In Game of Thrones (No spoilers, I promise!), Tyrion Lannister often states his opinion by starting with the phrase “A wise man once said. …” When asked who this wise man is, Tyrion admits that, well, it’s him. Usually, the anecdote that follows is wise nonetheless! That’s the thing about saying great things. You might be the smartest woman in the room, but you may very well be dismissed. The next time your voice lands on deaf ears, start your discourse with “A wise woman once said. …” Maybe then you’ll get your point across!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 15
Women in politics probably know better than any of us how difficult it can be to have your voice heard. Thankfully, that isn’t stopping women the world over from standing their ground, voicing their opinions and running for office. Take the Parliamentary election in Kuwait in late 2016, when an amazing number of women—15—ran for 50 open Parliament seats. Though only one woman, Safa Al Hashem, was elected, she’s steadfastly working to ensure she won’t be the last. And considering she has the strongest social-media following of any Kuwaiti politician, amassing more than 300,000 followers on Twitter alone, we’d say her influence will likely be felt for years to come.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Jacinda Ardern, New Leader of New Zealand’s Labour Party
Our fans in The Land of the Long White Cloud, aka New Zealand, will definitely recognize today’s ambitious Woman to Watch. Jacinda Ardern made headlines worldwide recently when she became the new leader of New Zealand’s Labour Party. At 37, Jacinda is the youngest person to hold the position and only the second woman to do so.
Jacinda says her passion for social justice led her to the Labour Party when she was just 17, and she’s been fighting for important issues ever since. She’s lived all over the world, volunteered at a soup kitchen and has been working in politics for more than a decade. Despite such credentials, like many working women, Jacinda has had to tackle that inevitable work/life balance question head-on. Just hours after her election win, a male TV host asked her if she had already made the choice between motherhood and career. Jacinda, in her wise way, explained that whether you’re the leader of a political party or a mom working three jobs, you just get stuff done. That’s what women do!
Jacinda was again bombarded with the mom-or-career question, this time from a male talk-show host who told Jacinda Kiwis deserved to know whether maternity leave was in her future. Unwavering, Jacinda was having none of that nonsense, noting it’s actually illegal to ask a woman about her childbearing plans in the workplace. Take that, patriarchy! Jacinda: 2, insulting dudes: 0.
Jacinda is a classy lady with a resume that speaks for itself. In 2008, Jacinda was elected as a list member of Parliament, and served as president of the International Union of Socialist Youth, which fights for human rights, democracy and social justice throughout the world. Since early 2017, Jacinda has been the member of Parliament representing Mount Albert, a suburb of Auckland.
Jacinda’s charismatic personality and remarkable career accomplishments have made her a favorite among Kiwis. In fact, after only one week on her new job, the Labour leader got a ringing endorsement from The Guardian, which noted that New Zealand was being gripped by “Jacindamania!” That has a nice ring to it, aye?
QUITE THE QUOTE
Today’s quote about paving the way for women comes from Julia Gillard, the former prime minister of New Zealand’s neighbor, Australia:
“What I am absolutely confident of is it will be easier for the next woman and the woman after that and the woman after that—and I’m proud of that.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.