The role of gender in voting stepped into people's consciousness in early 19th century as a result of the Nineteenth Amendment which granted the women the right to vote in America in 1920. Over decade the conscience of the female voter has evolved and they have become an impotent population of voters in the country. Their voting behaviors have been observed and studied over year and it has emerged the women don't vote as a block for women aspirant vying for public offices. This kind of behavior can be attributed to the patriarchy ideal and the traditional gender roles and norms that have been enshrined in the society for a very long time.
Patriarchy concept is a social concept that treats men as being the focal point of social organization. Father is the center of organization and they wage authority over mother (women), children, and the family property (Mujueni, 2006). This system has its origin in the ancient political, social, economical and legal organization embraced by the old civilization of the Hebrews, Romans, Chinese, Greeks, Indians and others. Though ancient, the effects of the ideology are still felt in all present day societies irrespective of the level of civilization of these societies. Its influenced has shaped the societal perception of normal gender roles in the society and as a result people tend to believe that leaders should be males. Females tend to get contented with subordinate roles. The minds of voter have also tended to stick to this believe and despite women being the largest portion of the America voter they are drown to cast their votes for male candidates thus denying their female candidate a chance to take political office.
Patriarchy ideal have a negative influence on women solidarity. For women to come together solidarity is necessary. Such solidarity is should be sustained to enable women come together and vote as a block. Unfortunately this can not be achieved since patriarchy mindset creates divisions within the women groups for easy domination by male (Gutierrez, 2005). Patriarchy functions like the old system of dividing subjects by kings for easy ruling or domination by colonialists and imperialists. In this regard women will tend to form small numerous blocks that will be aligned to different candidates; ironically all of this candidate may be males.
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Prior to active feminism, the patriarchal ideal encouraged the separation of the social realm into two parts; publish sphere and the domestic sphere. The men were dominant thus fitted in the public realm while women were relegated toe the domestic realm as their roles were domestic in nature. This had a great negative influence on education and economic capability of women and further limited their socialization. This limited the ability of women to come together or develop any meaningful solidarity that can enable them vote as a block.
Religion has also had a great role in influencing the women and their role in society. According to Gutierrez (2005) religion has been responsibly of encouraging the patriarchy, misogamy, and strict gender roles in the society. Given that women tend to be more religious than men, it is like that it got through to women and influenced them to subconsciously believe that leadership is a role best left to men.
Patriarchal idea and the concept of gender roles in the society seem to be soles responsibly for the way women vote. Despite their large numbers, women seam reluctant to vote for fellow women as a block. Women are relegated to be subordinates to men. They luck solidarity and don't rust in their fellow women. It will take time before women can overcome the effect of patriarchy, forge some solidarity and vote for a fellow woman as a block.
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