Hillary Clinton: Steps Away From Gender Balance? | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Woman's World

Hillary Clinton: Steps Away From Gender Balance?

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at her first-in-the-nation presidential primary campaign rally, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Posted: Nov 15, 2016 at 4:10 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

When Hillary Clinton, a dogged fighter, courageous leader, a woman of great valor was given the mandate to contest on the platform of the Democrats, many saw it as an opportunity for a woman of worth to emerge as the president of the most powerful country on the planet earth.

Many were optimistic judging from her antecedent that America, and indeed the world, will benefit from her emergence as the president while others were already addressing this former first lady of United States of America as Madam President. She became more popular with verbal attacks on her person by Trump. At the Third Presidential Debate, Trump went as calling Hillary Clinton a ‘nasty woman.’

Her emergence, analysts said before and after the election, would have contributed to the global campaign of gender equality with the thought that gender solidarity will influence her election as the number one citizen of America.

Was the race about patriarchy? Is this about a nation seeking to exert pound of flesh for having a black man as president for eight years?
Jacqui True, a Professor of Politics and International Relations, Australian Research Council Fellow at Monash University, while analysing the just concluded US election said, women simultaneously rushed to vote and were sharply divided by it.  “This election represents the biggest gender gap in voting since 1973, but Hillary Clinton has not benefited much — if at all — from group solidarity among women.”

Donald Trump won Clinton 53% to 41% among men and Clinton won among women by 54% to 42%. More women voted Democrats than ever before, and more men voted Republican. 53% of white women voted for Trump, even though early polling showed them more likely to support Clinton. Even 45% of women with a college degree voted for Trump. Are women Hillary’s enemy?

“Whatever gains Clinton made among women, it was thanks to women of colour. White women have clearly made patriarchal bargains: they may benefit economically as part of male breadwinner, heterosexual family households from a Trump Presidency tax cut dividend. On the down side, they now also will be represented by a President who advocates “grabbing pussy”. Trump would not have been elected in a world serious about tackling violence against women and girls. We can expect the further trivialisation and normalisation of sexual and gender-based harassment, abuse and violence.” True wrote.

There are several implications of Trump’s victory for women in general and feminism in particular.  Despite Hillary Clinton’s emotional concession speech, it is unlikely that women won’t find vying for political offices too attractive.

Below are some thoughts of some prominent women on Clinton’s defeat:

Evelyn Urhobo. 
Founder Morgan Smart Development Foundation:

I must say that I am personally devastated by the emergence of Donald Trump as the President at the just concluded American election for the very reason that Hillary Clinton becoming President of the world’s largest democracy would have been a major victory for gender equity in the world. The fact that Trump had no iota of respect for women as he clearly exhibited during the campaign and went on to win the election just demonstrated that America is not ready to be led by a woman. There is no doubt that racism had a major role to play in the emergence of Trump as the people’s choice as he played all the racist cards during the campaign, but that women also voted en-masse for him showed that the level of  illiteracy in America made the women not to appreciate the opportunity that the victory of Hilary would have brought to the campaign for gender equity worldwide. The truth is that Hilary Clinton will continue to remain a reference point in American politics. The doggedness and sheer determination which she showed during the campaign will continue to be an inspiration to all women all over the world. She fought a good fight. Her not being elected in spite of being the most qualified candidate for the American Presidency that America ever had, is America’s loss. Hilary Clinton would have been a great President and women would be forever proud and grateful to her for lifting the bars for contending women to leadership positions all over the world. The issue of whether the world is ready to be led by women is not the case because women leaders in Germany, United Kingdom, Serra Leone  etc. are all making their marks in their countries. It is the hypocrisy, racism and high level of illiteracy in America that were all factors that came to play in the recent American election. Women all over the world will continue to forge ahead to achieve gender equity. This is just a temporary setback.

Laila St. Matthew-Daniel:

They always say politics can be quite unpredictable and that is what happened in the US. Hillary and her team underestimated the person of Trump. He let the world concentrate on his crass and disdaining attitude whilst he deployed his deadly media, marketing and business skills – as if he was aiming at a business acquisition which he is very successful at. He treated the campaign as a business takeover and continued to pound at the weak points of his opponent. He shrugged off all the accusations leveled at him and the media kept looking for new scoops on him rather than concentrate on a major one as was done on Hillary with the email scandal which was a major pulldown minus for her.
He skillfully used the media to put himself continuously in the faces of the people. He used psychological skills to get to the majority voters by telling them what they want to hear and that is the promise of making life better for them by bringing back ‘flight’  jobs and providing security. Part of the two basic needs of a human being. Hillary and team did a wonderful job but lost out because they concentrated on other issues and didn’t really see what he was doing – reaching out to the masses – and the masses hold votes.

I don’t see Donald’s less than palatable attitude to women, which was made public, as a blow to the fight for gender equality. The fight continues and we will see what his policies are henceforth.

I don’t also see Hillary’s defeat as a setback but a challenge for women to keep on at showing what they can do. The fact that Hillary was chosen as her party’s candidate was a great achievement to the call for gender equality. She lost in a level playing field, not because she is a woman but Donald’s strategies put him ahead. The world is ready for women leaders – and just need to continue to position themselves properly because campaigns are not easy at all. When you come to the forefront, you better be ready for revelations that could make your ability questionable.

Senator Iyabode Anisulowo

When we look on the surface, it may seem so but I want to tell you that I don’t believe so. Hillary is a victim of a gang up against the establishment, using the weak tools to confound the wise. The issue of gender equality campaign does not affect the kind of woman of Hillary’s status. United States has the most developed and sophisticated democracy spiced by checks and balances. Gender inequality issues are rife in Africa not in Europe at the moment. It is obvious in Nigeria among the elite and because of religious beliefs. Any woman worth her onions can aspire to any political position if she is qualified with requisite political experiences. Hillary has proved her mettle that she is more able than a man and Donald Trump cannot succeed without her contributions. You should know that Americans have crossed the bridge over racial discrimination with the election of Obama eight years ago.

Ayona Trimell
America is not vindictive of the whole world and I think this is uniquely America’s problem. It is surprising that Americans voted a man who literarily has no respect for womankind and for anyone who is not like him. There are lots of women leaders around the world, this won’t set us back. Women have to remain vocal and resolute in our fight against all forms of marginalisation. It’s a form of setback for us globally because it’s disappointing but we won’t relent in demanding for gender parity. The fight will become more fervent, we won’t be broken and this won’t set us back.

Oby Ezekwesili

Hillary showed so much resilience and purpose in the way that she fought the good fight. You don’t have to win votes in other to become a winner. I believe both men and women around the world when they look at Hillary they will see a woman who won; she won by being brave. She has taught us women to aspire to anything. Her bravery is significant. We were not defeated and women should continue to fight in all aspects of life, in every sphere of life. We can be great and we will attain greatness if, like Hillary, we don’t give up.

By Anthonia Duru.