Friday, June 25, 2010

Women's Week

When I hear constant comments about Julia Gillard's hair colour and her marital status and a whole range of other personal comments which have nothing to do with her capacity to lead, then I think it's been fortunate our government has put women before us this week so we can have a look at ourselves and our attitudes. France couldn't vote in a woman president and that came very close with Ségolène Royale. America couldn't vote in a woman president and Hilary Clinton had all the credentials.Would we vote in a woman? We never have. Would we? New Zealand did. It's not just about it being a woman as head of the country. It shouldn't matter. Angela Merkl was voted in in Germany and when you see and hear German politicians then the men and women are equal. Gender is not relevant. There is no role differentiation and it's about competency. So we have gone off because we have a woman as our Prime Minister and had Julia Gillard not done what she did then maybe we'd never get a chance to see what it is like to have a woman in that role. She was sworn in by Quentin Bryce our first female Governor General. Do we live in a country where it is not quite right to have women in these roles? Do we truly have no suitable women? Do they really have to put up with comments on their hair and how they look and what their relationships are or aren't? Are women somehow not right? At least for the time being our girls can look up and see women doing the important jobs. The top jobs. That's fair. These are competent women. It's good for young people to get a bit of inspiration that way. How many men are sitting in parliament thinking that the top job is their job? A good job for them and how many boys are aspiring political candidates because they can see men running our country? We appointed a woman to the board of  the South Australian Cricket Association too this week. We have been watching the Flinders Uni Women's Cricket team on our drives to town for years. Women here take their cricket seriously. They need to be represented. So, for now, we are having a good look at who we are and what we believe in. Even Therese Rein can go back to her business interests which she had had to relinquish because she was married to the Prime Minister of Australia. One of our most successful business women had had to give up her interests and capabilities in order for Kevin Rudd to serve our country. Well, now she can be herself again. So all this change has highlighted some interesting aspects of our life style and values in Australia. Could we have done that any other way?

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