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Women's Leadership: A Right, Not a Concession




The Numbers Speak, But Are We Listening?

Women's leadership is not just a right; it is an imperative. It is not a wrong, it is not a 'left,' and it is certainly not a sin. In a world that often puts up barriers that read 'NO ENTRY,' we are not taking a detour; we are claiming what should already be ours.


A recent tweet from UN Women struck a chord: "Only 13% of negotiators in major peace processes between the years 1992 and 2019 were women." This message underscored the essential role of women for equitable solutions, the eradication of systemic violence, and the achievement of the Global Goals. My immediate reaction was, "Why are we still debating women's right to inclusion? It is a given, not a concession."


As of 2023, women occupy merely 24.9% of all parliamentary seats globally and hold a scant 26.1% of ministerial roles. These figures fall significantly short of the often-cited 30% 'critical mass' necessary for influencing decision-making, suggesting a strategic absence of women rather than mere underrepresentation.


Surprisingly, even organisations like the UN, which advocate gender equality, are not immune to this trend. As of 2022, merely 27% of decision-makers within the UN were women. This raises a poignant question: if even the advocates are falling short, what hope is there for global change?


Women: From Underrepresentation to Reclaiming Strategic Presence

Women constitute more than half of the global population, a fact that should automatically grant them a seat at every decision-making table. Yet, this is far from the reality. Instead of mere underrepresentation, what we observe is a calculated absence, a strategic void that speaks to systemic issues beyond numbers.


This glaring inequity is often legitimized by outdated narratives that question women's "confidence," "capacity," or "qualifications" for leadership. Such views do more than just undermine women as individuals; they perpetuate systemic unfairness and perpetuate exclusion.


The true issue is not that women are unqualified for leadership roles; rather, it is our societal structures and perceptions that are fundamentally flawed. We must move beyond merely counting women in seats to strategizing their meaningful presence in decision-making arenas.


Socialisation or Systemic Injustice? Unpacking the Paradox

The narrative that men are socialised to be more assertive and outspoken does not fully explain the glaring absence of women in leadership roles. I have witnessed numerous instances where girls, raised in relatively gender-neutral environments, still hesitate to take up leadership roles or even to vote.


This discrepancy calls into question the role of socialisation. Many of us were raised by strong maternal figures who were decision-makers within the household, which demonstrates women's capacity for leadership. Does patriarchy operate selectively, showing its influence only when women enter public spheres? The unsettling truth is that the issue is not a lack of capability among women; it is the societal structures that selectively silence them.


Women's Leadership: Non-Negotiable and No Justifications Needed

· It is a Right, Not a Wrong: Women’s leadership is an inherent right, not a concession or a compromise.

· Neither 'Left' Nor 'Evil': Women's leadership is a given necessity, it transcends political or moral debates.

· Essential, Not Optional: Women's leadership is as crucial as “essential” workers during a pandemic.

· Universal, Not Conditional: Women's leadership is a global imperative, not confined to certain sectors or cultures.

· Strength, Not Weakness: Women's leadership strengthens rather than weakens society.

· An Entitlement, Not a Favour: Women’s leadership is an entitlement, not a favour.

· Diverse, Not Monolithic: Women's leadership enriches decision-making.

· Inclusion, Not Exclusion: Women's leadership adds value to decision-making.

· Self-Evident, Not Bestowed: Women’s leadership is not owed but owned.

· Not a Battle, But a Given: Women’s leadership should not be a struggle but the norm.


The Misconception of Merit: Leadership as a Right, Not a Reward

It is often argued that women make better, fairer, and more transformative leaders. Nonetheless, even if women were less effective leaders, they would still have an unquestionable right to leadership roles. The metric of merit should not be the gatekeeper denying women entry into the halls of decision-making.


Men have historically occupied leadership positions irrespective of their competence, moral standing, or efficacy. If men can lead without their abilities being constantly under the microscope, why should women be held to a different, often unattainable, standard? The point is not whether women are better leaders but that they have an equal right to be leaders—good, bad, or indifferent.


