Sunday, June 25, 2006

No contradictions -- Jamaican Prime Minister knows what she has to do!

Letter to the Editor of The Miami Herald:

"CARIBBEAN PREMIER WINS OVER CROWD" (6-25-06) regarding the visit of Jamaica Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller shows once again that some people either don't get the value of having woman leaders or at best perpetuate a conversation that can only negate that value. At one point the Herald writes, "And in what seemingly were contradictory statements, she both highlighted and downplayed that she is the first woman to lead Jamaica..." -- this in response to the Prime Minister's emphasis on ridding her country of corruption as a woman and then saying, "It's not just about being a woman." Women are often elected, especially abroad, because they are seen (and usually are!) as more honest. At the same time women also champion issues often ignored or downplayed by men such as poverty, bringing much-needed balance to our lives. So why should Ms. Simpson-Miller be faulted for saying that her job leading an entire country is not a gender issue? The real issue is that more women like her -- who can both broker power and then work to correct socio-economic injustices -- should be elected everywhere, including right here at home. We should not forget that the USA is 68th in the world for electing women and fraught with a multitude of grave problems created by men. We have little to lose and much to gain by putting more women in office and in charge!

Paula Xanthopoulou
Miami, Florida


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