It is heartening to see that even among all its internal problems and distorted political and public image, a few leaders from within the PNCR are making valiant attempts at contesting the post of presidential candidate. As I write, Messieurs David Granger, Basil Williams and Winston Murray have all indicated their desire to run for the presidential candidacy of their party for Election 2011.
The AFC has its leadership strategy already drafted into its constitution, so the wait is on to see if this will be honoured and its new leader and presidential candidate emerge as Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan.
What is happening among the other parties including the PPP/C regarding their presidential candidates is not publicly known. But I am confident that as time draws nearer to Election 2011, all presidential candidates would be revealed.
Can we expect to see female presidential candidates emerging? Are there women among our cadre of local politicians who are competent and eligible to take-on the mantle of president? Our new breed of female Guyanese politicians needs to be more assertive and establish themselves as towers of strength for which to be reckoned. For too long there has been a gender gap in our politics.
In some societies gender quotas are increasingly being used as a policy tool to improve women’s participation in politics. While in many cases these policies have succeeded in increasing the number of women politicians, not many rise to the top as thoroughbred leaders.
I know it might prove challenging for our female politicians to rise to political prominence in the context of our patriarchal socio-political system. But, there are some modern examples where women have successfully subverted the boundaries of gender and risen to the top of political leadership in a very aggressive male-dominated sphere. Could female Guyanese politicians learn from these examples?
Here is a list of female politicians who in 2010 have fought for and took their rightful places in politics as leaders of nations:
• 2010- President of the Confederation Doris Leuthard, Switzerland
• 2010- President Roza Otunbayeva, Kyrgyzstan
• 2010- President Laura Chinchilla Miranda, Costa Rica
• 2010- Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi, Finland
• 2010- Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Australia
• 2010- Prime Minister Iveta Radièová, Slovakia
• 2010- Prime Minister Sarah Wescott-Williams, Saint Maarten (Self-governing Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
• 2010- Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Trinidad and Tobago
Guyana had its first female President over a decade ago. Even though she began her presidential term controversially by publicly throwing a legal document over her shoulder for all to see as she was being sworn in, we must all remember that regardless of her ideologies, she fought for what she believed in and rose to the top through hard work and dedication.
Who from among our female politicians will vie for presidential candidacy?
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