2020 Election Sparks

2020 Elections & Representation: Women and Racial Minorities

Posted on in 2020 Election Sparks

Historically both women and racial minorities have been underrepresented in American government. While that is still true, 2020 features some important gains for women and minority candidates. A record number of women were elected to Congress. For the first time in history, over 30% of state legislators will be women. Kamala Harris, a woman of color, was elected Vice President. A record number of African American and Latina women were elected to Congress and the first Korean-American woman was also elected to Congress in 2020. The 2020 election continued the progress of increased representation for women and racial minorities, although they are both still underrepresented in government. This is partially because voters tend to hold these candidates to higher standards than they do white male candidates.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “Representation"

Links

“Can a Woman Win the Presidency? Even Asking the Question Discourages Women From Running”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/01/22/can-woman-win-presidency-even-asking-question-discourages-women-running/

“Mixed 2020 Election Results Shows That Women Still Face a Sexist Political Culture”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/11/06/mixed-2020-election-results-show-that-women-still-face-sexist-political-culture/

“It’s the Sexism, Stupid”
https://www.politico.com/newsletters/women-rule/2020/12/11/its-the-sexism-stupid-491128

“Women Make Record Breaking Gains Across State Legislatures”
https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/529152-women-make-record-breaking-gains-across-state-legislatures

“Here’s A Look at Congress’ Incoming Freshman Class”
https://www.npr.org/2021/01/03/951481488/heres-a-look-at-congress-incoming-freshman-class

“BadAsses in Their Own Right: Meet the Freshwomen of Congress”
https://www.politico.com/interactives/2021/new-women-of-congress/

“How a Record Number of Republican Women Will- And Won’t- Change Congress”
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-a-record-number-of-republican-women-will-and-wont-change-congress/

Assessment

  • Debate: What can be done to encourage more women to run for office?
  •  Why is it important to have a diverse group of people serving in Congress?
  • Poll: Have you ever voted for a woman for political office?            
  • Short Answer: How many women of color were elected in 2020?

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Featured Image Credit: United States Congress, Office of Terri Sewell

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