Dynasty and Double Standards: Women Leaders in South Asia

This article was published by Roar.lk. Full article here: http://roar.lk/features/of-dynasty-and-double-standards-women-leaders-in-south-asia/

While the U.S. has arguably shown the world that it would rather have a leader that grabs pussies than has one, in South Asia only the Maldives and Bhutan (which is a patrilineal monarchy in any case) have not had a female head of state. Political scientists have been fascinated by this exceptionalism of female leadership in Asia but much of the research says the same thing.

“… the easiest way for a woman to enter politics is to marry a politician”[i]

Or be born of one. Or take up your husband’s political mantle after his (inevitable) assassination. And then give birth to more political leaders, women and men alike. The above quote is actually a journalistic one, not a theoretical supposition. Yet, much of the research around female leadership Asia tends to say the same thing: women leaders are the consequence of dynastic political cultures. While there is still space for men to rise through meritocratic means, women’s ascendance in the political ladder seems reliant on personal and familial ties to politically powerful men. However, the fact of the matter is that they are democratically elected leaders ‒ most are re-elected more than once, juggling power politics for decades even. Surely, there is more to be attributed to these leaders’ political wit than generally afforded to them?

Read the rest here (it has pretty pictures too, I promise!): http://roar.lk/features/of-dynasty-and-double-standards-women-leaders-in-south-asia/

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