Media Round Up- March 10-16

Political pining for Hillary Clinton heats up 

The Globe and Mail, March 14th 2012 

This article discusses the recent groundswell of interest and support for Hilary Clinton, and questions whether she might be interested in running for presidential office in 2016.  The support is based on a growing reputation for taking strong stands on important issues and her ability to work both the Republican and Democratic sides of the house in order to try to affect her decisions.  The author also interviews a women’s rights group, who considers Hilary Clinton to be a better choice than Obama for representing the wishes of women.  Many of us haven’t heard much from Hilary since Obama was elected, but this article shows us how much she has been involved in, and how many people still look for her to get back into the race for America’s most important office. 

To politically empower women on a global scale we need more than quotas 

The Guardian, March 8th 2012 

This article discusses the value of quotas as a means to secure gender equality in politics.  The central example that the article uses is that of Egypt, where a quota system was put in place by the wife of former leader Hosni Mubarak, and has recently been repealed.  As a result of this decision, the percentage of women in Egyptian parliament has fallen from 12% to 2%.  This fall might mask the gains women have made in other aspects of politics, as well as the figurehead status many women held under the old regime.  The author intends to argue that quotas are not a full solution to the problem, and that more consideration needs to be given on how to equalize conditions for women in developing counties. 

Africa News.eu, March 13th 2012 

In stark contrast, this article discusses the other side of quotas, arguing that they help to break the glass ceiling for women, both politically and in the business world.  The article details the inequalities between men and women in European politics and business, and indicates the steps being proposed by the European parliament to solve these inequalities by 2020.  As a pair these two articles indicate the state of the debate over the use of quotas to try to establish gender equality in politics. 

U of S students encourage women to enter politics 

Leader Post, March 14th 2012 

This article discusses a group called Women int eh Legislature based out of the University of Saskatchewan.  The group, like Equal Voice, seeks to improve the current inequalities in politics by encouraging more women to get involved in politics.  They intend to work for equality by interfacing with the media, conducting panel discussions and attending question period.  The article notes the stagnation in female representation in politics, and discusses the group’s plans for combating these issues.  It’s always good to give similar groups more exposure, so check out this article and consider supporting the Women in the Legislature movement. 

Ask the Experts: Where Are the Women in Foreign Policy? 

Council for Foreign Relations, March 8th 2012 

This in depth piece by the Council on Foreign Relations discusses the relative dearth of female politicians in national security discussions.  The authors discuss the many factors that lead women to be turned off by these roles, including the tough hours (making motherhood a difficult prospect), lack of infrastructure, boys-club atmosphere, and a preference for soft International relations (reflected by a relative wealth of representation in senior NGO positions).  The article is an absolutely brilliant dissection of the issues facing modern women in their attempts to effect the discussion at the highest levels of politics.  Check out this article and try to imagine what the international scene might look like if more women were at the table. 

Women degraded by politics, comedy 

Calgary Herald, March 12th 2012 

This article discusses a troubling trend in comedy and politics that has led to increasing acceptance of the denigration of women on the political stage.  Written in the wake of Rush Limbaugh’s famous “slut” comments (regarding a birth control advocating student), the author asks why it has suddenly become OK to treat female politicians with far less respect than their male counterparts.  The question is raised with regards to why comedians like Bill Maher, Louis C.K and others are allowed to get away with calling out political leaders using personally offensive rhetoric that borders on outright sexism.  This trend is a very troubling portent of things to come in North American political discourse, and is something you should keep an eye on. 

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