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Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she is running for president has really brought to the fore some really important implications for gender equality in America. Her campaign seems to be off to a good start. She failed in 2008 because of her inability to connect with people on a real level. Aiming for the middle class and women is a good strategy. How well it works for her only time will tell. We just have to wait and see how she resonates with voters over the coming 19 months of campaigning.

It is great to see the fanfare and hoopla about the prospect of America finally having a female president. As momentous as this may be for America, it is not a new concept in other parts of the world. There quite a few heads of state in many other countries check out the list below. There two most well-known heads of state were Margret Thatcher and Indira Ghandi.

Female Presidents

For a country that deems itself the “the moral torchbearer and defender of human rights, of fairness and justice” and has never had a female president is a little hypocritical.   Way back in 1872, Victoria Woodhull, ran for office and was incarcerated on Election Day. She spent over a month in New York City’s Ludlow Street Jail on obscenity charges, because women didn’t have the right to vote (much less run for office) in American until 1920.

The U.S is behind 19 other countries when it comes to gender equality.  According to the Global Gender Gap Index, America ranks No. 20 out of 142 countries. It lags behind Canada, France, South Africa and even some less developed countries such as Rwanda and Nicaragua.

gender-gap-countries-main

The US also ranks No. 54 in the political category since it has never had a female president.  With their entire chest pounding of being the land of the brave and the home of the free, they really have to step up the game when it comes to gender equality.

GDP ranking

It is high time that a woman becomes leader of the wealthiest country on the planet.  Hillary’s plan to break the ceiling glass and fight for a society that deals with women more equitably is a win for everyone. If you are a man, it means your wife, sister; mother and all the other female people in your life will have a greater opportunity to have upward mobility in the workforce, to have higher pay and better policies in their favour.  Investing in women is investing in the future. Economically, gender equality increases the stock of human capital and raises labour productivity. Socially, it will foster continued equality and inclusiveness in the future because when the mothers of a nation are treated fairly, the children they raise will be grow up knowing that equality is right of everyone and is not something based on gender.

Carlos-Ghosn1

I not a political analyst, but I think Hillary Clinton is the only woman who has made it this close to the race for president. In terms of her qualifications she is second to none. Really, if you think about it, she intimately (no pun intended) understands what it is to be in the White House.  If she is elected as president, she will be the only president to have also held the title of first lady. Ms. Obama, please take note!

To all her critics, the fight for gender equality is not a battle of the sexes, society as a whole will benefit from leveling the playing field. There have been numerous studies which have demonstrated that gender inequality stunt economic growth so adopting policies to reduce and eventually eradicate this inequality is beneficial to the country as a whole. Higher growth is good news for everyone regardless of gender. I understand that there is ingrained archaic thinking when it comes to women and the workplace this may take some time to change but it has to change. There can be no progress without change. We also have to remember that politician are politicians, regardless of their gender, they will do and say things that are required of the office they hold. So holding constant any personal bias against her, Hillary is the best chance that America has at really making substantial improvements in gender quality. Hillary Clinton is to America and gender equality what the four mile race was for runners. You just have to see it done once and all barriers will be broken after that.

I have to say Marco Rubio’s comment about “yesterday” is a clever and witty but so condescending. Mario is flashy and hip, but it takes more than a great showman to run a country. There is no substitute for experience. I hope people put aside the trivialities and give Hillary a fair chance and not get sidetracked by her hair style and what she wears. I really believe America will be better off with her as a president.

Dr. M

www.thekidonomicsseries.com

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