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What Do Women Leaders Have in Common?




By Sharmilla Ganesan

Besides being women and le何雨虹微博aders, that is


On the surface, one would be hardpressed[1]to find many similarities between German chancellor Angela Merkel, Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina, and Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf—except for the fact that they are all female leaders of nations. Merkel, for example, spent more than a decade as a chemist before going into politics, while Hasina, the daughter of Bangladesh’s first president, attended college at the same time that she served as her father’s political liaison[2], and Johnson Sirleaf was Liberia’s minister of finance and worked at multiple financial 真渊京马institutions outside her country before running叫床嗟叹 for vice president in 1985.

表面上看,很难找出德国总翊洁吧理安格拉 默克尔、孟加拉国总理谢赫哈西娜和利比里亚总统埃伦约翰逊瑟利夫三人之间的一起之处——除了她们都是女人国家领导人这一点。比方说,默克尔从政前曾从事化学研讨十余年,孟加拉国开国总统之女哈西娜大学期间就担任其父的政治联络员,而约翰逊瑟利夫在1985 年竞选副总统之前还任过利比里亚的财政部长,并在多家海外金融组织有任职履历。

[1] hard-pressed 很难(做某事)。

[2] liaison 联络员;联系人。

But despite the vastly different cultural and politica罗田秀丽天堂l contexts that these women arose in—and the roughly 20 other female heads-o被侵略f-state 车轮查违章,美文选刊|女人,你的名字是强者!,石灰吟around the world—is there something deeper that they share? Answering that question could reveal how women in leadership are perceived around the world, and perhaps more importantly, the obstacles women continue to face in their quest for equal representation.


The researcher Susan R. Madsen of Utah Valley U车轮查违章,美文选刊|女人,你的名字是强者!,石灰吟niversity says that while many studies have been done on leadership in different cultures, very few have focused on female leadership specifically. From 2009 to 2010 Madsen interviewed women in China忍龟拉莫斯多少钱 and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)[3]about their paths to leadership. She said she was surprised by the similarities among the women when they spoke about朴炯植超话 how they became leaders and advocates[4].

犹他谷州立大学研讨员苏珊R. 马德森称,尽管对不同文明中领导者的研讨不在少数,但其间专门针对女人领导的研讨却屈指可数。2009到2车轮查违章,美文选刊|女人,你的名字是强者!,石灰吟010年,马德森采访了我国和阿拉伯联合酋长国(阿联酋)的一些女人领导人,一探她们的首领之路。她说,听着她们叙述自己成为领导者、倡议者的进程,她感叹于这些女人之间的相似之处。

[3] 阿拉伯联合酋长国,简称阿联酋。

[4] advocate 拥护者;支持者;发起者。

“Every single one of them talked about finding their voices and their confidence at dinner-table conversations with their families. Their parents talked about politics, about what was happening in the community, and when the women had something to say, their parents didn’t hush them,” Madsen said. In the UAE, where men and women were often separated, women that Madsen interviewed pointed to the role of their fathers in encouraging them to speak up. “Every woman I spoke to said her father would bring home books for her to read when he traveled, which most other people didn’t have.”


As part of a series of interviews on women and leadership, I spoke to three women from different countries who have each become leaders in their respective fields: Agnes Igoye of Uganda, who works with her government to counter human trafficking[5]; Ikram Ben Said, the founder of Tunisian women’s-rights organization Aswat Nissa[6]; and Sairee Chahal of India, who started SHEROES[7], a digital platfo车轮查违章,美文选刊|女人,你的名字是强者!,石灰吟rm that helps women get back into the workforce. In these conversations I saw Madsen’s observation borne out[8].


[5] human trafficking 人口贩卖。

[6] = Voices of Women 突尼斯的一个非政府安排,意为“女人的声响”,致力于为女人争夺平权。

[7] 印度一家协助女人求职的在线渠道。

[8] bear out 证明;为……作证。

All three of my interviewees pointed to the family environment they had been raised in—particularly a father fig李天一案女主角杨佳ure who taught andempowered[9]the women in the f车轮查违章,美文选刊|女人,你的名字是强者!,石灰吟amily to learn, ask questions, and form their own opinions—as a key factor in their own growth. This, coupled with mothers or other older women who broke convention by displaying leadership within the family, was common source of early lessons on leadership.


