Over the past few decades there appeared numerous studies, which focus on the mechanisms for encouraging women in politics. Among the most popular mechanisms are structural changes. The latter include introduction of the greater level of flexibility in the working day of a politician. The other way is to ban politicians, who occupy the seats at different levels. This can lead to the greater availability of seats, which increases chances for women to participate in politics.
Finally, structural changes may also involve introduction of quotas, which is aimed to increase the general mass of women representatives (Potter, 2007). However, there has been severe argument against the implementation of these structural changes. The scholars, who opposed them, state that this is no more that “tokenism”. They consider that with the introduction of these changes women will be given a privileged position and this creates inequity and presents danger to the democracy in general.
They believe that both men and women can be placed in the same conditions and women have to gain their position solely through their own merits. However, I believe that women face too many cultural and traditional barriers and at the given period of time the implementation of the structural changes can be but the only possible way to change the current situation of women underrepresentation in politics (Potter, 2007). Numerous researches proved the idea that these are political structures not social factors which are essential for the promotion of the women recruitment in politics.
Thus, in those countries, where the system of proportional representation is introduced, the number of women elected is four times as much as their number in countries without this principle (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007). Most democratic governments of the world have already expressed their commitment to female promotion and democratic forms of change. However, even for the most democratic government it is impossible to provide and ensure all women their rightful place through different spheres of public life.
Women representation in politics greatly depends on the support of various non-governmental organizations and women’s organizations. In order to promote gender equity in the political life of the country it is essential for the government to establish a well-considered basis of laws and national policies supporting women participation in politics. It was proved by numerous researches that such active actions of the government are necessary in order to ensure at least 30 % participation of women at different levels of the decision-making process (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007).
The other aspect of the success of women in politics is that they should carefully consider their goals, political views and strategies. It is of vital importance that women, who already participate in parliament, should draw attention of the public to the issue of female participation in politics and raise this question during debates and discourses of the parliamentary work (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007).
One more important issue, which will secure women participation in politics, is education. Rawya Shawa, MP of Palestine, considers that proper education will not only help women to introduce themselves in the world of politics but also provide them with the necessary skills, which will help them to be heard in this world: “It’s very difficult for women to talk, to argue, to press for their concerns. How can we encourage women to talk and to express themselves?
Maybe the woman in the hut has a lot to say, but we have to encourage her to talk – not about politics, but about her problems, her life, issues that concern her. The answer is education. Education has led many women in my society to join political parties or participate in political activities. Education is the most important channel for encouraging women to speak out” (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007).
While this is quite easy for men to get access to the world of politics through education, women should undergo special training. The principle purpose of this education is to provide women with the special work patterns, which will facilitate their way in the political career. In the process of the training women for political careers special topics should be described and covered. Among them special role is given to the gendered political awareness-raising, networking and lobbying skill (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007).
In this training process special place is occupied by the women’s leadership schools, which are but the only places which provide female potential political leaders with the valuable connections with wider women groups, support of the public, political skills and even encouragement for a political career. The only aspect, which is not thoroughly considered now, but which should be given greater attention, is the involvement of young women in the training process and political participation (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007).