Alejandro Guevara Onofre asked:
POWER AND WOMAN
By Alejandro Guevara Onofre
From my perspective, I think that democracy is synonymous of equality between women and men in the civil society and government. Ironically, there are more women voters, but fewer women candidates. However, From my point of view I think that “Parity Democracy” is the big difference between democracies and dictatorships. I remembered that the Talibanâ€™s regime â€“the worst dictatorship in the modern history- prohibited women from participating in Afghanistanâ€™s National Government. In 1990 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy activist, won the elections in Myanmar (ex-Burma), but she was arrested and the results were cancelled abruptly by dictator Saw Maung.
Certainly, international organizations reports that 10 democracies have the highest proportion of women in its governmental structures: Sweden, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Iceland, Germany, New Zealand, Mozambique, South Africa and Spain. Another example: under the Administration of Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright was the first female Secretary of State.
Sri Lanka, formerly named Ceylon, is the home to Sirimavo Ratwate Dias Bandaranaike. She was often described as one of the most important females in the history: Mrs. Bandaranaike became Worldâ€™s first female Prime Minister. She influenced Prime Minister from Janet Jagan to Gro Harlem Brundtland with her leadership for womenâ€™s rights and democracy.
Inspired by example of the “Women Revolution” in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and Bangla Desh, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Bandaraikeâ€™s daughter, was elected Head of State in 1994.Her government was very similar that of her mother.
Certainly, there were fewer governments by womenâ€™s leaders as Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, who has fought for the democracy and womenâ€™s rights in Nicaragua, one of the most poorest countries in Latin America.
Finally I would like to finish my article with my favorite personal motto: “The future is for those people who believe in the beauty of their dreams”, by Anna Eleanor Roosevelt. Roosevelt, who was First Lady of the United States between 1933 and 1945.
ARGENTINA: In 1974 Maria Estela Martinez de Peron, best known as “Isabel Peron”, became the first woman President in the modern history. She is the widow of former President Juan Domingo Peron (1946-1955 and 1973-1974). After his death in 1974, Juan Domingo Peron was replaced by Vice President Isabel Peron. On March, 1976, after 2 years in power, she was ousted in a military coup led by Jorge Rafael Videla. She was forced into exile.
BANGLADESH: The country, an ex-British colony, has had two women in the national power. Begum Khaleda Zia was Prime Minister from 1991 to 1996. Khaleda was an advocate for the environment. She escaped assassination in 1995. However, she was reelected without opposition, but Khaleda Zia was succeeded by other woman: Sheik Hassina Wajed, anti-governmental activist. Sheik Hassina Wajed was as unpopularity as her predecessor. Bangladesh was one of the few states in the world whose government has been successively held by women.
BOLIVIA: Lydia Gueiler Tejada, former accountant, served as interim President of Bolivia from 16 November 1979 to 17 July 1980.She was elected President by Parliament. Mrs. Gueiler Tejada was overthrown by General Luis Garcia Meza Tejada, who was one of the worst dictators in the Latin American history.
CANADA: Dame Kimberley Campbell was ephemeral Prime Minister from 25 June 1993 to November 1993. But she was not the only one in power. Jeanne Sauce was Governor General from 1984 to 1989. Furthermore, Adrienne Clarkson was elected also GG in 1999. Currently, Michaelle Jean, was born in Haiti, has been elected GG in 2005.
DOMINICA: Dominica, a small country in the Caribbean, has been an independent State since 1978. Mary Eugenia Charles governed from 1980 to 1995. During her government Dominica had one of the most highest rate of human development in Latin America. In 1983, Mary Eugenia Charles, an admirer of Great Britainâ€™s Margaret Thatcher, established diplomatic relations with Republic of China (ROC) or Taiwan. She was apparently supported by the United States and Taiwan for its anti-communism.
ICELAND: Vidis Finnbogadottir was Head of State of Iceland from 1980 to 1996.Vigdis was a key interlocutor between the Soviet Bloc and the United States. She was the first woman democratically elected President in the world.
INDIA: Indira Ghandi was one of the greatest politicians of the history. She served as Prime Minister of India from 1966 to 1977 and from 1980 to 1984. In the 1970s her government was marked by corruption, human rights abuses and pro-Soviet politics. In 1984, Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated by her bodyguards. During her government, she was an anti-Apartheid leader. Many people loved her and others hated her. Currently, she is a symbol of the India.
IRELAND: Mary Robinson was elected Head of State of Ireland from 1990 to 1997. She was a forceful campaigner for womenâ€™s rights in the world. The fruits of her efforts continue to flourish: On November 11, 1997, Mary McAleese was elected President. The world recognized Irelandâ€™s Mary Robinson for her fight against abuses of refuges.
ISRAEL: Golda Meir governed as Prime Minister from 1969 to 1974. She is remembered as one of the most important women in the Israeli history. During her government, Israel and Egypt, Syria and Iraq went to war. After her death, Israel is the birthplace of important women as Leah Rabin and Shulamith Katznelson.
NEW ZEALAND: Jenny Shipley had an ephemeral government. She became the NZâ€™s first female Prime Minister. In 1999 Helen Clark was elected Prime Minister of NZ. Historically, New Zealand is the birthplace of the “Woman Suffrage”. The countryÂ´s name in the local dialect means “Land of the Woman Suffrage”.
NORWAY: Gro Harlem Brundtland served as Prime Minister for 11 years. She has been described as a “great Prime Minister”. She is equally admired as an ecologist and diplomatic. Under her leadership, Norway was an example of human development in the world.
PHILIPPINES: Corazon “Cory” Aquino was the fourth women in Asia to assume the position of President. After her victory, Aquino said that among her political projects were the anti-poverty and human rights. She was Benigno Aquinoâ€™s wife. She helped win more representation for women in the Parliament. It was under her government that full democratization began.
SRI LANKA: Sririmavo Bandaraike was the first woman who became Prime Minister in the history. Historically, she has been the first woman with real power in the 20th Century. Under her government, the Island, an ex- British colony, became a democratic republic. Mrs. Bandaranaike had taken a prominent role in national affairs during the government of her daughter, President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike (1994-2000).
UNITED KINGDOM: Margaret Hilda Roberts Thatcher, best known worldwide as the “Iron Lady”, was Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. She was the most powerful woman in the industrialized world. Mrs. Thatcher does not herself as a feminist. Thatcher was reelected Prime Minister in the 1980s and she was an active anti-communist leader. Her economical philosophy provided a model for many countries as Hungary, Czech Republic, Mauritius, Botswana, El Salvador, Chile and Cyprus. Under her leadership, the UKâ€™s economy witnessed the most rapid growth in the 1980s.Ironically, she has not made campaigns for womenâ€™s rights, but she is an advocate for the ecology. Europe has produced many leaders, but none as Margaret Thatcherâ€¦
UNITED STATES: In 1996 Maria Jana Korbelova or Marie Hana Korbel, best known as Madeleine Albright, made history when she was elected Secretary of State o
f the United States. She was born in Czech Republic, former Czechoslovakia, but Madeleine became American citizen in the 1950s.She g
ained international recognition for her efforts on behalf of human rights and democracy. She was one of the few American leaders to balance good relations with North Koreaâ€¦
Did you know that an American woman was Head of State?
Janet Jagan became President of Guyana, an ex-British colony and South American country. Mrs. Jagan, a naturalized Guyanan citizen who was born in Chicago, Illinois, came to power from December 1997 to 11 August 1999.
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