Women and their status in society are issues more seriously discussed today then ever before. Women have had a long struggle to find dominant and powerful positions in the different fields in general and politics and media in particular. Since, women in politics and media come in the limelight therefore they make greater impact in the society. Over the years, women have proved their mettle and worth in both politics and media and have brought positive changes in the cultures of society not just in America but all over the world. “Gender is one of the primary fault-lines running through contemporary American politics.
For the last thirty years feminists have challenged conventional assumptions about the role of women in society. The revived New Right and the women’s movement have been struggling to define the terms of the public debate in ‘culture wars. ‘ The political agenda has become deeply polarized by issues such as affirmative action, abortion rights, and welfare reform” (Norris 1). When we see world history then we come to know that women have served key positions in the high political offices. In western countries like Britain, USA the attitudes have definitely changed regarding women’s leadership positions.
In Britain, for example, a woman has held the highest office of Prime Minister as well. These Western countries not only themselves are undergoing change but they are also heavily influencing the lifestyle and work related attitude of women in developing nations. Women became heads of states and political parties in third world countries like India, Pakistan, and Srilanka, Nepal etc. “Nevertheless, women have made great improvements in representation and participation in global politics.
Thirty years ago, women in the U. S. for instance, composed less than five percent of all state legislatures; in Senegal, there were no women in the National Assembly; rapists could not be prosecuted in many Latin American countries; women in France could not get a divorce; females in Cambodia could not vote; and pigs were considered by many male peasants to be worth more than wives in Paraguay. Even though there still are obstacles to women’s participation and representation, females have become more involved in politics” (Patterson 14) The changes brought about in the area of politics in particular were gradual and slow.
Women had to counter a lot of bias and prejudice when they looked for high offices. Even media and fiction depicted women as subordinates rather than leaders” All these stereotypes and concepts inculcated an inferior and suppressive outlook to women and so their motivation to achieve higher goal were greatly affected. These trends still exist but things have changed and are changing. “When the news media imply that women are anomalies in high public office, the public is likely to regard them as bench warmers rather than as an integral part of government.
In Senator Barbara Boxer’s phrase, they are frequently depicted as “strangers in the Senate” — and in the House and the governor’s mansion. More women than ever hold high-level government positions, yet they are still portrayed by the media as novelties” (Braden 2). Women today hold prominent positions in media in the fields of journalism, movies, television and print worldwide. There are different prominent names that have contributed positively to not just media but they have also affected women in other fields like politics.
Previously, the field of publishing was considered a man’s world but today big publishing houses, newspapers and magazines have women holding powerful positions. Janet Robinson runs a company that owns a newspaper, The New York Times Co. that has won 90 Pulitzer Prizes. Stacey Snider of Universal Pictures is another name in the field of movies. While discussing prominent names, we cannot forget the name of Oprah Winfrey who is considered a powerful name in the media business and who has also been socially active.
Women like these have become a benchmark for other women who not only excel in their respective fields but also become influential socially and politically. So women are everywhere in the media are associated with big names like NBC, ABC, CNN, Buena Vista Pictures, People magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Cosmopolitan etc. Despite the fact that women have proven their abilities and expressed interest in the political arena, the large majority of most Americans are not yet comfortable with women holding the most important and powerful positions in either business or government.
Women lack easy access to top positions in business, media and politics even though they have time and again proved to the world that they have what it takes to hold the some of the highest offices in the world. Women today hold high office like Condoleca Rice is the current secretary of State in US and people are media pundits are touting Hilary Clinton as the forerunner in the next American election for presidency, Women working in the arena of politics have greater challenges to face when it comes to success and progress in their careers due to patriarchal mindset of the society.
Government support for women’s emancipation is there, the fabric of the society is changing and attitude of workplace towards women is also under transformation but women must also show resolve to move ahead and demand their equal rights in whether it is media or politics. Having more women in leadership positions in media, government and politics will lead to more women being accepted in leadership positions in all the fields.