What if women took over power?
Posted Saturday, January 26 2013 at 00:00
What would it be like if for a while, all the leaders of this nation were women?
I recently picked a line from The Guardian newspaper about women becoming the heads of super power nations of the world and, in the spirit of things contacting my own flash of precognition, was something that I opted to explore, it raised the question, “If all leaders in Uganda this year were women, what would change?”
Would any of you care to speculate on what Uganda might look like if Jennifer Musisi and Rebecca Kadaga were prime minister and president respectively, at the same time? It would be my pleasure.
For what it is worth, my own spidery-sense is twitching very differently. At the risk of a crushed metatarsal, let me say that the chances of Rebecca Kadaga leading the NRM party and the country are now all but zero, especially after the late Cerinah Nebanda’s probe, and the chances of Jennifer Musisi taking the keys to the prime minister’s office are only slightly better. The lesson of all recent leadership in Uganda is that our politics, like the rest of our culture, has a very short attention span and a low boredom threshold.
Rhoda Kalema, Betty Bigombe and Miria Matembe, all squeezed in past older, more experienced and familiar figures, while the one exception – the formal, unchallenged accession of Specioza Kazibwe – can hardly be considered a success story. The era of the political grandee would appear to be over, and both Musisi and Kadaga are destined to be casualties of the change. That said, it is far from unlikely that the next leaders of our country could be women. The same thirst for novelty that may exclude Musisi and Kadaga could, ironically, hasten the arrival of other women to parties that have never been led by women.
The smartest predictions, of course, would be for the women that no one has predicted. And this is where the question of how female leadership of the free world begins to break down. What do the following politicians have in common: Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Bill Clinton?
One thing and one thing alone: their gender. There is little reason to believe female leaders are any more humane, trustworthy, emotionally engaged, conciliatory, pacifist than their male equivalents. Even within relatively narrow confines of the Uganda Federal Alliance headed by Betty Kamya, and the UPC, which was led by Miria Obote not long ago, a feminine government would bear no more or less similarity to a creasy government than to one led by Olara Otunu, President Museveni or Mugisha Muntu.
It is a rather romantic idea that a politician’s principles could definitely change with a woman at the top. Kampala has witnessed the effect, General David Sejusa’s (used to be Tenyefunza) and Ssebagala’s eviction from the city’s properties shows evidence. Do you think that would cater for our current political problems? A leader that is not only a new face but a different gender would surely have its appeal. What do you think?