The writing of this article is a collaborative effort and a model of teamwork among women and men. This century has brought more profound changes to women’s lives than any previous period in human history. Women make up a majority of the electorate and will soon make up a majority of the workforce, even though most of our institutions, from parliament to big employers, have yet to adapt to this new reality. If current trend continues, women in 2010 will be: more numerous.
So far women have failed to mobilize their new power at work as a consumer. We predict that women will become more prominent in mainstream politics. Women are a majority of the electorate, and they vote more than men. But they are not happy about how the parties treat them.
Almost all the politicians who mentioned the idea that women may be joing power shrinking institutions were women local council members. According to studies women in local councils reported that they had difficulty getting their views reflected in legislation and that they generally felt less effective than did their male counterparts. A male political scientist who has been studying trends in women’s entry into local politics since the 1960s explained:
“at a national level, women clearly are in positions of power and even though there are still problems, at least in terms of representation in the cabinet, in important committees, and in the ministries women have the influential positions. But in the municipalities, unless women are in majority which happens only very rarely, they have a hard time influencing decisions. It also is my perception that local governments are not as powerful as they once were and that in many municipalities private interests dominate”.
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