There are definitely new faces in high places in the 21st century. Not veiled anymore, women are being recognized and acknowledged.
It was once natural to think women were only good homemakers – only good at cooking, cleaning and raising children.
Times are changing rapidly.
Women are demanding more for their lives, families and from their work. They’re taking on roles such as president and chancellor of countries, media and entertainment moguls, fashionistas, business owners, heads of corporations, attorneys and professors.
Women of all races and ethnicities are constantly and increasingly making tremendous decisions and contributions that are affecting our society. One could say that women are definitely playing in the major leagues when it comes to making positive changes and being in major decision-making positions.
Caught between a constant cycle of violence for over 25 years, Liberia has witnessed more than 200,000 people killed, and about half a million people displaced. These numbers mean a lot considering that the pre-war population was only 3 million.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, fondly called the “Iron Lady” by supporters, became Liberia’s first female-elected head of state last October and is already moving toward positive changes.
Securing herself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first female president in Africa, the Liberian president seems up for the challenge of restoring peace and hope to a once nearly destitute country.
Angela Merkel was elected the first female chancellor of Germany last November and is the first woman to lead the country since it became a modern nation-state in 1871.
Merkel is also the first chancellor of Germany to be the former citizen of the communist Germany Democratic Republic. Still new in her position, Merkel is already making strides to unify the country and to make it a better place for all of its citizens.
Noted as a “hero” by supporters, Socialist Michelle Bachelet, in a Jan. 15 runoff vote, was elected to be Chile’s first female president.
Bachelet, a pediatrician, former political prisoner and single mother of three, has plenty of qualities that the average citizen can relate to.
In her victory speech, Bachelet made it clear that she intends to maintain the coalition’s free-market economic polices that have turned Chile’s economy into one of the region’s strongest.
Sirleaf, Merkel and Bachelet are among many women who play major roles in promoting peace and improving society. These women give youth a better picture of how society should be run: Equal liberty and equal opportunity is the fastest and most conducive way to move toward a great and productive society.
As Temple students, we have all studied intellectual heritage and most, if not all, are familiar with John Rawls, his theory of justice and his outlook on original position. He says, as humans and individuals of society, our self-interest (race, sex, religion, class) obstructs justice.
For far too long, we as a society have allowed mental, physical and gender barriers to hold back so many different groups of people.
Yet now I believe we are on the right path, and our world is looking much brighter for future generations.
Jennifer Ogunsola can be reached at email@example.com.