Women’s influence in politics is unprecedented, trend should continue with proven benefits

Now more than ever women are being placed in prestigious political positions.  In particular, 13 out of 33 proposed positions on President Joe Biden’s cabinet are women. This is a record-breaking number. Additionally, Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics claims there are currently 143 women in the U.S. Congress, 17 more female members than there were in 2019. 

In addition to the influx of female political leadership in the U.S., the increase is also present globally. In organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), National Public Radio (NPR) announced Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former two-time Nigerian finance minister, was appointed on Feb. 15 as the next director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She will be the first female leader of the organization.

Ultimately, the increase in female representation in the United States appears to be positive, and will continue to be important in conversations surrounding the concepts of reproductive rights, health concerns and taxes on menstrual products, among various other topics. 

Why these topics? The United States is prominent for being divided in the issue of reproductive rights, but it has mainly been men making the ultimate decision as to what a woman does with her body. With an influx of women in positions where they can vote on these issues, we as a nation can better understand where women stand on the controversial topic. 

Another topic  of importance to female politicians is menstrual products and their availability to women. Currently, Indiana is one of 31 states that have a “tampon tax” which places a luxury tax on tampons rather than classifying it like a produce or sales tax-free item. There have been multiple attempts in the past, such as the vetoed tampon tax relief bill in 2016, to reduce or eliminate taxes on menstrual products, but so far, due to misrepresentation of females in political offices, it has been difficult to receive those reliefs. 

And finally, health concerns. During the pandemic, female leadership in various countries like Iceland, New Zealand and Taiwan has proven to aid in reducing not only the number of COVID-19 cases present in the country, but also the number of deaths the country ensued. According to CNBC, Taiwan has only faced 9 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, largely in part to the strictness of President Tsai Ing-wen’s mandates. 

Overall, female leadership has proven to be beneficial to countries, whether it be Scotland officials making menstrual products free or New Zealand’s 26 COVID-19 deaths, and it is in our country’s best interest to continue to vote in favor of female influence and representation.

This article originally appeared in HiLite.