Over the last few years, world politics have undergone dramatic changes. In America, this dramatic change is experienced more than the rest of the world. This is because of the surge in Latino and Asian populations. This growth is caused largely by immigration. This has changed the landscape of politics in America and the electorate are changing and, therefore, changing the outcome of politics. The officials who are elected are changing in the same manner in which the electorate is changing. Largely, the recent achievements of women holding high offices have been achieved largely because of the achievements of the candidates who are of color. The increase of women of color in elective politics is seen to be a boost in achieving gender parity in the political scene. Although this is the case, there are challenges that are faced by women of color in order to reach proportionate measures in office holding to their populace. There are many forms of social gratifications which can be used to espouse the class that one belongs. For a long time, the tastes that are found in food and culture and presentation are the indicators of the fractions in society as trends in the perceived consumption have a relation to an individual’s fit in the society. The disposition that is developed in the society is determined by origin and not accumulated capital or experience whatsoever. There has been struggle to explain the culture of working people, class which are laboring and those who are poor. The struggle became harder after capital became the principle of organizing of culture because fully in place. There was the agrarian revolution and then industrial capitalism. There have been various revolutions that have been experienced in the past as the constitution has been used to bring order to the divergent views available today. Tradition is held very tightly by those who do not want to lose tradition instead of the current lifestyles.
Today, the women in office are the highest ever. This year has 24 women of color serving in Congress, 11 are found in state wise office (executive office), while 350 are found in state legislative office. The majority women of color in public offices are African Americans; this number has risen greatly since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed and also after the creation of minority-majority districts. In the last three decades, for example, the number of African American women elected in state legislation has almost doubled. In 1981, African American women were only 7% while now, they comprise 13.8%.
Research shows that women of gender are more likely to identify as democrats than as republicans. African Americans, both voters and elected officials are more likely to choose Democratic Party, going back to 1960s when civil rights movements were common. The four women in the congress are Asian Americans and they are all Democrats.
The tendency to support Democrats party is less strong beyond African Americans. The Asian American and Asian Latino are more likely to support Republican Party loyalists. While all the four women of color serving in the congress are Democrats, two of the seven Latinas who are serving in the congress are Republicans and five are Democrats. The two women of color who made a debut in national politics in 2010 were Republicans. Nikki Halley and Susana Martinez were the first women in the United States were the first women of color to grab he gubernatorial office in the United States (McIntosh 524).
It has been researched that women of color are less likely to hold office when compared to men of color. In the recent research by scholars, it has been found out that the growth of officeholding for people of color has been driven by women of color. At all levels of leadership in the United States, starting from local, state and national levels, the leading women of color in leadership are African Americans, then Latinas and then followed by Asian Americans. The smallest are the Alaskan women of color (native).
Race and gender
The paths that women of color thread to public offices and those challenges they face as candidates are way different from those of nonhispanic white women. An example is that women of color have higher chances of being elected in majority-minority districts. These districts were created from a desire to have voters from minority groups being able to vote and elect their own candidates of choice. Initially, there was disparity in the voting patterns and minority groups were neglected. The creation of these districts helped women of color in being elected to public offices. It is from these that women of color have increased in their representations of holding public offices. The chances of majority-minority districts increasing the chances of women of color being elected in public offices in the future. This is because there are limited chances of coming up with more districts (McIntosh 75).
Even though the creation of majority-minority districts have proven to be a good opportunity for creating electoral opportunities, getting a upper hand in statewide office has proved to be a tedious task. Women of color constitute a small number in elective public offices in statewide level. They only constitute 3.5%. It is only one woman of color who has managed to serve as a senator (from 1993-1999). She was Carol Moseley Braun. She was African American. The challenges and the stereotypes that are faced by women of color are not comparable to those faced by nonhispanic white women or even those faced by men of color. Instead, there is an intersection of race and gender which brings opportunities and barriers for the minority women. This inequality between the whites and the non-whites has been there for a long time. The whites have privileges of not experiencing race or any form of prejudice. The whites believe that the standard they have is an opportunity that should be respected and not as a suppression to others.
One example is that of negative labels that has been branded African American women that include such issues as their traits and sexuality; most of these negative allegations trace back to slavery. These stereotypes are different from those faced by nonhispanic white women. What makes this more difficult is the scarcity of women who are holding public offices. African American women face stereotypes that are damaging on their quest to hold public offices. They lack the resources and public presence to stand against these challenges. It is due to these reasons that the first lady, Michelle Obama, has played a rather significant role in fighting these stereotypes.
It is also emerging that the factors that boost people of color to be elected to office work in different with gender. An example of this is the facts that given the fact that minorities are likely to win elections in minority districts which have one member; this happens to men of color and not women of color. In the same case, the factors that help women of color win in majority-minority districts are found to be different from those that affect election of white women; this complicates the matter further. Because of this, research has dealt more on the experience of women of color and further compares them to women across the ethnic/race groups. The research has taken a case study approach because of the smaller number of women who are vying for state and federal office positions.
Given the stereotypes of race and gender that exists in American politics, women of color are seen to be doubly disadvantaged when they seek for elective public office. A typical politician running for a seat is nonhispanic male. This means that the credibility threshold of women of color will be high. In most cases, the most common obstacle to women in seeking elective politics is the recruitment of candidates who will run. The leaders of political parties will likely want to replicate patterns which have worked initially so that their parties can have a higher chance to win the elections. This assumes that people are unwilling to support candidates that are not white. This assumption makes the organizing of resources that will be used for campaigns a harder task for women of color. In the 2008 AWP Recruitment Study, a study of the national legislators shows that women of color believe it is harder for women of color to raise money for campaign than even their nonhispanic candidates.
There is training organizations that have been started to empower women of color to face the challenges meted at them in politics. One such organization that undertakes such training is Center for American Women and Politics’ Ready to Run Diversity Initiative. They offer workshop for African American women, American Asia, and Latina women on how they can be able to gain access to people who they can count as role models in their process of seeking elective posts. They are also taught on how they can encounter the challenges of recruitment in their parties. The women of color are also known to come up with financial organization that is specifically meant to be used by women of color in undertaking their political procedures. These efforts are important as they help women of color get elected to politics even though another perspective is taken in the government.
The political participation of women of color does not befit the definition of political activity the way it is defined by main political scientists. Instead, political participation of women of color is seen in the work they undertake in local communities, churches and schools. If politics can be given another definition, then there will be more politicians, more of which are women of color due to the roles they play in the local communities.
Studies are being sought that will eradicate the notion of double disadvantage that are faced by women of color. The intersection between race and gender should be taken to be an advantage and not a disadvantage the way it is being taken now. African American and Latinas legislators constitute a larger number than compared to constitution of white women in all white legislators. Women of color can appeal to more voters by reaching out to women voters and across all races without regard to the race.
Having s system where more women will be elected from across all races will likely change the policy. There is increase in research that addresses the differences that is experienced amongst women legislators and the impact they have on women of color.
McIntosh, Paul. White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack. Chicago: Cengage Learning. 2009.