What if more women were in leadership positions? Things still wouldn't be perfect, but things might be better: for one thing, we would probably have less war. Women often experience life differently, and that experience affects the way they see--and solve-- problems.
The BBC News quotes Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, as saying, "With diversity you bring different ways of looking at the world, different ways of analyzing issues, different ways of offering solutions. The sheer fact of diversity actually increases the horizon and enriches the thinking process, which is critical."
Studies show that women lead differently than men--they're more likely to be collaborative, inclusive and team-oriented. Acknowledging that men and women bring different qualities and different skills to public life is critical. For too long, women were expected to think like men and act like men if they wanted to succeed.
BBC quotes Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, as saying, "I think it's fair to say that women are a little more collaborative in their approach overall, and a little less driven to conflict as opposed to driven to working out problems."
They quote former president of Ireland Mary Robinson as saying, "We need to take decisions now that will make for a safer world for our grandchildren and their grandchildren, and I think women are more likely to do that when they come into positions of leadership."
Women have more cash of their own to spend than ever before, and they spend it differently: They feed their families healthier diets and send their children to school. They invest in clean water, better schools, education and health care. They start businesses and hire other women. Businesses, public relations firms and ad agencies have noticed this, and they market only cleaning and beauty products to them, anymore. Women are also essential to building and sustaining peace. Almost half of all peace agreements fail within five years, and this may be because there were no women at the negotiating table. This is especially true in large parts of the Middle East, where women are marginalized, meaning the country is only using half its available brains and talents.
BBC quotes former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as saying, "First and foremost women are often the guardians of the village, the family, and are therefore the ones who suffer most in conflict zones. They're often the target of marauding forces, the target of those who would rape and maim and if you can engage them in the process, then they also can help the society to heal."
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