WGR Blog October 2016

 

The Female Vote This Election Season

Tens of millions of voters across the country have tuned in for the first two Presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, for what is promising to be nothing short of a satiric political reality show.  As women across the country reeled in the political banter and offered campaign predictions, we are reminded of how far we have come as a country to see a female of a major party secure the nomination to run for the most prestigious office in America.  And while significant strides have been made in the last century, many of the underlying party platform issues still remain the same, most notably equality.  

One of the key issues women across the country are watching closely this election season is the salary gap between men and women.  On average, women earn 79 cents for every dollar men earn, according to Census data.  Hillary Clinton has captured the soundbyte this cycle by making this a prominent platform issue, pushing for more transparency into the salaries of men versus women. Last October she said “too many people view it as a women’s issue as opposed to what it truly is – it’s an economic growth issue… And it will be great for the American economy when we finally close that gap.” What’s interesting is that women like Gracie Allen who ran in 1940 in the Surprise Party, and Margaret Wright who ran in 1976 for the People’s Party, fought for similar issues.  In 1960, women could expect to earn 60 cents for every dollar a man made.  If it has taken our country fifty plus years to reduce the gap to 79 cents on the dollar, then when can we expect it to be closed completely?

While the pay gap for women has yet to be closed, the gap between male and female voters has gotten smaller.  Since 1964, women have cast more votes than men in every presidential election, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.  With less than 30 days until voters turn out to the polls to make their choice known, we need to understand what else is at stake for the female voter and reflect inward for which candidate is most equipped to conquer these challenges with our best interests in mind.  Some of the most serious issues include access to Planned Parenthood and the services provided beyond just the most contentious, boosting the minimum wage nationwide to support the female laborer, reducing the cost of a college education to minimize the student debt ratio post-graduation, and improving paid family leave plans to support new working parents or family caretakers for the injured or ill.

Today, women of America are stronger and more influential voters.  It is our duty as United States citizens to join together on issues impacting us by turning out to the polls on November 8 to make our voices heard.  As we stand at a political crossroads, it’s important to recognize the decisions we make today not only affect us, but generations to come.  We must work together with our elected officials to implement positive policies that build on the legacies of those before us, and set a stronger foundation for those to come.

Teresa Stepic is a proud member of Women in Government Relations (WGR), an organization dedicated to advancing and empowering women through professional development and growth opportunities in the government relations industry.  Additionally, Teresa serves as Vice President of Client Relations at DDC Public Affairs, managing client advocacy campaigns across the country.  The views expressed above are entirely her own and do not reflect the position of either organization.

Past Blogs

Back to School, Back to School - September 2016
Mentoring: The Bridge Connecting Generations
- August 2016
The Business of Golf
- June 2016
An Interview with Representative Barbara Comstock
- May 2016
Millennials in the Workforce
- April 2016
Health, Social Networking - March 2016