Saturday, December 29, 2007

Benazir Bhutto

I wonder why more women don't go into politics.

Could it be that we worry about creating orphans?
What sort of message does the assassination of Benazir Bhutto say to all the women and girls around the world who wish to get into politics? Specifically what does it say to the women of Pakistan?

I worry about the gender inequality in the world. I worry about such widespread hatred - and why we are so tolerant of this behaviour.

I understand that Benazir was not only assassinated because she was a women (although that was a trait which marked her for death from the beginning with the Taliban). But it played a role and the loss of Benazir is a loss to the whole world - women especially.

Women are under represented in every area of government and management. I am sad to say that this is also true of my profession. I am a social worker (front line) and in my small office the team leaders are 50 - 50 gender split (despite the fact that women make up 80% + of the workforce). Our administration staff is 100% female. I am forced to ask the question why? During my BSW we were educated about social change and how to affect change in our communities. So why can we not shake the trees and promote more women into positions of power? The majority of our adult clients are female. The majority of our support agencies are staffed by women.

I do not believe that this is due to male intellectual superiority - please. I know that some Harvard professors are debating the differences between the level of IQ in men and women. If IQ testing had been invented by a woman she would have built in multi tasking components which included creating shopping lists, balancing cheque books and figuring out if 1=8 then 2=X. That would be a true test of capacity and IQ. In short I believe that men and women have different strengths intellectually - but this does not place one above the other.

If anythings these differences should reinforce the need to have both men and women equally represented in world government and all levels of business and public service.

So farewell Benazir, you will be mourned by your fellow Pakistanis and women around the world.
I hope that this cowardly act will invigorate women and motivate them to vote in the coming elections in Pakistan.

I also hope that it will light a fire under every mother, daughter, wife, best friend and sister to get out there and get involved. I believe that we can change the world. Vote as is your right and your duty in democracy.


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