Women breaking glass ceilings: Is having successful female politicians; an indicator of gender equality in your country?
Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have had female prime ministers. Hilary Clinton claimed that running against Obama for a possible presidential candidacy meant she broke some sort of glass ceiling for American women and women every where. The thing that these women have in common are husbands or fathers who were successful political leaders first. Behind every successful female politician, is an even more successful male leader? (and this whole glass ceiling business is ______)
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Women's rights' related Bills passed in Africa and Asia
"A couple of months ago India’s upper house passed an historic bill to reserve a third of all legislative seats for women...GE Research for example has set targets for hiring women. Women with allied skills such as computer science or electronics are placed in areas where there are few women, such as mechanical engineering. And it is also encouraging the hiring of women who have taken career breaks.
And there are some wonderful examples of gender equality initiatives in Africa too, such as Nigeria’s Gender and Affirmative Action movement that works to eradicate the marginalisation of women in politics and decision making policies. And in terms of political representation Rwanda ranks first in the world for the highest number of women in parliament – they actually outnumber the men (56%) - and South Africa ranks 3rd."-
Pakistan recently passed a legislation against workplace sexual harassment , Kashmala Tariq, a Pakistani parliamentarian passed a bill against the controversial hudood ordinace despite fatwas and the like from the obstreperous Islamist-fundamentalist lobby and First Women bank made strides in providing micro-finance and other such loans to female entrepreneurs all over Pakistan. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Women_Bank]]
[[http://sites.kauffman.org/pdf/disciple_became_guru_72208.pdf]] [[http://community.cimaglobal.com/blogs/sandra-rapaciolis-blog/can-west-learn-about-female-leadership-asia-and-africa]] [[http://www.paktribune.com/news/print.php?id=150116]] [[http://www.pakistanlaw.net/pakistan-law/women-law-pakistan-law/law-against-women-harassment/]][[http://www.newslinemagazine.com/2005/03/interview-kashmala-tariq/]] [[http://www.fwbl.com.pk/]]
Point being, if women were never given the opportunity to lead , a move towards gender equality would be impossible. This means that when women are leading a country, it is an indicator that women are not barred from any job/function/position available to men in that country and gender equality exists in terms of equal opportunity ; if nothing else.
Baby steps, class barriers and short-cuts. Instating a female leader as a guinea pig to censor serious women's rights concerns in a country is a false indicator, that only savors credibility for a very short period of time. Mukhtar Mai [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukhtaran_Bibi]] types are a crude reminder of the reality of women's rights in these countries. While women backed by influenced patriarchal units are celebrated successes; without any real effort of their own. Those sitting to gain propriety and worth at the grass-root level are cruelly reminded that it's all a showy pantomime; behest of development; where there is none.
Just look at the oh so sexist Pakistan Google results for 'female politicians'
Beautiful Pakistani Female Politicians
15 posts - 8 authors - Last post: 17 Mar 2010
Sharmila Farooqui Adviser to Chief Minister Sindh Kashmala Tariq. http://www.defence.pk/.../50855-beautiful-pakistani-female-politicians.html - Cached - Similar
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Pakistan Women Politicians
Pakistani Famous women politicians .Information and photos of famous females politicians of Pakistan. http://www.woman.com.pk/politicians.html - Cached - Similar
Top 10 Sexiest Female Politicians in the World | SPIKE
18 Sep 2008 ... This is one female politician people either love or hate. She clearly isn't the most attractive female politician in the world, and SNL even ... http://www.spike.com/.../the-top-10-sexiest-female-politicians-in-the-world - Cached
18 Hot Female Politicians
11 Jun 2010 ... The filthy, hagridden colosseum of Politics is practically a no-go arena for beautiful women. Occasionally though, we do get some hot dames ... http://www.elistmania.com/still/18_hot_female_politicians" [[http://crunchpost.com/hot-female-politicians/]]
That doesn't indicate anything, people rate celebrities on their looks and politicians are celebrities. A lot was made of Bill Clinton, John Kerry , Palin's husband, Ronald Regan, Jinnah, Blair, Al Gore, Imran Khan, and J.F.K's good looks. People care about what politicians look like, this doesn't mean that female politicians are taken less seriously than their male counterparts. Both male and female politicians are taken non-seriously.
