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Top Ticket to the White House

Nov 9th, 2016 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Most Popular, News, Top Picture

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Badges that have been used to support Hillary Clinton in her campaign.

By Margot Neas and Shar Davis

Eight years ago, the American people witnessed an incredible moment in their history when a black President was voted into office.

Americans are on the brink of witnessing another historic moment.  Their next president may well a woman.

Hillary Clinton is poised to become the first female American president after spending over 20 years in politics.

Personal scandal, a failed health care plan as well ongoing investigations by the FBI have hindered her previous efforts to become the first woman in the white house.

Eight years ago, she was forced to concede to Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“We weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time,” said Clinton at the time.

Clinton stayed put and after beating off a challenge from Senator Bernie Sanders in June became the first woman in American History to become the presumptive nominee of a major political party.

It was the first time the American public had been given a real shot at putting a woman in the White House.

If Clinton wins the United States Presidential election today, she will join a small but growing band of nations run by women.

Sri Lanka was the first country in the history of the world to elect a female leader in 1960. Since then, there have been over 70 female presidents and prime ministers elected to positions of power.

Clinton will join the 18 other female world leaders which account for about one-in-ten of today’s leaders in the United Nations member states.

Below is the list of countries which have women as heads of government or elected heads of state, with United Nations data showing about half of these are the first women to hold their country’s highest office.

BANGLADESH: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (2009)

BRAZIL: President Dilma Rousseff (2011)

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza (2014)

CHILE: President Michelle Bachelet (2014)

CROATIA: President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (2015)

GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel (2005)

LIBERIA: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2006)

LITHUANIA: President Dalia Grybauskaite (2009)

MALTA: President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (2014)

MARSHALL ISLANDS: President Hilda Heine (2016)

MAURITIUS: President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (2015)

NAMIBIA: Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila (2015)

NEPAL: President Bidhya Devi Bhandari (2015)

NORWAY: Prime Minister Erna Solberg (2013)

POLAND: Prime Minister Beata Szydlo (2015)

SOUTH KOREA: President Park Geun-hye (2013)

TAIWAN: President Tsai Ing-wen (2016)

One hundred years ago, American women did not have the right to vote.

Today they not only have the right to vote, they also have the opportunity to vote for a someone who is not a man.

 

Hillary Clinton has already made history getting into the race

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Image: Margot Neas

Regardless of the outcome of the presidential election, Hillary has already made history – as the first female presidential candidate.

It has only taken America 227 years to embrace the idea of a woman at the helm of their great nation.

Meanwhile at least 16 other countries have appointed women as their heads of state, including Britan (1979 Margaret Thatcher) New Zealand (1997 Jenny Shipley) and Australia (2010 Julia Gillard).

If this was a four horse steeplechase, America was first out of the starting gate with a woman’s right to study at University (1840 when Catherine Brewer became the first white woman to earn a bachelor’s degree).

It was 10 years later that Lucy Sessions became the first black woman to earn a college degree, still at least 20 years ahead of Australia and New Zealand who were both ahead of the UK.

America was also first to have a female practise medicine and appoint a female judge.

But if a female head of state is the last hurdle around the track, America’s horse has simply refused to budge while the three other nations surged ahead and crossed the finish line.

There has been a lot of talk about ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ during this election campaign and Hillary has the chance to be the glass-breaking, ceiling-smashing first female president.

But it has not been an easy road to the White House in what is really a two-horse race.

“It’s really tough for the first woman, no matter what ceiling you’re breaking,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority/Feminist Majority Foundation and Publisher of Ms. Magazine, in an interview with TIME earlier this year.

“The first women police were harassed. One third of our military women are sexually assaulted.

“This has been a male turf and [Hillary Clinton] has got the chutzpah, the gall, to step into a place where only men ‘should’ be and there are those men whose reaction is they can’t take it,” said Smeal.

But Hillary’s gender is not an automatic vote from female voters as women across America make statements about why they are voting for Trump.

Theresa Ahearn (28) is a student who has written an open letter to Hillary about why she deserted Hillary Clinton and is now voting for Donald Trump.

She believes a major difference in the way the candidates are running their campaigns is that Trump admits when he is or was wrong.

“Former Secretary Clinton, women are for Trump because he is not a robot – when he is pushed, he pushes back, and that can be appreciated,” said Ahearn.

Michelle Obama as the current First Lady knows what it takes to lead from the Oval Office and she recently spoke at a campaign in North Carolina about Clinton’s credentials to be President.

“She has more experience and exposure to the presidency than any candidate in our lifetime — yes, more than Barack, more than Bill — so she is absolutely ready to be commander-in-chief on Day One. And yes, she happens to be a woman.”

Earlier this week The Washington Post ran a story about Gladys Ament, a woman who was born the year that women were first granted the power to vote.

Following politics was something she had always done and this year’s election has been no different.

Ament noted that Clinton was blamed for her husband’s infidelity and had her age and fitness given as reasons why she’s unfit to be president.

This is Ament’s 18th Presidential election and like so many others this is her first chance to vote for a woman, and that’s exactly what she did.

Hillary Clinton’s gender is not what makes her the best candidate, nor the best President but she is America’s best choice to break the gender-gap that has existed for 227 years and counting.

 

 

 

 

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