Women in USA got the right to vote in 1920 after the Equal Rights Amendment. It was not an easy battle as a long stretching suffragette movement worked in order to gain this right.
However, for decades, women continued to be non actors in American politics. This was true not just as political candidates, but also as the voters. Their vote was more often than not influenced by their husband.
HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED?
A drastic change is in motion since the last 40 years. Women have increasingly started taking independent voting decisions. This has translated in terms of voter data wherein an active gender divide is seen when it comes to choosing political parties.
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A significantly high number of women have voted for the Democratic Party while the more conservative Republicans have been the preferred choice for men.
The leftward shift of this gender can be understood if we go back to Ronald Reagan. Republican Party politics has become increasingly conservative since his time. Which means that misogyny on public platforms became common, right up to the time of Donald Trump where all boundaries for broken.
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However, the problem went deeper than that. It transcended in terms of legislation. The Republican stance on abortion has alienated many women. With them constantly attacking the bodily autonomy of women, the feminine voters have shown their anger on the electoral ballots. In addition to this, the Republicans have shown a tendency to favour Orthodox Christianity. The traditional family espoused by it has no space for the working women.
However, there’s also a more intersectional side to it. Around the world, women have been hit by poverty more than men. The policy followed by the Democrats allows for the expansion of social Security schemes. That’s also the primary reason why Bernie Sanders is enjoying a great degree of support from women.
The emergence of a women’s bloc is a long standing feminist dream. With the advent of Republican onslaught, this group might find more solidarity. Time will show that it will also change the very course of American politics.