This comment was by desitjant in reference to the post – Call for Submissions: Can Women Leaders Create a Better World?
Women leaders have the potential to bring that world into being, but that potential is dependent on their recognition that simply having women in positions of power isn’t enough to make sweeping changes. They must actively avoid making the same mistakes as the men who came before them.
I like former Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as an example. She was the first woman to be directly elected to that office, the first to be re-elected, and cracked the top 20 list for The World’s Most Powerful Women.
CFK may or may not created positive changes in Argentina; as in so many instances, that very much depends on who you ask. It would be hard to argue, though, that she did much in the way of demonstrating how women leaders could usher in a better era. Her administration fostered nationalism through hostility towards the US and the U.K., made concerted efforts to limit the freedom of the press, and was plagued by allegations of corruption. Hallmark failings of societies led by men, let’s say.
Women leaders with aspirations of making the world better will face added scrutiny for two reasons. The first is because they are women making waves in a world heretofore dominated by men. The second, and far more fair, is that to actually achieve that goal, the bar must be set higher, and then higher still. Without higher expectations, the biggest change that we can expect will be for voters to feel much less conflicted about putting women in office upon the realization that mediocre leaders can be of any gender.
*** For the record, while I think a matriarchal society would be a fascinating social experiment (it works quite well for elephants and hyenas), I don’t think a total inversion of gender hierarchy is in the cards, barring some sort of weird sci-fi scenario. If I were a betting man, I’d guess that gender representation in leadership roles continues to move towards parity and then eventually never skews much beyond 60/40 in either direction.
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