Views: 6355|Replies: 12

10 women making history today [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2012-3-8 13:42:59 |Display all floors
March is known as Women's History month, meant to recognize the contributions and progress of women across history and around the world.  Women today are playing some significant roles, from making peace to crafting economic policy in the midst of a crisis.  Here are 10 women who are making history, today.

- Whitney Eulich

1. Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany

Running the country with the fourth largest gross domestic product in the world is reason enough to be deemed one of the most prominent women in the world. But as the European Union struggles to contain its debt crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also become the de facto leader of the eurozone. Because of Germany’s economic strength, no eurozone decisions can be made without her support.
Le Monde reports that in a November 2011 poll in France, 46 percent of people reported having more confidence in Ms. Merkel’s leadership and ability to avoid a future financial crises than they do in that of their own president, Nicolas Sarkozy (33 percent).
In 2011 and into 2012, several EU member countries faced the collapse of their financial institutions, high government debt, and rapidly rising borrowing costs. Merkel was faced with the challenge of finding a balance between pressure from within Germany not to fund future economic bailouts and calls from other EU countries to provide further assistance. Throughout the crisis, Merkel has urged fiscal discipline and demanded leadership changes and austerity measures in countries like Italy and Greece.
If the eurozone survives this turbulent period, Merkel will be lauded as the heroine that saved the European Union.

2. Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar human rights leader


Aung San Suu Kyi, the Myanmar human rights leader who spent 15 of the past 21 years in prison or under house arrest, rejoined mainstream politics in late 2011 after Burmese authorities permitted her opposition party, the National League for Democracy, to legally register.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, who says she was inspired by the nonviolent campaigns of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, has become an international symbol of peaceful resistance.  Her years in detention were a result of her calls for peaceful democratic reform and free elections in Myanmar (Burma).
She founded the National League for Democracy (NLD) in 1988, and in 1990 her party won a general election, but Myanmar's military junta did not allow her, or her party, to take power. In 1991, she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts, and she served as general secretary of the NLD even while imprisoned.
The NLD was deemed illegal and forced to disband leading up to the Nov. 2010 elections, which were the first open elections in Burma in 20 years. The government’s decision to allow the party to reintegrate in 2011, paired with the recent re-initiation of diplomatic relations between this previously closed-off country and the West, gives hope to supporters internationally that Aung San Suu Kyi’s work and perseverance will pay off.


3. Dilma Rousseff, president of Brazil


Dilma Rousseff reportedly dreamed of becoming a firefighter or trapeze artist when she was a kid. But serving as the first female president of one of the most populous countries in the world – and a burgeoning economic power – will likely inspire the dreams of young female Brazilians for years to come.
  
A career civil servant who never ran or held elected office prior to the presidency, Ms. Rousseff was inaugurated in January 2011. In her first year in office, Rousseff dismissed five cabinet members and dozens of officials charged with corruption. Known for supporting a prominent state role in the banking, oil, and energy sectors, Rousseff’s approval ratings rose to 72 percent in December 2011.
Brazil is one of South America’s most influential countries, one of the world’s largest democracies (with a population of nearly 200 million), and an economic powerhouse. The discovery of offshore oil could thrust the country into the top echelon of oil-exporting nations.

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2012-3-8 13:44:06 |Display all floors
This post was edited by YoYo66 at 2012-3-8 13:47

4. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund


Christine Lagarde took the helm of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July 2011, serving as the first female managing director of the organization, which promotes international monetary cooperation and exchange rate stability.
Ms. Lagarde, who has a background in law and formerly served as France’s finance minister, was chosen for the leadership role after the arrest of former head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was accused of sexual assault during a visit to the United States.
As head of the IMF during the eurozone crisis, Lagarde has overseen the multibillion euro bailouts of several European countries and called for the initially unpopular, but now widely supported, mandatory restructuring of debt in European banks.
The outspoken leader has blamed the 2008 global financial crisis in part on the “male-dominated, testosterone-fueled culture” of the international banking industry.


5. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman, Nobel Peace Prize winners

Three women were honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for their roles in promoting peace and democracy. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karaman, and Liberian women’s rights activist Leymah Gbowee were the first women to win the prize since 2004. Ms. Karaman is the first Arab woman to win the prize and, in her early 30s, she is the youngest recipient in the award’s history.
“We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of societies,” the Nobel Peace Prize announcement reads.
The majority of recipients of the 110-year-old award have been men, and many view the committee’s decision to honor three women with the $1.5 million prize as highlighting the growing prominence of women in peace and democracy-building wordwide.
“You give concrete meaning to the Chinese proverb which says that ‘women hold up half of the sky,’” Norwegian Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland told the recipients.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman.png

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2012-3-8 13:48:21 |Display all floors
This post was edited by YoYo66 at 2012-3-8 13:49

6. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, president of Argentina

Often compared to Argentina’s Eva Peron, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner created a legacy of her own in 2011 when she won a landslide reelection, securing 53 percent of the vote – the biggest win since a democracy replaced a seven-year military dictatorship in 1983.
Ms. Fernandez became the first female president elected in this South American country in 2007, and her reelection challenged critics who said she rode the coattails of her husband, former president Nestor Kirchner, into politics.
A veteran lawyer and legislator, Fernandez entered politics in the 1980s and became a senator in 1995. She and Mr. Kirchner, who passed away in 2010, were close political confidants, practicing unconventional economic policies based on state spending and, until recently, virtually ignoring bondholders trying to collect some of the billions of dollars in Argentina’s unpaid debt. Some say her economic policies put the country at risk due to high – and some say underreported – inflation rates.
Under Fernandez’s leadership, Argentina has made strides to address human rights abuses from the years of dictatorship and became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage. The president has moved toward negotiations with the IMF over paying Argentina’s debts after years of hostility.



