Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Different women leadership

I am surprised how women with very different styles and background have been the protagonists of this year's international politics.

The most visible, were, of course, the ones who participated in the US election. First, it was Hillary Clinton. She was, as Tina Brown in The Daily Beast puts it, an Iron Lady, ready to be commander in chief at 3 a.m. Things didn't turn out like that, she was maybe too much for many people, so the candidacy of the Democratic Party and then the Presidency of the USA ended in the hands of Barack Obama (an historic Presidency because it's a 'first time' event, as it would have been if a woman have ended as President).

Then, let's say that the second protagonist of this year was not as good as it could have been. Sarah Palin, one woman that could have represented a intelligent, valuable asset as a candidate for VP, ended up being the 'political choice': the beautiful face and apparently no brain someone selected to give some 'glitter' to a dying Republican Party. Bad movement for this party and bad for women in general, because it seems to be a 'confirmation' that women are only meaningful if they are beautiful or charismatic. Sad thing.

Finally, Michelle Obama. I believe, as Geraldine Brooks writes also in an article in the Daily Beast, she is smarter than she has let us see. She is not only the gracious and discreet First Lady that knows how to take care of their kids and remains a shadow while her husband shines as President. I don't think she will try to outshine him, not at all, but she is not going to be a decorative figure. It's very probable she will be there with her husband in anything she can influence and help. It's going to be an interesting term.

While I see this kind of women in other countries, in Latin America and in Mexico I do not believe things are going as good. In Latin America there are two women Presidents: Michelle Bachelet in Chile and Cristina Fernández (also known as Cristina Kirchner) in Argentina. They hold their positions with some level of competency and have given a step further for other women who wants to be in that same post, but two is still a low number for 21 countries.

In Mexico, and this is really not pleasing, women have achieved great success in all kinds of fields, but at least in politics there have been only 6 women governors in Mexico, two of them are still in office: Amalia García, in Zacatecas and Ivonne Ortega Pacheco, in Yucatán. One woman, Patricia Mercado, participated as candidate in the last election (in 2006) and she won a good number of votes, being the first time this happened, but she still have only 2.70 percent of the votes.

I don't know if a woman in Presidency is something that will happen soon in Mexico. In other countries in America this is a reality, in US is something I think we will see soon, but in Mexico politics seems to be for 'machos' or for women who don't mind to be called bitches only because they want to lead their country.

I hope the women that are being leaders right now in other countries will know how to be smart and valuable to pave the way for others who want to break that archaic glass ceiling.


MizFit said...

great post...and something Ive already been mulling.

I wonder if we will ever see that here in the USA and then I remember not too long ago I never though we'd have a black president...so there's hope!

kary.journalist said...

Thank you, Miz! :) I think in US there is a lot of chances that a women will end soon as President. After all, two women advanced a lot this year and people is beginning to see that all can happen, particularly after seeing that prejudice didn't prevail at the moment of electing a new leader. So I think you have hope too...

Let's see what happens in Mexico, maybe the women that are governors now will find a way to participate in the next election, who knows.