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Let us see more world rulers with hands that rock the cradle

9 February 2021 12:10 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



In journalism, we are told that we should avoid the use of clichés because they are often quoted and thereby prostituted. But in this case we use the cliché ‘the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’ because it is appropriate and symbolic for the United Nation’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This will be observed on February 11 but tragically it is observed more in the breach because in most institutions, professions and even governments the gender equality principle is like one of Donald Trump’s alternative truths or fake news because women and girls are often not given their proper and equal place. In the home or family it is the mother who plays the key role in not only giving birth to children but also taking care of them in their early years. But after that the situation often changes and the father often plays the domineering role if not in some cases and an abusive role with a major worldwide problem being violence against women. 

A ray of hope comes from what happened in the United States at the Presidential Election on November 3 last year. The veteran senator and Former Vice President Joe Biden was elected as President and the first coloured American born Kamala Harris as the first coloured woman to be elected as Vice President. 
The widely respected newspaper ‘The Washington Post’ – which played a major role in bringing down former President Richard Nixon in 1974 by proving that he had told lies about the break-in at the Water Gate Democratic Party National Headquarters has given the texts of some 34,000 lies told by Donald Trump during his four year reign of horror and terror which culminated in the foiled insurrections and attack on the US Congress on January 6. The US House of Representatives has impeached Mr. Trump on charges of inciting violent insurrection and the Senate will begin its trial today. Independent analysts say most Senate republicans are standing by Trump because they fear they may not be re-elected if the white racist majority turns against them. For Mr. Trump to be convicted and debarred from holding public office again the Senate needs to convict him with two-thirds majority that means 63 of the 100 votes. Most independent analysts believe this is unlikely but it is possible that Mr. Trump could be tried in a civil court with criminal charges framed against him. He will anyway have the dubious distinction of being the first US President to be impeached twice. 

Leaving Mr. Trump aside or in the garbage dumps of history, we hope the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration will take effective steps to end white racist supremacist extremism or terrorism while also bringing about racial equality and social justice starting in the US and then in the rest of the free world. In social justice one of the key issues will be gender equality with social equality with Janet Yellen being the first woman to be appointed as Secretary to the Treasury for the US Finance Minister. Many other women have also been given top posts and with Joe Biden now being 78, the oldest President of the US it is quite possible that Kamala Harris will run and hopefully win the Presidential election in 2024 or 2028. 

For the UN International Day of Women and Girl’s in Science the theme is Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. In a statement the UN says the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the critical role of women researchers in different stages of the fight against COVID-19, from advancing the knowledge on the virus, to developing techniques for testing, and finally to creating the vaccine against the virus. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic also had a significant negative impact on women scientists, particularly affecting those at the early stages of their career, and thus contributing to widening the existing gender gap in science, and revealing the gender disparities in the scientific system. This needs to be addressed by new policies, initiatives and mechanisms to support women and girls in science.

At present in worldwide terms less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women According to UNESCO data (2014 - 2016), only around 30% of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3%), natural science, mathematics and statistics (5%) and in engineering, manufacturing and construction (8%).

So let us be truthful and allow the hand that rocks the cradle to rule the world because without adequate women’s representation the decisions taken could be gravely flawed. 


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