The 2016 presidential election should break gender barriers

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The 2016 presidential election should break gender barriers

Carin Numa - Staff Writer

Carin Numa - Staff Writer

Carin Numa - Staff Writer

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After withdrawing from the 2008 presidential race, Hillary Clinton is back and is beginning to consider a second campaign in the 2016 election.  As with any presidential candidate, her policies and beliefs face major opposition and criticisms.  Unfortunately, much of her opponents’ arguments stem from gender bias.  A second campaign would likely result in further critiques, but the nation must come to terms with the reality that a woman is capable and ready to be president.  Other countries around the world have flourished under female leaders, and women should be able to achieve equal greatness in the U.S. as well.  In the nation’s history, women have served in a variety of other significant government positions, proving that women are more than capable of leading the country.  Furthermore, electing a woman for president would be a major achievement of women’s rights and take a stand against gender discrimination.

From rulers such as Queen Elizabeth I to more recent figures such as Margaret Thatcher, females have shaped history by impressing the world as political leaders.  England in particular has a history rich with strong female monarchs like Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria.  Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister for the United Kingdom, solidifying her legacy as the “Iron Lady.”  The nickname indicates strong will and perseverance and has since been applied to many female leaders.  The variety of women that have successfully ruled over a nation throughout history proves that women are perfectly suited to hold prominent political positions.

“We’ve always been ready for a female president, and it’s exciting to see we’re nearing that accomplishment,” said sophomore Cara Auerbach.

The U.S. also has its fair share of powerful women.  From Secretary of the State to major CEOs, American females have slowly been making appearances in positions of leadership.  Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court and Dianne Feinstein was one of the first women to be elected to the Senate.  But these elections were not too long ago, and for the majority of the history of the U.S., the female population has been greatly underrepresented.  Even today, women make up only 17 percent of Congress, with 34 women having served as state governors compared to the 2,319 men that have served in total.  Despite women’s growing involvement in government, there has yet to be a female president.  Furthermore, women have proved their capability through other achievements, such as CEO or military general.  Hewlett-Packard, one of the leading technological enterprises in the country, currently holds Meg Whitman as President and CEO.  In 2012, the first woman to serve as a four-star general in the U.S. Army, Ann E. Dunwoody, retired after 38 years of service.  The positions of leadership that these women have assumed displays that females possess all the necessary assets required to lead a country.

Most significantly, electing a woman as president would be a major victory in the fight against gender discrimination.  Although efforts to gain more rights have prevailed in the past, gender stereotypes and assumptions still plague civilization.  In a country with a history rich in feminist movements, a female presidency is an achievement that would make women proud.  The election of a woman would be one of the biggest steps toward gender equality, and prove to the world how wrong our sexist ancestors really were.

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