory nature. especially in the political system. so the social and political lives can change accordingly. Therefore. women’s right and its violations in the United States. so women can give an optimal contribution (Cavanagh. Women’s Rights and Their Violations According to United Nations Human Right Office of the High Commissioner (2017). social and political phenomena that are currently happening in the United States should be analyzed comprehensively with feminism theory. This wage gap problem does not only happen to the poor but also on a various stratum of society. religion. Through the literature reading. Many advocacy efforts that are devoted to women are also the main goal of reaching the equality between men and women. this discussion paper will focus on public’s view toward women as political participants. Thus. color. with African American women and Latinas making even less. the authors are optimistic that feminism could help the people of the United States in parsing the social- political phenomena according to the relevance with the current period. whatever their nationality. the United States is one of only seven countries that have not ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (United Nations. language.the world greatly. Hollywood actresses have mentioned various times how they are paid less than their male colleagues. the authors aim to explore how women are truly perceived in the United States political system in order to find the right solution to finish the gender inequality problems. 2014). In discussing the feminism issue within the United States. the authors believe that the ideal social and political life will happen. for example. This led to various rights violation based on gender in the country. or any other status. Every human being is equally entitled to his/her human rights without discrimination. Actually. and the solutions to fight against gender discrimination in the United States. When this equality has been achieved. national or ethnic origin. still experience a violation of their rights every day. The existence of normative feminism can be a guide for the people to act. In fact. human rights are rights inherent to all human beings. the gap in poverty rates between men and women is wider in the United States than anywhere else in the Western world (Cawthorne 2008). especially women in the United States. the wage gap between men and women that are still happening until today. A woman only makes 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man. 2015). sex. yet women. the authors argue that the United States political system which is still based on the stigma and stereotype that men are better should be revised. even though the woman is the main character in that .

women are still considered as minorities even in the 115th United States’ Congress where women hold 83 of the 435 seats in the House of Representative and 21 of the 100 seats in the Senate. These then show how women’s basic rights are highly violated in the United States. hormone therapy. there were 173. Nearly two and a half century after the United States gains its independence. In 2013 only. Moreover. test for sexually transmitted diseases. This far.particular movie (Berg 2015). women in the United States are not only marginalized within the executive branch but also in the other political branches. The fact is that 33% of women in the United States are likely to be abused (Live Your Dream 2017). only four of them are women (Live Your Dream 2017). while actually many women still rely on it to treat conditions such as endometriosis. no woman has ever been elected neither as president nor vice president in the United States. Other than wage gap. treatment for heart disease and chronic illness. contraception. today’s situation is quite good. This is worsened by the fact that Affordable Care Act is on its way to be repealed. According to the report of The United States Department of Justice in 2013. not more than one woman has held a top leadership position. Meanwhile. whether in legislative or in judiciary branch. in the United States government. But when women’s circumstances are compared to men’s in the government. and lastly mental health services (Barr 2017). women’s healthcare is also denied numerously in the United States. within the judicial branch. Out of 50 states governors. Furthermore. women are also under-represented and still not being regarded equally as men. 9 out of 10 rape victims are women. only three women have ever served as the United States Supreme Court namely Sandra Day O’Connor (1981). women are still considered as minorities. Of course. Ruth Bader Ginsberg (1993).610 victims of sexual assault or rape. Up until 2017. cancer screening and preventive services. Public’s View toward Women as Political Participants . and Sonia Sotomayor (2009) (Han 2010). there have been very few women who thrive in their political careers. The discrimination of women in politics also happens at the regional level. ovarian cysts. post-sexual assault services. She is Nancy Pelosi who was designated as the speaker of the House of Representative in 2007. compared to the condition in the 1950s where women can only participate as campaign workers instead of being an actual candidate. Even so. According to data collected by Catalyst (2017). In point of fact. only two women who made it to the race to the presidency. This can be clearly seen from the small number of women who are believed to hold any political position. they are Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton (Han 2010). women’s safety is also not guaranteed for the reason that they are in constant danger of being raped or sexually assaulted.

