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Who Run the World? Girls!

18/07/2016 13:24 | Updated 18 July 2016

These words may be the chorus to a Beyoncé anthem but 2016 may just be the year that this statement actually becomes a reality.

Picture this: Theresa May in Downing Street, Angela Merkel in the first female chancellor in Germany, Christine Lagarde in charge of the International Monetary Fund, Hilary Clinton the first woman in the Oval Office, and a possible first ever female secretary-general of the UN. Suddenly, politics has a lot less testosterone at the top.

Yesterday, I watched yet another documentary on what it means to have a second female Prime Minister. Despite this, a friend called me and said 'why doesn't anyone seem excited?'

As much as I'm an avid supporter of women and our empowerment, I'm definitely not one for tokenism. Ultimately I believe roles should always be allocated depending on a person's ability regardless of race, religion or gender. So for me the question should perhaps be 'should we be excited?'

Some might say that we should judge a man (or woman in this case) by actions. So, it could be said that with the country feeling jaded, disappointed and disillusioned with politics, we are simply just waiting for Theresa May to do something that deserves our excitement.

We could easily argue that Theresa May was only elevated to the top of government after her male colleagues fell apart in front of the nation. Similarly, in America, it could be argued that if Hilary Clinton is elected president in November, it will be due to Donald Trump's antics finally proving too much for the general American population.

I should also add, we have been here before. When I was a child and Margaret Thatcher became our first female PM, there was a huge victory moment amongst women.

It proved to be a waste of time, especially as she quickly proved she wasn't a feminist, famously saying 'I don't like strident women'.

Later on, Beatrix Campbell described the Iron Lady as: "Femininity is what she wears, masculinity is what she admires."

Call me crazy but I happen to believe we could be a little more excited! For a start, those of you who read my articles regularly know that I am a Domestic Abuse Interventionist. Theresa May has made violence against women a key area during her time as home secretary. Under her leadership, the law of coercive control to tackle domestic violence was introduced. Mrs May is co-founder of Women2Win, a campaign to elect more Conservative women. Despite the huge job that has been dumped on her desk as the U.K is arguably more divided than ever before, she immediately started that she will prioritise appointing women to senior positions.

That's not to say I'm jumping up and down with glee. Like everyone, I feel 'BREXIT'ed out' and fed up of watching British politics turn into a theatre show. Still I wonder if maybe we're just fed up of symbolism. President Barack Obama broke the mould as Americas first black president. It was a moment the entire diaspora and beyond felt proud to witness.

Eight years on, it is hard to ignore the fact that America is in turmoil, police brutality through the roof and unemployment amongst African-Americans is at an all-time low.

I still believe that Barack Obama symbolises progress in our society. He, and his wife (who is extraordinary in her own right) are a black family living in the White House in a country built on slavery.

This significance has impacted and inspired me and millions of others.

Simone Roche (Founder of Northern Power Women and Director of Women 1st) agrees that a careful response to the appointment of a female PM is warranted. Still, Roche is also watching closely in anticipation of just how monumental it would be for Britain to finally have the full package: a Prime Minister who is effective, successful and female. 'It is vital to have more visible female role models however we still have the challenge that women in politics and business are still under represented. It's not About gender it's about the ability to do the big job and anything is possible. Still, Theresa May is demonstrating leadership and her bold and swift decisions so far are in response to the countries need for stability.'

I believe that as women we should give Theresa May an opportunity to prove she is what this country needs. Still, a second female Prime Minister should excite us. We may not be exactly where we want to be but we're on our way there. Surely each small step we take towards progress is a step worth celebrating.

'Something which we think is impossible now is not impossible in another decade'. Constance Baker Motley

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