Thursday, July 14, 2016

Women on top

Democrats are notorious for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, which is one important reason why I would not rule out the don, er, the Donald, painting the White House gold next January.  Despite all her scandals, and despite her husband's gaffes, if Hillary Clinton manages to win, three of the world's influential countries will have women in their highest elected offices: Angela Merkel in Germany; Theresa May in the UK; and Clinton in the US.

May, Merkel, and Clinton. Sounds like one of those law firms with testicular fortitude that few men can match!

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What a unique moment in the history of humans that the Germans, the Brits, and the Americans will be led by women!

The head of the International Monetary Fund is a woman--Christine Lagarde.  There is intense pressure on the world to elect a woman as the next chief of the United Nations.  I would gladly vote for Hillary Clinton just for the opportunity of a global summit where all these women will pose together.  In contrast to them, the male leaders will look so bland and timid, which will force Vladimir Putin to become more Tarzan like--I can already imagine the bare-chested, horse-riding Vlad to take it to another level and swing from vines dressed only in a speedo ;)

In my introductory course, I tell students that even economic history can be easily retold as history of women because of the wonderful correlation--for all kinds of reasons--between economic progress and the rights of women.  As societies transform from the old rural, agricultural economies, it turns out that men will not be able to confine women to the stereotypical barefoot and pregnant role.  Yet another reason to get rid of poverty, right?

For those of us who grew up in India--heck, in South Asia, for that matter--women leaders are not new.  Throughout my early childhood years, it was a woman, Indira Gandhi, who led the country.  Neighboring Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, have all had female heads of government.  In the old country, women head governments in many states, including the part of the country where I come from.

It has taken the "developed" countries this long to let women into the world of politics and governance.   About time.

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