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Women and Diversity Break Records for Candidates in America, But They’re Still Under-represented


Tuesday’s US midterm election will see record LGBTIQ+ candidates at every level as women break records in the races for governor and state legislature, but their congressional nominations have fallen slightly this year, which is one such Demonstrates the persistence of political barriers in a country where these groups are under-represented.

According to a report from the fund, for the first time in history, Americans will be able to elect unsatisfied candidates with a total of 678 applicants in the nation’s 50 states and the capital district of Columbia, an 18.1% increase compared to 2020. LGBTQ victory

“Politicians in state legislatures and school boards have launched unprecedented attacks on our community and our children, with LGBTQ leaders responding by running in record numbers,” said LGBTQ director Ennis Parker.

These elections will see an unprecedented number of candidates for state governors and lawmakers, with 25 and 3,614 candidates, respectively, according to data from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP).

This is 56% more women candidates for governors than the previous record in 2018 and, in the case of state legislators, nearly 5% more than in 2020.

However, this dynamism did not occur among women candidates for Congress, which registered a slight decrease compared to the elections held two years earlier.

While candidates for the lower house went from 298 to 259, the Senate has 20 instead of 21.

Kelly Dietmar, director of CAWP research, said: “There is no clear reason for this, but it does at least show that two record years (2018 and 2020) do not mean that all barriers to access to political office for women have been removed.” Gone.”

To the expert, there may also be some “strategic calculations” carried out by Democratic candidates, who remain a “majority” of women historically adversarial to the ruling party in legislative elections.

Women represent 19.3% of Republican candidates for the House of Representatives and 19.4% for the Senate, compared with 43% and 39% on the Democratic side.

The majority of official candidates is even more significant in the LGBTIQ+ community, where nearly 90% of those in the primaries were Democrats.

Held to renew the lower house, a third of the Senate, 36 governorships and several state legislatures, these elections take place in the context of rising attacks and dissent against women in the country, which has seen their rights not only at risk but diminished. have also done. ,

Such was the case in June of the repeal of abortion rights after nearly half a century of validity, depending on the law of each state, or more than 340 LGBTIQ+ legislative projects proposed in state parliaments to protect diversity, according to records. To condemn the Human Rights Campaign, the largest American group.

The push for repressive laws also extended to Congress, where House Republicans are proposing voluntary termination of pregnancy and a nationwide ban on speaking publicly about gender identity and sexual orientation.

This situation could fuel a significant mobilization of women and dissidents, as was the case in previous elections, in which their vote was decisive for Joe Biden’s victory.

“Staying on the edge when our rights are at risk is not an option. It’s time for action,” Parker, the former mayor of southern Houston, said.

Although gender issues have been gaining weight in the national debate in recent years, both women and dissidents are being under-represented in American politics.

According to the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, American women make up more than half the country but occupy less than 30% of political offices according to the CAWP, while diaspora represent 7.1% of the population but only 0.2% of elected officials. ,

This is due to “long-standing stereotypes” associating masculinity with men and political leadership, Dietmar said.

In this sense, she highlighted the difficulty women have in raising funds for increasingly expensive election campaigns – estimated total expenditures this year will exceed $9,300 million – gender disparities in funding and differential access by gender to wealth networks. Because of both.

In addition, she noted that women face “more pronounced” sexism in political campaigns and institutions traditionally dominated by white, cis and straight men.

“Recent reports of political violence against women suggest that they face different forms of violence and harassment, which may prevent them from holding office,” the expert said.

Some arguments are also valid for diversities, primarily lesbians, bisexuals, and trans, whose candidacy is a minority among LGBTIQ+ candidates.

These people also face other obstacles, such as transhomophobic discrimination and a lack of mentors or political models that lead them to apply, he confirmed to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

“Representation matters in many ways. It defends the fairness and legitimacy of being a representative democracy,” Dietmar explained, concluding: “Running for and holding political office helps break the stereotypes of gender and candidacy. which is dominated by white men. Increasing trust and participation in campaigns and government, as well as in the political system of those who were marginalized by it”. (Telam)

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