Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers

Women in Government

on May 19, 2011

This is clearly a subject I have a lot of thoughts on, but I just want to talk for a little bit on this quote that I came across here. (Major props to them for finding it).

Women senators did not have their own bathroom located outside the Senate Chamber, next to the restroom for men senators until 1993. To make room for the facility, the existing men’s room was remodeled into two separate restrooms(…)
The only restroom a few steps away from the House floor is designated for men, with a shoeshine stand and a fireplace. The trip to the nearest restrooms for women representatives is described as ‘traversing a hall where tourists gather, or entering the minority leader’s office, navigating a corridor that winds past secretarial desks and punching in a keypad code to ensure restricted access.’ – Dr. Anna Leon-Guerrero, Social Problems: Community, Policy, and Social Action (2005)

To me, this is shocking. But I think it is indicative of a larger social issue. The United States Government was not designed to include women. Women need bathrooms too, just as much as men, but because our government is majority men, it gets overlooked and put off until absolutely necessary. Now certainly, this may have changed since it was written in 2005 for the House, but I can’t be certain that it did.

Some countries have quotas for the number of women in government or run campaigns to encourage women to run for office. What does the United States do, other than allow them to run? I’m not saying that I agree in quotas, I’m just trying to point out that we as a country don’t do much to ensure that women have a say in government or to promote women in government. 16 percent of our government (current Congress) is women and 68 other countries have more women in their government than we do (by percentage) (Source). I hope you find that as shocking as I do. I know I will write more about this in the future, I just wanted to start somewhere. So stay tuned.

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2 responses to “Women in Government

  1. dr. j says:

    Maybe it’s time to design unisex bathroom facilities? I presume that in most private homes (except perhaps those of the very rich), men & women have little choice but to share fairly peacefully, and sometimes even hygenically!

    Just a thought 😉 .

    • Melissa says:

      It’s certainly possible – but I guess I picture this bathroom in the House to be quite big if there’s room enough for a fireplace and so women deserve at least the same. You know? Cause if there are going to be multiple people using it at a time, they should have separate bathrooms I think. I mean, they split the one in the Senate in half – I’m assuming they could do the same with the House one.

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