Friday, May 30, 2008

Why Women don't get into politics

Don Boudreaux has an interesting explanation :
Women are more decent than men.

Fewer women than men itch to lord it over others. Also, women are less willing than men to perform the countless asinine stunts and soul-shriveling pandering necessary to win political office. [link]
Hmm. It's a question I've often thought about, why is it that men vastly outnumber women in politics almost everywhere in the world? frankly, I don't know for sure. But I'll try..

It could be that the conventional wisdom is right. The world is less cosmopolitan than we comspolitians think and women in most societies are expected to stay at home, and therefore there's less of them in most professions. Political representation works on a regional basis, where there's a greater likelihood of people getting into the politics (running for public office) from non-urbanized, more traditional areas than any other profession. More traditional means, there's more of a chance that women are expected to stay home or be in more "acceptable" women-roles rather than running for public office. This results in fewer women getting into politics overall, lowering aggregates significantly.

Note that Hillary Clinton is a senator from New York, not Texas. Although Mayawati, the Chief Minister of India's Uttar Pradesh, who is also from a lower caste, is probably a counter example.

I guess it's a question for the freakonomists.

3 comments:

Me said...

My brief experience with women, tells me that they really don't care on the "global" perspective. They're mostly concerned on the "local" stuff which is more near-and-dear.

Rather than talking about the world food crisis, they're more apt at talking about the price hike of the grocery store and the discount at food city.

Some of my female colleagues who passed out with first class degrees of engineering, are now happily married housewives. And they are really happy.

It's not that women aren't intelligent. They just don't care about the same stuff that we do.

Java Jones said...

It could also be due to the fact that women are getting ‘more equal’ as the women’s lib thing evolves, so more women are getting into areas that were solely the domain of men in the past. As time goes on, no doubt, more women will get into politics until perhaps there will be a time when there will as many women as there will be men in the game. It’s ‘adaptation’ at work as usual.

Deane said...

Me, yes as Don says it could be a question about attitude.

Java, well the problem with that is. In some parts of the world they are more equal, yet there is this gap in politics. The number of lawyers, or judges say in Europe and U.S. are quite gender balanced for example but not when it comes politicians.

So yes, in the sense you could be right that it's still the adaption gap time. But that doesn't explain why there is this gap between say the law profession (and almost every other) and politics.