Argentina\'s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.png

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2012-3-8 13:50:19 |Display all floors
This post was edited by YoYo66 at 2012-3-8 13:50

7. Hillary Clinton, US secretary of State

Hillary Rodham Clinton was confronted with nonstop challenges over the course of the past year as US secretary of State, a position that deals with some of America’s most sensitive and critical relationships around the globe.
From managing the government’s response to the release of hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables via the website WikiLeaks to grappling with the upending of the United States’ critical, sensitive relationships with several Arab governments amid the revolutions of 2011, to the death of Osama bin Laden, Ms. Clinton’s handling of the potential diplomatic landmines has been largely considered adept and consistently solid.
Clinton, who served as senator of New York before becoming President Obama’s secretary of State, is the third woman to serve in this position. She has denied speculation that she might stay in politics, even if Obama were to be reelected.
"I have made it clear that I will certainly stay on until the president nominates someone and that transition can occur" if Obama wins re-election, the Associated Press reports she told a town hall meeting. She says after 20 years in politics, she’s ready to “see how tired she is,” however, some still hold out that the trailblazing politician could have a change of heart.

Hillary Clinton, US secretary of State.png

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2012-3-8 13:51:58 |Display all floors
8. Sonia Gandhi, Indian National Congress Party president

Sonia Gandhi, runs one of the largest political parties in the world’s largest democratic country as president of the Indian National Congress Party. Her party has governed India for the majority of the past 64 years since it first gained independence from Britain.

The Italian-born Mrs. Gandhi, whose Nehru-Gandhi dynasty politician husband and mother-in-law were assassinated, is considered the most powerful politician in India, even though she holds no official government post.  Gandhi turned down the opportunity to serve as prime minister in 2004 to everyone’s surprise, and again in 2009, nominating party member Manmohan Singh instead. She is frequently portrayed as a force behind Prime Minister Singh’s policies, including a $2 billion food-for-work program, often described as India’s version of the New Deal.
In 2011, Gandhi faced a difficult year as her party and numerous other politicians were marred by corruption scandals including bribery and offering cash for votes in Parliament.
8.png

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2012-3-8 13:53:31 |Display all floors
9. Julia Gillard, Australian prime minister

Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female prime minister, started her political career in college, where she served as the president of her student union.  She later worked as a lawyer, and joined the Australian parliament in 1988. As a politician she is known to put an emphasis on consensus-building and negotiating, and has gained a reputation for persistence and determination, reports the BBC.
However Ms. Gillard, who became prime minister in 2010, has had a rough couple of years in office. In 2010 she deposed her one-time political ally Kevin Rudd in the midst of his plummeting opinion ratings to take the helm as prime minister. However, in early 2012, voter support for Gillard took a turn, sharply decreasing after unpopular policies such as a tax on carbon emissions, and Mr. Rudd challenged her to reclaim Australia’s highest political position.
The fight for prime minister has presented Australia, and Gillard, with a dramatic leadership battle, reports the Monitor. In late February 2012 Gillard maintained her position a prime minister winning 71 votes to Mr. Rudd’s 31 in the Labor Party’s leadership election, however analysts believe she will not be successful in the next election set to take place in late 2013.
Sexism may be playing a role in Gillard’s struggle to retain her position, some say. Simon Benson, the chief political correspondent of a Sydney newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, wrote that the criticism toward Gillard spurred from “a belief that the harder and more personal the attack, the more likely she is to break – because she is a woman,” reports the Monitor.
Despite her tenuous status as prime minister and challenges she has faced, the reported sexism Gillard is confronting as Australia’s most senior politician could help pave the way for future female leaders worldwide.
9.png

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2012-3-8 13:54:47 |Display all floors
10. Maria das Gracas Foster, CEO of Petrobras

Latin America’s largest firm, Petrobras, named its first female CEO this year.  Maria das Gracas Foster is the first woman to lead a major oil company, and will take charge of $225 billion investment budget through her position leading the 34th ranked Fortune 500 company for the next four years.
Though more than 40 percent of Latin America is led by a female political leader – including Costa Rica, Jamaica, Argentina, Brazil, and Trinidad and Tobago – the private sector has been slower to see women rise to top leadership positions, reports the Monitor.  Ms. Gracas Foster joined Petrobras as an intern 32 years ago and worked her way to the top, reports the BBC.
10.png

Use magic tools Report

You can't reply post until you log in Log in | register

BACK TO THE TOP
Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email: blog@chinadaily.com.cn
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.