Three Women


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.

Kathy Dunderdale - Will be 10th Premier

Kathy Dunderdale - Will be 10th Premier

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

Critical Mass

Yvonne Jones - Opposition Leader

Yvonne Jones - Opposition Leader

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?

Lorraine Michael - Leader NDP

Lorraine Michael - Leader NDP

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.

Please ladies, try.  We are counting on you.

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2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, Women

2 responses to “Three Women

  1. Amelia Reimer

    This is certainly food for thought. Thank you. 🙂
    Throughout history, what positive examples can we hold up? We have the example of Margaret Thatcher, who is notably remembered for her success through a masculine style of leadership. Is there a successful female leader that has exhibited the feminine style of leadership wished for here?
    This is an interesting role to fill. How to be a “real woman” in a “man’s” governmental structure? How to blaze ahead strongly as a woman, and still look out for the interests of both male and female voters. How to have the quiet/measured strength of a woman without being walked all over by men (men from the business sector, federal government, and other provincial govt neighbours).
    When male politicians do take an interest in health care, children and the family, education, environment, housing and the elderly; are they to be seen as taking on female interests? These are human interests. When female politicians take interest in a strong economy and an availability of family-wage jobs, does that make them less of a woman?
    For the most part, women who make it to these positions of leadership have gained that role through knowing how to succeed in a traditionally “man’s world”. How to now switch the mindset of the female politician herself to suit this current situation of strong female representation in the Newfoundland & Labrador political scene?
    I like the idea of the public speaking event suggested here — it would be very interesting to hear where everyone stands.
    A word of caution, though. Although most people understand that, throughout history, women have largely been kept out of the political realm, and that recent events are beginning to offset that situation — remember to try the shoe on the other foot. How outraged and excluded would women feel if there were a public event held to showcase an all-male political leadership? This actually happens all the time (e.g. federal political leadership), but not expressed outright — yet women are made to feel excluded.
    So how to celebrate female leadership without alienating male constituents? Not that many male politicians really take women into consideration, but that women shouldn’t repeat these same mistakes if they want to be considered any different.
    Like I said, certainly food for thought. It will be interesting to watch what Dunderdale, Jones, and Michael choose to do with this opportunity in uncharted waters.

    • Thank you for your comments. They are all well taken. Personally, I believe society is always evolving. Women in Newfoundland have always been strong and assumed major roles in family and community leadership because traditional men’s work kept them away from home for periods of time. However, these activities were frequently “behind the scenes.” Their actions were instrumental, but most often women did not take the spotlight. Danny William’s Mom explained on TV that she had been a worker in the PC party for years.
      I do not believe there are “men’s issues” and “women’s issues.” Neither do I think that men are antagonistic to women’s success in business or politics. All men have mothers, most have sisters and female partners in life. By far the majority of men are very supportive of the women in their lives and communities. WOMEN have not been assertive about their role in business and politics. Most studies show that women have a different perspective on many issues and that they have a different work place style than men. In the past, women’s role in the family and home was very time consuming. Today, there are more options. I believe that in politics and in business, just as in life, a balance between men’s and women’s world views is necessary. In the past, the male world view has dominated. At this point in history, in our province, when the problems in the environment, society, and the economy are so overwhelming, we have an opportunity to see and to hear about business and politics from another vantage point.

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