8 March 2017   Leave a comment

Today is International Women’s Day.  The number of women who have actually led countries over the last half century is relatively small but has been growing steadily.  According to the Pew Research Center:

Fifty-six of the 146 nations (38%) studied by the World Economic Forum in 2014 and 2016 have had a female head of government or state for at least one year in the past half-century. In 31 of these countries, women have led for five years or less; in 10 nations, they have led for only a year. The Marshall Islands, which is not included on the WEF list of countries, has also had a female leader for one year. 

At least 13 additional countries have had women leaders who held office for less than a year, according to a separate analysis by Pew Research Center. Of these countries, Ecuador and Madagascar had women leaders for a total of just two days. In South Africa, a woman was president for a 14-hour stretch, but she had briefly served as acting president before; in all three countries, women leaders were replaced by men.”

There are currently 15 female leaders in the world today.

Periodically, a debate flares up in international relations about the relative “merits” of imperialism.  It is hard to figure out why these debates occur; obviously, some feel compelled to defend the indefensible.  We are going through another phase of defending Empire–this time the British Empire–but Shashi Tharoor devastates those who would defend British rule in India.  A representative part of the article in The Guardian is as follows:

“In 1600, when the East India Company was established, Britain was producing just 1.8% of the world’s GDP, while India was generating some 23% (27% by 1700). By 1940, after nearly two centuries of the Raj, Britain accounted for nearly 10% of world GDP, while India had been reduced to a poor “third-world” country, destitute and starving, a global poster child of poverty and famine. The British left a society with 16% literacy, a life expectancy of 27, practically no domestic industry and over 90% living below what today we would call the poverty line.”

Many Americans are concerned that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign, although the degree of interference remains uncertain.  Russia is also accused of interfering in several upcoming European elections:  the Netherlands, France, and Germany.  But Americans are also involved in those elections.  Right-wing activists from the US are accused of funneling considerable sums of money into the campaign of Geert Wilders, the right wing Party for Freedom candidate in the Netherlands.  The amounts of money are small by US standards, but constitute huge sums in European campaigns.

Posted March 8, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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