UNAIR NEWS – Women’s participation in politics is an interesting topic to learn. Especially western industrial democracies such as the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), and Europe, which have given women’s rights in politics. However, women are still far behind men in many forms of political participation.
Lecturer in Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Political Sciences (FISIP) Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR), Siti Mas’udah, S. Sos., M.Si., conducted research that raised the role of women in democracy. She said that women’s political participation in society has a disproportionate social status in a patriarchal culture and political system.
Men are dominated in the political arena, and women are generally underrepresented in this particular field. Femininity precisely puts women out of political activities and distances them from the political context. She also believes that some people do not want women to be in politics and consider politics as the masculine domain.
“Voters tend to choose men as potential leaders, and they must be prepared to face political discrimination if they choose women,” she said.
Siti also added that voters expect politicians and leaders to be masculine. More masculine traits are needed for higher positions. Masculine politics indicates that male power is still dominant in public, especially politics.
Political parties also determine the political participation of women. Political parties play a vital role for anyone to become part of politics. She revealed that women in higher positions are important in facilitating other female candidates in terms of their numbers in political parties.
Four factors that hinder women in a democracy include femininity with its construct, political interests, political socialization, and patriarchal political culture that is depicted in politics. Women were allowed to vote, but mostly they are under the influence of male family members.
The problem of feminine attributes of women, namely obedience, dependence, and passivity is not under political activities. Gender socialization and firm adherence to traditional gender roles cause women to do domestic activities and are less prepared to go public.
Women are still weakened in their political role and only focused on giving birth to children, raising their parents, husbands, household, obedience, passivity, and dependence.
Thus, Siti concluded that men were still dominantly associated with public space. Masculine ideals are the basis of social practice and social relations in society. It has been included in a patriarchal culture, social structure, and social organization.
Author: Aditya Novrian
Editor : Khefti Al Mawalia
Akhlaq Ahmad, Qaisar Khalid Mahmood, Muhammad Saud, dan Siti Mas’udah. 2019. Women in democracy: The Political Participation of Women. Masyarakat, Kebudayaan dan Politik Vol 32, Issue 2 page 114-122.