The Hillary Clinton ticket was received with excitement by the women folk across the globe. This turn-around in the United States has sparked up lots of ideas, dreams and hopes for women who have been marginalized for such long years with the popular phase “the weaker sex” who is not capable of handling state matters.
With numerous charges of assault hovering round the Republican Party Presidential nominee Donald Trump, he is definitely not the choice of women. Many have said “for a man running for president to tag a woman NASTY in the public space, he may do worse things when he assumes power”.
Sampling opinions from a number of women has revealed that women around the world have decided to take their destinies into their own hands regardless of what society has proposed. While reviewing the Clinton policy for women, it is an obvious fact that the successes of the movements for gender parity and the future of women in leadership positions will definitely be actualized with a Clinton Presidency.
Surely, no woman will want a situation where sexual harassment will be taken with a pinch of salt fully aware that she can do nothing about it. Violence of any sort has been despised by many over the years and when this salient clamour begins to take some shape, here comes a candidate who is not sensitive to the plight of the woman on the street, staying in her little corner for fear of being suppressed by the wealthy men of society. Let’s look at some of Republican Donald Trump’s statements about women in public scenes:
- “Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get five percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card.”
- Trump won’t have mothers’ backs. He told a breastfeeding mother, “You’re disgusting!” and forced a mother with a crying baby to leave a rally.
- FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly asked Trump about previous misogynistic comments. He responded by calling her unprofessional and said, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
- Trump questioned Carly Fiorina’s qualifications to be president, saying “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”
- On his reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice, Trump quipped about a female businesswoman, “Must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.”
His views on abortion and Planned Parenthood though having some positive points, goes against the themes of the United States which largely promotes human rights such that each person is at liberty to choose whatever lifestyle suits them. A Trump Presidency seems to spell out a certain form of tyranny which undermines human rights.
What does this election hold for African women? It is amazing how situations seem to be turning all rosy for women across the globe and Africa is not left out. US Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, serves as the symbol of the voice of women. Little wonder why it has been observed that more women in Africa are engaging in political activities even to the point of vying for the topmost leadership spots of their countries; a practice which was very alien before now.
With its male-domineering leadership structure, the African continent has seen strong male leaders who refuse to leave the seat of power and are ready to hold on to such state powers like it is an inheritance. Women have watched quietly over the years, seemingly plotting graphs and waiting for the appropriate motivating factor to steal the reins of power. Slyvie Kinigi opened the way for African women in 1993 as acting head of state in Burundi, there after Ivy Matsepe-Casa burri as acting president of South Africa in 2005, then a woman of repute Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who has made Liberia livable since 2006. Rose Franchine Rogombe also served as interim president of Gabon in 2009, Agnes Monique Ohsan Bellepeau as acting president of Mauritius in 2012 and 2015, Joyce Banda as President of Malawi from 2012-2014, Catherin Samba-Panza as acting head of state, Central African Republic in 2014, and the current president of Mauritius Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. These women have done well for the African continent as regards female inclusion in the workspace and overall gender parity challenges, and are ready to do more with the motivation from foreign female leaders.
There is no doubt that more of these strong women are yet to come with the candidacy of the likes of Fadumo Dayib for President in Somalia, Isatou Touray of Gambia, and very recently MacDella Cooper of Liberia who has joined the 2016 presidential race to continue what President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has started. A Clinton Presidency will therefore strengthen the resolve of women in Africa to take up the mantle of leadership with the knowledge that they will be backed by global women rights as well as women-friendly foreign policies. It will further pull women out of the miserable shell which society has hidden them in with the belief that the only place for a woman is in the KITCHEN. After all, Madam Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has made waves as African Union Chair, as well as other notable women who have attain top management positions.
A number of people have applauded Donald Trump’s proposed radical immigration reforms which have also been perceived as having the capability of causing another civil war in the United Stated with the “Island” image Trump paints. The question is: If only Americans lived in America, would the country be this great? What will happen to those who have contributed to the growth of the American economy? To say the least, it will be heartbreaking to see families split because of an attempt to rid the system of immigrant who have largely contributed to the economic growth of the United States. What is Clinton’s position on this? “We need comprehensive immigration reform with a path to full and equal citizenship. If Congress won’t act, I’ll defend President Obama’s executive actions—and I’ll go even further to keep families together. I’ll end family detention, close private immigrant detention centers, and help more eligible people become naturalized”. The family system is the focal point of society and as such must be preserved with all seriousness. Only women who are actually sensitive to the need of the home can adequately preserve this system.
It is now or never. Now is the time for women to seize the reins on power and create the life they have always dreamed of which seeks growth, development, and notable achievements on all fronts. A time where the youths will be gathered in love to work for the growth of society, a time where the education of a woman means the education of a nation.
By: Eruke Ojuederie