Hard Times for Women Leaders

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel tries to cobble together a governing coalition after losing votes in the recent election, especially to the far right. To govern reasonably effectively, her Christian Democrats will have to form a new coalition, a “Jamaica” coalition, with both the Free Democrats and the Greens.
  • Myanmar’s preeminent leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, continues to be humiliated by the humanitarian crisis involving over a half million Rohingya forced to flee to Bangladesh. Manifestly Myanmar’s military is a power Myanmar’s leader is unable to control.
  • Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, struggles to maintain a semblance of dignity – and of power and influence. Brexit talks have gone no place. May’s cabinet, and her party (the Conservatives), war among themselves. Her performance at the Conservatives just ended conference was said to be “calamitous.” (Alas, a mortifying coughing fit during one of her important speeches did not help.) And she was forced to face down a coup attempt by some 30 plus members of her own party. A “nightmare” week indeed!

I draw no conclusion from this enumeration. But what does seem clear is that leadership is an equal opportunity exercise. That female leaders are treated just like male leaders – subjected to insults and injuries on a regular basis.

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