Washington has been criticized for being under constant gridlock for the majority of the last five years. This gridlock leads many people to think cynically about our government. The issue of women holding political office is treated cynically as well. Currently, only 1/5 of United States Senators are women. On the second night of the Women in the World Summit, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) spoke of the gridlock in Washington and what women bring to the table in United States politics.
The first question that was posed during the segment was, why is it so hard for women to hold government positions? The main problem is that there are currently not many women holding significant positions, making it harder for young women to find role models. Furthermore, when women are told to run for office, many of them do not believe they are ready. However, if you were to ask a man to run, they think they are ready or are overqualified for the position. Women also second guess themselves when running for office, worrying about whether they have enough experience. As a young American woman, I find this to be very true. Many of my male friends have talked about wanting to run for office in the future, meanwhile I'm unsure I have ever heard one of my girlfriends mention running for office. Also, I do agree with women needing role models. People have the tendency to look up to individuals they can relate to. If there is a lack of stellar women in political positions, subconsciously women will not believe they can run for office.