Female political leaders are still rare

The number of female heads of state and government is just 16. 

Women who "achieve the highest office are highly visible an extremely impressive, but they're still extremely rare," told Anne Marie Goetz, Professor at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU to IPS a couple of weeks ago. She is referring to the minority of women who have risen to the top of politics, like Michelle Bachelet, Angela Merkel or Hilary Clinton.

They're still few with only 16 women being heads of state and government in almost 200 countries around the world.  “Five percent women heads of government, seven percent women heads of state, 22 percent women in parliament, this is far too few,” told Gabriella Borovsky, Political Participation Policy Specialist at UN Women to IPS.

Some other examples include Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia and Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Nonetheless this is still too far from UN’s goal to achieve gender balance in politics which member agreed in 1995. At the current rate it would take another 50 years to achieve this.

Maybe in November Hilary Clinton will become the 17th women in this list, which won’t change the percentages after Dilma Roussef’s impeachment,  the former 17th.

United Nations’ Secretary General position is yet another post still to be held by a woman. In 2017 a new candidate will replace Mr. Ban Ki-moon and for the first time several female candidates are in consideration.

However informal straw polls by the Security Council ambassadors show a man is still the frontrunner to become Secretary General. Portugal’s former prime minister Antonio Guterres has taken the first spot in this contest for five consecutive times.

This polls are a way to come up with a shortlist of candidates before putting a nominee on October. This will respond to calls to pick the first woman after eight men in the post and to give preference to an eastern European, whose region is the only one that has yet to be represented in the post.

From the ten candidates still in the running, six are from eastern Europe and five are women. Irina Bokova, from Bulgaria and UNESCO’s Director General is one of the candidates, nonetheless, the last polls she’s had less support and according to EFE news agency, Bulgaria might be considering in nominating Kristalina Georgieva who has more sympathy with the west.

Susana Malcorra, Argentina’s Chancellor has become the best positioned woman in the race, being overall in the fourth position tied up with Danilo Turk, Slovenia’s former president.  

LatinAmerican Post

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