Posted: September 3rd, 2013
Women in World Politics
Very few women have managed to come out and declare their interests of occupying the political arena; and those who manage to overcome the odds and achieve the power pinnacle in their respective fields have warranted significant recognition from the global eye. However, women face numerous problems in society today especially in the underdeveloped and developing nations (Fukuyama, 23). Despite the odds, the few women who manage to venture into politics go on to prove success in the handling the pressure and problems related with their status and such positions. Women in various political positions in the world have proven their worth in their respective roles and that they can do better jobs than men in similar positions.
One woman considered a great woman in world politics is the late Sirimavo Bandaranaike, former prime minister in Sri Lanker. Ms. Bandaranaike is the first woman in the world to be elected prime minister in the world of politics. She achieved this feat in 1960 in her appointment as a senate member. Her husband’s assassination was the turning point on her decision to join politics as she vowed to continue his policies. This impression led the public to refer to her as the “weeping widow” (Fukuyama, 42). Within a year of her being prime minister elect, Ms. Bandaranaike declared a state of emergency in Sri Lanka with a view of curbing the violent campaign by the minority Tamil population in the country. Additionally, her efforts in 1963 oversaw the defeat of an attempted coup which stabilized Sri Lanka from political unrest.
The other woman considered an icon in world politics is Michelle Bachelet. Ms Bachelet achieved the feat of becoming the first female Chilean president. Additionally, she was the first president from South America who possessed views in politics independent from her husband. Ms. Bachelet was inaugurated in 2005 through the CPD as its presidential candidate representative. Once in office, Ms. Bachelet steered her efforts towards improving the status of the poor and implementing reforms on the pension system. More so, she endeavored to empower women in the Chile society who were considered minor in the Chilean society at the time. She also solicited successfully for the constitutional recognition of Mapuche People indigenous rights (Fukuyama, 56).
In her second term as president, Ms. Bachelet instructed the government salvage the profits made from the country’s copper efforts which was at its peak. Saving these profits enabled Chile to withstand the 2008 global crisis and also funded social programs and pension reforms. She was also credited with poverty reduction in Chile early childhood education improvement.
Finally, the other successful woman in global politics is Ms Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Ms Bhutto is the first female in the entire Muslim society to hold a strong political position as prime minister from 1993 to 1996. This is an impressive feat to achieve by a woman considering she hailed from the Muslim society (Fukuyama, 78). Women in this society were considered incompetent to handle in authoritative position in society and such positions were only left for men. Women were considered only capable of handling household matters and under their husband’s directive. Ms Bhutto is noted for her astuteness in politics and charismatic authority at her time in office. Her efforts as prime minister oversaw successful initiatives that vastly improved the economy in Pakistan. She oversaw the implementation of capitalist policies that improved the growth and development of Pakistan’s industrial sector. Additionally, her economic policies and philosophy in politics largely focused on denationalizing corporations owned by the state and subsidy withdrawals (Fukuyama, 91).
In my opinion, I believe that Ms Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto among the women I have discussed is the most influential leader. In this case, having to be a woman in the Muslim society especially in the 90’s was a huge hurdle to overcome for Ms Bhutto. She had to do with the criticism and the scorn coming from the men and very surprisingly, the women as well. Regardless, she did not lose her focus and went on to convince her doubters regardless of the doubt. She went to implement successful policies that improved Pakistan’s economy and empowered many citizens economically. In my opinion, Ms Bhutto earns my recognition as the most influential female leader.
Fukuyama, Francis. “Women and the Evolution of World Politics.” Foreign Affairs. 77(5) Sept./oct. 1998 : 24-40. (2005). Print.
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