Barack Obama
Gender, Government & Politics

no-girls-sign-200pxLast night I turned on the television long enough to hear McCain’s concession speech and Obama’s victory speech.  And of course between speeches the pundits had a little time to fill.  “A historic candidate”, they said about Obama.  Changing channels, “…historic…”  Changing channels again, “..historic…”.  Well, at least they all agree.

Today the pundits are asking who will be on the staff of the executive branch. Good question. Currently the the United States ranks 69th in the world with regard to women in government.

Surely the new president who says he wants to unite people will have an inclusive staff? Doesn’t look like it. Obama’s people say there “aren’t enough qualified women” and call the idea “stupid”.

After the last Democratic Primary was over and it was clear Senator Clinton was not going to get the Democratic nomination, myself, and a small group of Clinton supporters met with Senator McCain.I personally explained to Senator McCain that women comprise well over half of the population, yet you will not see a single picture of a woman on paper currency. Women are underrepresented in every branch of government and there has never been a female president or vice president. I personally asked Senator McCain to choose a woman for the Vice Presidential slot and to increase the number of women in the cabinet and on the Supreme Court. Senator McCain listened respectfully to my request. Little did I know then that he heard me and the millions of women of this country who have gone unrepresented in the Executive branch of government for far too long.

When I made similar requests of the Obama campaign, I was laughed at by the canvassers outside my home, told there weren’t enough qualified women by a member of his Finance Committee, and asked by a member of a policy committee why I was making such a stupid request.

But that’s just the finance and policy staff, right? Obama himself really stands for fairness, doesn’t he?  Maybe not.

Obama’s female staffers, on average, make just 83 cents to the dollar his male staffers make.

Ooops.  And it looks like Vice President Elect Biden’s pay practices are even worse. Despite the fact that Biden employs 27 women and only 14 men (could that be a Clinton problem?), very few of the women and men share common titles.  The one job where there is overlap is staff assistants.  These are traditionally entry level low-wage jobs in congressional offices.

So how do Biden’s salaries stack up?

The average male staff assistant in Biden’s office (based on the most recent salary figures) made $39,162 in the time period.

The average woman in that position made $21,323.

McCain’s promise:

By the end of my first term, I promise you will see a dramatic increase in the presence of women in every part of the government. You have my word on it.


For those of us who don’t have a trust fund, this could be a looooong four years.
(Thanks to Madamab at The Confluence)


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