Concluding Reflections: Changing Mindsets to Own the Table

The journey toward achieving gender equality in leadership is far from complete, but the starting point is clear: we must shift our collective mindset. Women's leadership is not up for debate—it is neither a concession nor a favour and certainly not an act of charity. It is a right and an entitlement that needs no justification.


So the next time you hear someone question why women should occupy positions of leadership, turn the question on its head: Why shouldn't they? The simple yet profound truth is that women don't need to justify their seat at the decision-making table. They already own it.


Join the Conversation!

🌸 Share Your Leadership Journey: Have you ever faced barriers in your path to leadership? #WomensLeadership #ShareYourStory

🌱 Take Action: Support gender equality today. #TakeAction #GenderEqualityNow

💡 Fuel the Discussion: Let's engage in a constructive dialogue about women in leadership. #FuelTheDiscussion #WomensRights

👥 Build Community: Your insights can help shape a more equitable world. #BuildCommunity #InclusionMatters

❤️ Be Respectful: Every voice counts. #BeRespectful #EveryVoiceCounts

📣 Spread the Word: Be part of the change. #SpreadTheWord #BeTheChange


About the Author

Nite Tanzarn is a distinguished Independent International Consultant, celebrated for her unwavering commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Her latest blog post presents a compelling case for why women's leadership should be a non-negotiable right. #NiteTanzarn #GenderEquality #SocialJustice

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15 comentários


Convidado:
04 de nov. de 2023

Why women in leadership?

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Convidado:
28 de out. de 2023

Do women make better leaders than men? What is the fuss all about?

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Nite Tanzarn
Nite Tanzarn
28 de out. de 2023
Respondendo a

The question you pose is interesting and often discussed. The aim of advocating for women's leadership is not to say women are better leaders than men, but to stress that women should have an equal opportunity to lead. Both men and women bring their own unique qualities to leadership, and the most effective teams often contain a diverse range of voices. Thank you for adding to this vital conversation.

Cheers,

Nite

#NITETANZARNIntellectNest #WomensLeadership #TransformativeLeadership #GenderEquality #WomensRights

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Convidado:
27 de out. de 2023

Transformative leadership, alternative leadership, women's leadership, men's leadership....what is the difference?

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Nite Tanzarn
Nite Tanzarn
27 de out. de 2023
Respondendo a

That's a thought-provoking question. At their core, all these types of leadership aim for effective governance and decision-making. However, they do come with nuanced differences rooted in perspective, approach, and sometimes, societal expectations.

For instance, "Women's Leadership" often refers to leadership styles and methods that may be more prevalent among women due to socialisation or inherent traits. It’s not to say that these styles are exclusive to women, but they often bring a different set of skills, such as empathy or collaboration, into the leadership equation.

"Men's Leadership," conversely, usually denotes styles that society traditionally associates with men, such as decisiveness and assertiveness.

"Transformative Leadership" is about enacting significant change, often disrupting established norms for the better. "Alternative Leadership" might…

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Convidado:
25 de out. de 2023

They are leaders in their homes why not in the public space?

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Nite Tanzarn
Nite Tanzarn
25 de out. de 2023
Respondendo a

Absolutely, the leadership skills that women exhibit in their homes should not be confined to domestic spaces. If we can manage households, raise children, and contribute to community well-being, there's no reason we cannot lead in public spheres as well. Leadership is indeed a right for women, not a concession or an exception. Let's work together to break down the barriers that prevent women from taking on leadership roles in public spaces, and let's celebrate and uplift those who already are.

Cheers,

Nite

#NITETANZARNIntellectNest #RuralWomen #OrganicWellness #Mindfulness #WomensHealth #WomensLeadership

P.S. For future comments, kindly include your name for a more personalised response. We respect anonymity but love to know who we are conversing with.

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I love reading your articles. You are really a blessing to the world.

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Nite Tanzarn
Nite Tanzarn
24 de out. de 2023
Respondendo a

Thank you, Meddy, for your heartwarming comment. I am delighted to know that you enjoy my articles. Women's leadership is indeed a crucial topic, and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the conversation. Your support encourages me to continue exploring these important issues.

Cheers,

Nite

#NITETANZARNIntellectNest #RuralWomen #OrganicWellness #Mindfulness #WomensHealth

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