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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Republic of Liberia

photo credit: blogs.

(Part One: From an Opinionative Perspective)

There are currently 19 female presidents in the world, with two of them from Africa. With over 193 nations, this may seem a considerably low figure. Perhaps not! Half a century ago the concept of women leadership was a Utopian phenomenon in most countries, and a woman’s place was seen as only that of the family and home, and not in public service. Many who lived in eras even earlier may have never anticipated the steady growth at which women in leadership have increased today. Despite this significant improvement, on a general and much larger scale, the overall political participation of women is still relatively low. While many countries are now actively pushing women’s involvement in public service, others have continuously lagged behind. This may be attributed to the strong patriarchal cultures still deeply enrooted in some countries where women’s representation in government is a rarity.  Advocates for greater women participation in government see far beyond the surface benefits. They deem women’s role too important to go unnoticed in various sectors of the society, and claim that political participation by women not only improves the economy, but also the health, socio-economic, and general wellbeing of women and children, as well as the overall development of a country. Women no longer want to be seen as too “soft” to take on tough governing roles only seem fit for men in the past. They have proven over and again, with unbending iron ladies such as Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, to name a few, that women can be both hard core tough decision makers, and soft caring “nurturing” managers in varying situations. These powerful women of the world in their daily leadership, continue to dispel the old myth and are standing tall in their male dominated fields to show that women are just as capable as leading as their male counterparts- if not better!

It’s a man’s world- but women are slowly grasping the key! One should not expect that the change happens right away, it may not happen in our time or our century, but it will happen. There is no stopping these women. They are determined now more than ever before to be heard- not just in their communities, but at a higher level of government and public service. This transition is not an event, but a process- a process that has gained massive momentum over the years and is serving as a motivational force for other women and a campaign for change- one female president at a time!

It was only years ago in some countries when women were not allowed to vote or participate in political leadership. Today, that number is gradually rising in countries around the world. Women are now increasingly being politically elected to be heads of state and government. More than 20 countries currently have a woman holding office as the head of a national government, and the global participation rate of women in national-level parliaments now stands at 21%. A number of countries are exploring measures that may increase women’s participation in government at all levels, from the local to the national.

Go Women! This is truly our time…

 To be continued….




Sources:, Inter- Parliamentarian Union, UN Women, and UNICEF SOW Children Report Chapter four

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