If the polls and pundits are correct
… a former Marxist urban guerrilla who was arrested and tortured by the military government in 1970 is about to be elected as the first female President of the South American powerhouse known as Brazil.
With Brazil having a population of 200 million, incredible resources and an economy that is on the rise unlike most other countries, 63 year old grandmother Dilma Rousseff will arguably become the most powerful woman in the world. This is all the more remarkable because Ms. Rousseff was diagnosed in April of 2009 with lymphatic cancer – which is “under control” according to her party.
Hopefully the BHTA, BTA and some of our other leaders will get those congratulatory letters composed and all ready to go. It doesn’t hurt to be first to offer best wishes, you know – because it shows that Barbados cares about Brazil. (Hey, who in the neighbourhood wouldn’t care? Brazil has 200 million people and they are practically within waving distance. I can’t believe it took over ten years to put up a Portuguese language tourism website and welcome signs at Grantley Adams but that’s another story.)
The Sydney Morning Herald has an excellent article that explains why Brazil is so important right now and how Ms. Rousseff has the backing of retiring President Lula da Silva: Steamroller push for next Brazilian President
Does Barbados elect enough women to Parliament?
Inspired by Ms. Rousseff’s impending election, we also want to take the opportunity to compare the number of women elected as Members of Parliament in Barbados with a few other countries. Our task is made easier by the hardworking journalists at The Independent who just happened to have included a list in their article about Ms. Rousseff. (The Independent: The former guerrilla set to be the world’s most powerful woman.)
That’s right folks, when we steal an idea for an article we try to credit the source if we’re sober enough to remember to do so – unlike some other Bajan news outlets who maintain a policy of not crediting blogs with any story – even if they steal Ian Bourne’s photo outright. Not to forget the “change a word or two” plagiarists at the Sunday Telegraph UK.
Recruiting, mentoring, electing and retaining enough women in politics and other positions of leadership to make a difference in society is a never-ending battle for a host of well-discussed reasons that we’ll not repeat again here. We mainly want to inform our readers how Barbados compares when it comes to electing women to political office. For today we’ll leave the whys and hows to our readers’ discussions.
Barbados Stats – Women elected to Parliament 2008
Total Seats = 30
DLP Female MPs = 1
BLP Female MPs = 2
Percentage of elected female MPs in Barbados Parliament = 10%
Here’s the list from the Independent article about Dilma Rousseff…
“In recent years, female political representation has undergone significant growth, with dramatic changes occurring in unexpected corners of the globe. In some countries women are dominating cabinets and even parliamentary chambers. By comparison, the UK 22% falls far behind, with only 22 per cent of seats in the Commons currently held by women.
Bolivia In the Bolivian cabinet – 50%, 10 men are now matched by 10 women. In 2009, women won 25 per cent of seats in the lower chamber, and 47 per cent in the upper chamber.
Costa Rica – 39% In 2010, women won 39 per cent of seats in the lower chamber.
Argentina In 2009, women won 39 per cent of seats in the lower chamber and 47 per cent in the upper chamber.
Cuba In 2009, women won 41 per cent of seats in the lower chamber.
Rwanda In 2009, women won 56 per cent of seats in the lower chamber and 35 per cent in the upper chamber.
Mozambique In 2009, women won 39 per cent of seats in the lower chamber.
Angola In 2009, women won 38 per cent of seats in the lower chamber.
Switzerland Has a female-dominated cabinet for the first time. In 2007, women won 29 per cent of seats in the lower chamber.
Germany In 2009, the cabinet had six women and 10 men. That year, women won 33 per cent of lower chamber seats.
Spain – Nine women compared with eight men in cabinet. In 2008, women won 37 per cent of seats in the lower chamber.
Norway Equal numbers of men and women in the cabinet. Women won 40 per cent of seats in the lower chamber.
Denmark Nine women and 10 men in cabinet. In 2007, women won 23 per cent of seats in the lower chamber.
Netherlands Three women and nine men in cabinet. In 2010, women won 41 per cent of seats in the lower chamber.”
… from The Independent: The former guerrilla set to be the world’s most powerful woman.)