Three Women as Party Leaders in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Is the tremendous potential of women to advance society in creative, vital and energetic new ways being tapped for the first time in our history? Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the few places on earth where women are running all three major political parties. I would like to see a public event where these three women have an opportunity to speak, explaining their goals as leaders.
In the past, many women politicians have mirrored the attitudes and policies of their male counterparts to achieve success in “a man’s world.” They have attacked and crashed the male-dominated political environment of confrontation, harsh competition, and closed male-networks. The prime example would be Margaret Thatcher
In our province, we have reached a “Critical Mass” of female participation at the highest level of political parties. Will these women be able make any significant changes to the conduct of politics?
Traditional Women’s Attributes
Traditional women’s roles require them to have tremendous skills in time-management, in people management, and in developing workable solutions to problems. Will these women attempt to make politics about issues, valid differences of opinions, seeking the best solution, rather than posturing, following the party line, confrontation, and name-calling?
Stands on Issues of Concern to Women
What are the stands of these women on issues of great concern to women? Studies have shown that women place priority on policies related to women’s traditional roles as caregivers in society, including: health care, children and the family, education, environment, housing and the elderly. Will they bring more focus to those issues, and more importantly, what are their priorities? Have they examined the economic policy process from a women’s perspective? Will they encourage more women to become entrepreneurs and to assume leadership roles in business and their communities?
Please Ladies – Make a Change!
If these women meet the potential of the moment, they can achieve a great deal. They can bring civility and cooperation back to our political system. Disagreeing on the fundamentals of policy, does not mean that people have to be disagreeable. They can rationally delineate their policies, explaining their political stands on issues. They can cooperate for the good of the province where possible. And just as importantly, they can become role models to younger women, encouraging the full and equal participation of women in business, political, civil, economic, social, and cultural life.