“Women can be anything they want to be,” my Grandmother told me when I was just a little girl, and it was quite a statement back in the 70’s. ANYTHING meant there was no limit. I could become an astronaut or a fireman; I could play soccer for a living or be a famous mountain climber, perhaps even lead a nation.
I had read about a woman leading a country far away. Golda Meir, became the Prime Minister of Israel when I was not even 10 years old. Other women followed in her footsteps. I remember Isabel Martines de Perón, who became President of Argentine in 1974 when I was 11 years old. 1979, the year I graduated, Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and served three terms.
Women have been leaders in power positions, even in countries where we would at least expect it. I was surprised by Benazi Bhutto, who served as Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1993 to 1996 and the Chicago born Janet Jagon, who became the President of Guyana from 1997 to 1999.
In the 21st-century women continue to be in power positions. One of them is Angela Merkel, who became Chancelor of Germany in 2005, and who continues to lead her country to this day and even Liberia elected with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf their first female President in 2006.
Currently there are 18 female world leaders including 12 female heads of government and 11 elected female heads of state (some leaders are both- figurehead monarchs are not included). Source: United Nations data.
And then there is the United States and I start to wonder if there will be a female President in my lifetime. Right now we have a Vice President who believes there is no room for women in the military and a President who doesn’t respect women and their rights.
I saw a picture of Trump surrounded by all white man when he signed one of his first executive orders, and it saddened me.
A group of angry, white man. It’s a somber statement, not just for women. This country stands for diversity. Where are the Latinas, the native Americans, the negro men and where are the women?
Other countries are forward thinkers, while we seem to go backward. Take Sweden for instance.
The picture shows Sweden’s deputy Prime Minister, Isabella Lövin, surrounded by her closest female colleagues -including one who is expecting- and I couldn’t help but smile.
What a statement it is and what a contrast to the above picture of Trump. Some say she was mocking Trump and I can’t help but hope she did.
The climate bill she is signing in the photo aims to make Sweden carbon neutral by 2045 and “marks a new era in Swedish climate politics.” Sweden has criticized Trump’s approach to climate policy as it announced legislation binding future governments to a goal of phasing out greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, among the most ambitious by any developed nation.
“There is a global demand for climate leadership. I want to show that Sweden is ready to take that leadership,” Isabelle Lövin said and she urged European countries to take a leading role in tackling climate change, now “since the US is not there anymore to lead.” (Source: Guardian)
Could it be that young women and mothers have more interest in the environment than a group of grumpy old men?
May I end this post with the statement that I am proud to be a woman.
When sleeping women wake, mountains move. -Chinese Proverb