Women won’t do politics

Out of the mouths of babes, and women, is a truth about politics: it’s too ugly to get involved.

The School of Public Affairs in Washington has run a survey (pdf) that finds why there’s so few women in politics: they don’t want to do it.

The study of over 2100 college students found that young women are less likely than young men ever to have considered running for office, to express interest in a candidacy at some point in the future, or to consider elective office a desirable profession.

Men were twice as likely as women to have thought about running for office “many times,” whereas women were 20 percentage points more likely than men never to have considered it.

It’s revealing that this 20 point gap is similar to the gender gap found in an earlier study of adult professionals (in their 40s and 50s).

The survey, by a school of women’s studies, says the difference is due to women not playing competitive sport, and not being encouraged by anyone to consider political issues or candidacy.
It didn’t consider whether women had seen clearly through the political  glass ceiling and decided that they didn’t want a bar of it.
The report authors assume that Parliamentary representation is best when it mirrors the exact make-up of the population – and thus that more women in politics is necessary.
But if women don’t want to go into politics, society ought to be considering how best to reflect female interests without them having to actually be in Parliament. It may be an argument for more direct democracy?

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