If Sarah Palin has been the proverbial butt of all jokes, so has George W Bush jr. a.k.a Dubya.
Women tend to lead countries where the overall status of women in society is very low.
"What is perhaps most striking is that, contrary to many expectations, women have tended to become presidents and prime ministers in contexts where women’s status lags far behind that of men in the educational and economic spheres, and in places where women face numerous constraints on their political and social participation. In fact, the only quantitative study on this topic finds a correlation between the presence of a female head of state or government and lower levels of parity of women to men in life expectancy, education, and income (Jalalzai, 2008).3 Yet, at the same time, the women who accede to these positions are usually highly educated and considerably more privileged than women in the general population (Jalalzai, 2004). Consequently, it is simplistic to assert that the education and economic status of women are not relevant to their political advancement. It is crucial for those who eventually rise to positions of national prominence, but this can be – and has been – achieved where women’s overall status is low." [[page8 firstpara http://krook.wustl.edu/pdf/jalalzai_krook_10.pdf%5D%5D
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Argentina, India... do you see a pattern here? there's no general gender parity in any of these countries.
Margaret Thatcher is an exception. "Margaret Thatcher was Britain's first female prime minister and served three consecutive terms in office. She is one of the dominant political figures of 20th century Britain, and Thatcherism continues to have a huge influence.
Margaret Hilda Roberts was born on 13 October 1925 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, the daughter of a grocer. She went to Oxford University and then became a research chemist, retraining to become a barrister in 1954. In 1951, she married a wealthy businessman, Denis Thatcher, with whom she had two children.
Thatcher became Conservative member of parliament for Finchley in north London in 1959, serving as its MP until 1992. Her first parliamentary post was junior minister for pensions in Harold Macmillan's government. From 1964 to 1970, when Labour were in power, she served in a number of positions in Edward Heath's shadow cabinet. Heath became prime minister in 1970 and Thatcher was appointed secretary for education."
Maggie had no kinship in office and served three very successful terms as Prime minister of the U.K. Only a handful of politicians are mentioned on the right, when there have been more than 80 female prime ministers and presidents in total.
Kinship ties as mentioned in the debate definition
"Attempts to reconcile the paradox of female leaders in contexts in which women generally lack power have pointed to the importance of kinship ties as a path to office (Hodson, 1997; Richter, 1991). Women’s leadership in certain regions is largely limited to those with familial ties through marriage or blood connections to former executives or opposition leaders, many of whom were assassinated."
examples Benazir Bhutto was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's daughter, Indira Gandhi was Mahatma Gandhi's daughter-in-law, Hilary Clinton is Bill Clinton's wife, Tansu Çiller was the daughter of a Turkish governor of Bilecik province during the 1950s,[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tansu_%C3%87iller#Early_career]] etc etc. [[page 9 http://krook.wustl.edu/pdf/jalalzai_krook_10.pdf%5D%5D
Exceptions to the rhetoric on the right, include Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell, Édith Cresson(french P.M), Pratibha Patil(president of India), & Jiang Qing [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiang_Qing]]
None of these women had/have male politicians in their family.
Women are still so vulnerable to harassment and we say they have equal stand????
I don't see eye to eye on the alleged point that getting more number of women in the parliament or having female leaders in the country is enhancing the position of women in these countries.Reservation in parliament is not actually the way to get equality in these countries. Women in these countries are still susceptible to harassments. They are brutally raped and murdered.They are being kidnapped and are molested. They are still being botherd in dowry cases. At each stage of their lives they are apprehensive about security , be it for themselves of for others(mother for daughter,sister for sister and etc.). Even after years of the independence and the altruistic serving of women in these countries,they are still looked down to.The foremost problem of 'women's security' still subsists and even after the increase of harassments at such an alarming rate,actions are not being taken. Having successful female politicians or getting the number of female candidates icreased in parliament is not a genuine way to get women at equal status,it is just a diminutive step to enhance the status of a very few women where minds of most are still in anguish. First the security has to be worked upon to have their equal stand.
What do you think?