Our Daughters are Our Future Presidents
Updated: Mar 21
Dear Asian Youth,
November 7th, 2020: Kamala Harris becomes the first South Asian, Black, Woman vice president elect of the United States of America. I never thought I would see the day where a South Asian woman like myself holds a seat on a presidential ticket. Now that I have witnessed such an event, I have transitioned from hoping to knowing that women belong to the future presidencies and vice presidencies of the United States of America.
After 244 years of racial and gender oppression, the seat of Vice President of the USA belongs to a woman. However, this accomplishment would not have been possible without the previous efforts of other powerful women to fight gender inequality and advocate for equal rights. They include Congresswoman Bella Abzug, who played a key role in integrating women leadership in the House of Representatives, Madeleine Albright, the first woman to be Secretary of State, FDR Advisor Mary McLeod Bethune, a main figure in defending Black rights and the legacy of the Women’s Army Corps, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who played a heavy part in fighting sex discrimination through ruling court cases. Alongside many others, these women have played monumental roles in expanding the true equality of the checks and balances that make up our American system today.
The American political scene has been led by males for centuries and is far behind other countries that have already elected women to serve as the Head of Government and/or State. Angela Merkel, current Chancellor of Germany, has been seated in this position for the past 15 years. Chancellor Merkel has championed human rights as an essential imperative, opening Germany borders in the face of the humanitarian emergency of Europe’s recent refugee crisis. She has helped repair Germany’s economy to be one of the strongest in the world, while maintaining a strong diplomacy with other countries during summits such as G-20 and NATO. Another powerful woman that comes to mind is Jacinda Ardern, the incumbent Prime Minister of New Zealand. PM Ardern is most famously known for her incredible response to the terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques on March 15, 2019. The shooting took the lives of 51 individuals, and was a devastating blow to New Zealand’s internal peace. In response, New Zealand’s government passed the Arms Amendment Act of 2019, banning semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and parts on April 10th. It took 26 days to pass an act on gun control that was desperately needed during the time and this monumental decision has made the country safer and less tolerant of hate crimes. Jacinda Ardern led this movement to make New Zealand a more protected country, and paved the way for several other nations to do the same.
Both Jacinda Ardern and Angela Merkel continue to govern their respective countries; it is worth noticing that because of their leadership, their nations have each been saved from different crises, Germany from an economic recession and New Zealand from future terrorist attacks. These two women, along with many more female leaders, play great roles in keeping peace in global affairs, and are instead ridiculed for their decisions. The stigma that surrounds women in leadership roles, even in the common workplace, needs to stay in the past in order for the world to proceed towards a better future.
Whether through school or family, , most children have been indirectly nurtured into believing that the concept of society where women are leaders is alien; from “girls” magazines that talk about the latest fashion trends and “boys” magazines that discuss “Exploring Your Future”, to learning about mostly male figures in the sciences and social studies.
While some may argue that men did in fact invent more, achieve more, and are therefore, popularized more; they are incorrect. Men were given a higher education than women, and were pushed to learn more so they could do more. Alternatively, it is imperative to keep in mind that there were several important women scientists and leaders in the past; however, they were not given the recognition that they deserved. Marie Curie, for example, is seldom taught about in any science or history class. Curie is one of only two Nobel laureates who has been awarded the Nobel Prize twice, in Physics and Chemistry.