Women rule

Who exactly is in charge? I live in NSW, Australia, near Sydney, and chief public leaders are:

Sydney mayor: Clover Moore
NSW Governor: Marie Bashir
NSW Premier: Kristina Keneally
Governor-General: Ms Quentin Bryce
Prime Minster: Julia Gillard
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II

Quite extraordinary; but a misleading snapshot of public life in Australia, where the majority of positions are still held by men, and ethnic minorities are badly under-represented.

8 thoughts on “Women rule

  1. Bhante Sujato, you’re right. It is amazing to have so many positions held simultaneously by women. I agree that this situation is atypical for Australia. It certainly is not duplicated in the Buddhist world.
    In Metta, Greg.

    • It’s funny, my first response was an automatic “it’s yet another example of how women are disadvantaged in society”. And then I thought “hang on, it takes a lot of time, work and attention to get a billion pounds, euros, or dollars of any kind, and who actually needs that much money?”

      Perhaps more women than men (as a gross generalisation) see better things to do with their life than chase after more than they (and perhaps their families) need.

  2. A friend posted me this link to an essay in an Australian magazine on the subject of the murder of female infants.


    The main points were that female infanticide and gender-selective abortion is most prevalent in societies where there is no state provision for old age and parents have to rely on male children for survival. This seems to mean mostly Asia, from China to Pakistan and all points in between. Africa wasn’t mentioned. There are places such as some cities in China and South Korea where state old age provision is taking off and female infanticide and gender-selective abortion has reduced. There also does seem to be cultural persistence. Asian communities in the USA show a statistically significant lower proportion of female children being born or surviving beyond birth than the general population.

    The image of a Chinese female newborn’s feet sticking out of a slop bucket and twitching as she is left to drown reminded me poignantly of my own daughter’s tiny feet when she was born three months prematurely at 900 grammes, and the work that the medical teams of the UK NHS did over many weeks to help her survive. What a difference. The West may have introduced capitalism to the world and turned people and the planet into tradeable commodities, but it has also, paradoxically and outside the USA, introduced welfare states which treat people as worthwhile in themselves, rich or poor, male or female. The same applies across most of South America.

    The more I contemplate it the more I am horrified at what women face in some places, and the more I admire what is often a calm and dignified persistence in trying to act rightly.

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