Skip to comments.Women in politics: “Taking the remarkable and rendering it unremarkable”
Posted on 09/16/2011 1:26:37 PM PDT by flowerplough
Earlier this week, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard the nations first woman PM addressed EMILYs List Australia at Parliament House in Canberra.
Gillard has her critics, and Id be lying if I said I was inspired and entirely satisfied by the job shes doing as PM. It would be delusional to imagine that sexism in Australia died the day Gillard was made head of the Labor Party.
But by the same token, it would be foolish to pretend that her elevation to the PM isnt enormous progress in a country where gender equality is still far from a reality. And, Id be lying if I said that I didnt tear up a bit reading certain parts of her speech, like the part where she said that shes often approached by high-achieving blokes who want her autograph to give to their daughters, because they know that know the future has to be different for their daughters generation than it was for their mothers generation.
Heres an excerpt from the speech:
"The 20th century was a century of big political movements and ideologies such as fascism, socialism and modernism. And yet the movement that outlasted them all, and surpassed them all in what it has achieved for humanity, is feminism the struggle for womens emancipation and equality.
Pioneer Australian feminist Rose Scott observed that the vote itself was only a piece of machinery in battling for the liberty, for the freedom of women."
(Excerpt) Read more at feministing.com ...
... Even after accounting for a range of other factors such as industrialization, urbanization, education and income the impact of granting of women's suffrage on per-capita state government expenditures and revenue was startling. Per capita state government spending after accounting for inflation had been flat or falling during the 10 years before women began voting. But state governments started expanding the first year after women voted and continued growing until within 11 years real per capita spending had more than doubled. The increase in government spending and revenue started immediately after women started voting.
Yet, as suggestive as these facts are, we must still consider whether women's suffrage itself caused the growth in government, or did the government expand due to some political or social change that accompanied women's suffrage?
Fortunately, there was a unique aspect of women's suffrage that allows us to answer this question: Of the 19 states that had not passed women's suffrage before the approval of the 19th Amendment, nine approved the amendment, while the other 12 had suffrage imposed on them. If some unknown factor caused both a desire for larger government and women's suffrage, then government should have only grown in states that voluntarily adopted suffrage. This, however, is not the case: After approving women's suffrage, a similar growth in government was seen in both groups of states.
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