The U.S. has yet to see a woman ascend to leading this country.
By Brian W. Carter
Sentinel Staff Writer
The United States of America has been one of the foremost countries to make bold and innovative contributions to the world. This country has encouraged many freedoms, implemented many new ideas and helped bridge relationships with other countries. This country has had many achievements, all except one, why haven’t we seen a lady head-of-state?
Head of state is a term for an individual or collective office that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or any other kind of state. In the U.S.A., head-of-state has been occupied by a man, but women have run for the position in the past.
Victoria Woodhill was one of the first women to be a running mate with Frederick Douglass back in 1872. Shirley Chisholm was a Congresswoman, representing New York’s 12th Congressional District, was the first Black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Most recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who ran against then presidential nominee Barack Obama, came close to being our first, female head of state. The list is long with women who have put their best foot forward but to no avail.
The Woman’s liberation movement of the 1960’s and 70’s drastically changed the way women were viewed by society. It swept away those old and outdated ideals of the stay-at-home housewife and gave women more freedom to explore opportunities and careers. Although women have made great strides and broken down huge barriers, leading one of the most powerful nations in the world is still out of reach.
“Things can be changed,” said Irene Natividad, president of the Global Summit of Women. “Women must take the banner for change themselves instead of just saying ‘It’s not fair.'” Women are more qualified than ever to take on the challenge of leading the United States of America but maybe there are still barriers that need to be broken.
It seems that the benchmarks America has stood for perpetually, equality and democracy, have not been able to pierce this particular glass ceiling. It’s definitely a topic to be debated and considered but until the future Ms. President is elected, other countries will be ahead of us.
Queen Elizabeth II of England, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, President Mary McAleese of Ireland, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines, Governor-General Michaelle Jean of Canada, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, President Cristina E. Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina, Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack of Antigua and Barbuda, President Doris Leuthard of Switzerland…these are just a few ladies that are heads-of-state from around the world. It seems that the world may be more progressive than us.
A female president is definitely on the horizon as the biggest glass ceiling has been broken with the presidency of Barack Obama. Maybe with time the country will come to see that a woman is just as capable of leading our country to a bright future.