[9] empower 添加(或人的)自主权。

Igoye, for example,重生之血眸魔女倾全国 credited her father with[10]having the foresight to send his daughters to school despite opposition from others in their village. Her mother went back to school as an adult to improve her career as a teacher, which Igoye described as being a big influence on 老婆相片he彩云在腾跃r. Similarly, Ben Said talked about how her father encouraged political debate among the family when she was growing up, even when her opinions contradicted his. Meanwhile, Chahal said that even in her younger days, her parents went against the general convention of expecting their daughters to aspire only to a good matrimonial match[11].



[10] credit with 以为……有(杰出的质量或特色)。

[11] a good matrimonial match 文中指一个好妻子。

Another conclusion from Madsen’s work is that women’s leadership development doesn’t look like men’西安鼎德宝s. “Men are more strategic and [tend to follow] a more linear path to becoming a leader. Women’s paths are much more emergent[12]. They tend to not necessarily look ahead and think, ‘I want野彼得 to be on top.’ Women would point to a number of experiences—motherhood, or working with a non-profit, or sitting on[13]a board, as shaping their path to becoming leade杯子舞教程慢动作rs,” she said. Madsen likens this to a “patchwork quilt[14]” of experiences—an aggregate that is more clear and cohesive together than as distinct parts.


[12] emergent 自但是然发作的。

[13] sit on sth 在……中任职。

[14] patchwork quilt 百衲被,指用多种不同色泽不同形状的布块拼缝而成的一种薄被。

Which is why women are more likely to take a grassroots route to politics, says Farida Jalalzai of Oklahoma S国美榜首城邮编tate University, “Women are more likely to first get into public life through activism[15]; sometimes it is through their identities as mothers to work on a particular problem,” she explained.


[15] activism 举动主义,建议经过实际举动表达诉求。

Another reason that women leaders may have some similarities is that they tend to be held to higher standards than their male counterparts, perhaps even more so in countries where there is dramatic gender inequality. Jalalzai has found this in her research. “We have to acknowledge that men are not faced with the suspicion that they can’t be good lea车轮查违章,美文选刊|女人,你的名字是强者!,石灰吟ders simply because they are men,” she explained. “Tomorrow someone might say President Barack Obama was a complete failure, but no one is going to conclude from that that all men are bad leaders. So there’s a certain type of privilege that your success or failure is not going to reflect on your enti车轮查违章,美文选刊|女人,你的名字是强者!,石灰吟re sex.”


In Tunisia, for instance, 莫西子诗初赛完整版Ben Said said the public is just beginning to accept and trust women in government. “The pressure is on them to perform, to deliver[16]results, so that people will be more encouraged to have more women in positions of leadership,” she told me. And Igoye has felt this in Uganda as well. “Women who take up leadership positions in my country have to be tough, it’s not easy at all,” she said. “You are always aware that you are representing all women. You have to work extra hard to deliver, to perform, because if you do something wrong, they will say, ‘Ah you see, women!’ ”


[16] deliver 履行诺言;实现。本段中呈现的另一个deliver 亦为此意。

It’s for this reason that merely having women leaders can change the opportunities available for generations of women in a country. As Madsen put it, “Bottom line, what leadership looks like in their country, how much of a voice the women leaders are having, influences what leadership is and what it means to its women. For example, in the Middle East, the top leaders are kings or sheikhs[17], and there is a big separation between the leaders and society. Oftentimes, the women of those cultures just don’t see themselves in those positions, so their understanding of leadership is more male.” And that, perhaps more than anything else, is what Ben Said, Chahal, Igoye, and other women like them around the world stand to change.


[17] sheikh 音译为谢赫,文中指阿拉伯的亲王、酋长等。