leadership is linked to men and masculinity as opposed to women and their ‘generalized’ natures.d. The reason behind its ‘bad connotation’ is because people assume that working mothers tend to neglect their responsibility to do the housework and handle the family.). the word leadership is a fluid terminology that can change based on the context and situation of in which the term is used (Burns 1978). the one that mostly debated by females is the statement that ‘women should stay home while men go to work’. Actually. spoiled. whether as a mother or as a wife (Han 2010). it is undeniable that there is a construction of thought in most people’s mind that women’s capability in politics is subordinated when it is compared to men. or inspire others to act in pursuit of a common goal agenda (Han 2010). In the mindset of lay society. The stereotypes are usually rooted in people’s mind and transferred through generations time to time. those stereotypes affect people’s view towards women. women have always been degraded in various aspects. including in the United States. which people tend to generalize particular things as women’s nature such as feminine. Throughout the history of the United States. weak. this view of leadership creates a “double standard and double bind” for the women who serve as the leader and being delegated with political power (Rhode and Kellerman 2007). leadership is generally defined as the ability to encourage. where they will be viewed negatively if they exhibit leadership characteristics that are either too masculine (assertive which is seen as abrasive) or too feminine (soft or not tough enough to do the job). a strong leadership is purely defined as the ability to exert one’s will over a particular situation. Besides that. the violations of women’s rights are highly related with public’s view. In line with this stereotype. some people with a traditional way of thinking also explicitly utter that ‘women are not politician’ (Brewer n. Indeed. influence. However. Therefore. even on the second a baby’s gender is found out. sensitive. As written on the previous sub-chapter. Among a million of gender stereotypes about a female. most women who maintain their career in politics are simply labeled negatives since the term working mother carries a bad connotation. The generalization of women’s nature subsequently sparks the thoughts that women lack leadership personality and political capability. Moreover. The mindset of linking men and politics has thrived within the society all around the world. most people assume that women do not deserve to be a political leader. and meek (Ward 1996). In the end. In the perspective of most Americans. including political participation. Basically. Women have to face several stereotypes which have been constructed since the beginning of time. . Thereupon. women still receive numerous violations of rights until today. women are often placed in a lose-lose situation.

within the United States policy-making process that emphasizes on power and aggressive competition. the research also shows that women political officers are better than men on improving the quality of life for Americans and standing up for their beliefs despite political pressure (Pew Research 2016). we also recognize that there are people who do not use social media. permitting women to achieve top political position will give several clear advantages to Americans. However. the content of it should be designed as intriguing as possible. In fact. In order to make the campaign successful. the campaign hopefully would reach everybody. persuading. Facebook. Furthermore. Overall. This barrier that prevents women from securing the top leadership role is often called as the glass ceiling. it has to be noted that the ‘double standards and double bind’ on women leaders are based on the female stereotypes. but by the minimum trust of the public. For the conventional campaign with posters. due to its unseen and unsanctioned form (Hoyt 2010). especially in the political issue. we recommend using hashtags with a short and memorable sentence that . not only in seeking the office but also in holding their current political authority (Han 2010). As reported by the Pew Research (2016). most Americans think that male leader better fits in the United States political model (Han 2010). we suggest using bright colors and unique text font so people would get interested. since women are superior to men in term of compromising. The campaign that we offer can be done via social media such as Twitter. Thus. which is merely a personal assumption with no theoretic explanation. we propose some sort of campaign to promote gender equality in the United States. Although most people think that masculinity is attached to political leadership. The Call for A Fight against Gender Discrimination. and in control. strong. we hereby propose some solutions to solve the problems that have emerged. Firstly. Therefore. the truth that effective leadership requires an androgynous combination of masculine and feminine shows people that women’s thought on politics cannot be absolutely ignored (Hoyt 2010). However. women are more likely downtrodden. The reason why we chose social media is that the platform is used by a lot of people from various social strata. decisive. Since men are expected to be more competitive. For the social media campaign. Seeing how severe the problem of women’s right violation in the United States. not directly by the men. and honesty. a reconsideration of women’s contribution in politics should be categorized as an important agenda. ethics. and Instagram. Therefore. we also propose a conventional campaign by spreading pamphlets or posters in public places where people would gather. the conceptualization of leadership on male term forms a barrier for women in politics. tough.

would explain the campaign well. one of . but in the political field. or #WomenRunTheWorld. More women should sit on the Congress and make decisions that would make the United States better in the future. especially in gender equality cases. Women can do it. such as the Times Square in New York. such as #WomenCanDoIt. Lastly. when President Donald Trump released his executive order on banning immigrants from some Muslim countries. To narrow it down in the political aspect. Movements have made great impacts throughout the history of United States. Today. we propose a peaceful march in the name of gender equality. we also propose to write an e-petition to the government because e-petition has been known as one of the best ways to influence the decision-making process (Macintosh 2004). a huge publication has to be done in order to invite more participants to join the march. women can participate again in military combat after the restriction of women from combat roles was removed (Milligan. Second. In conclusion. the Americans could demand the government to create an act that regulates equal payment between men and women. the people of the United States reacted by doing marches in many states. The revision of the United States’ political system is crucial since there are still many flaws in the system. For example. or in Washington. The march could be done in public places. The petition’s content should demand the United States’ government to treat women and men equally in every aspect of their lives. In 2013. what we are proposing is actually a movement with every American as the main participator. It would be better if the petition can be signed by as many people as possible since the number of signatures would represent the power of the petition. For example. 2017). Just like the number of signatures in the petition. and if the people of the United States would join their forces and voice this petition louder. DC. 2017). For the march to be successful. the goal would be achieved easily. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act in 2009 allows victims of wage discrimination who are usually women to file a complaint to the government within 180 days of their last paycheck (Milligan. the petition that is being proposed could ask the government to allocate an equal quota of women and men within the Congress. Conclusion Thus. #WomenAreTheAnswer. Women should have the same opportunity as men. the United States really need to revise their political system. More signatures mean a greater chance of the government actually considering the petition. the number of participants in the march will also determine the reaction of the government. the people of the United States are trying to achieve this success once again. These movements caught the government’s attention and led them to cancel the President’s executive order.

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