Saturday, 19 October 2013

Women Play Pivotal Role in U.S. Government Shutdown Negotiations

Unless you have been living under a rock, you've probably heard about the recent crisis Americans faced with a 16-day partial government shutdown due to internal strife between two opposing political parties. A few days before the president signed the bill that would avert a catastrophic treasury default, The New York Times reported that a bi-partisan group of women was leading the charge in negotiation between the Republican and Democratic factions to end this crisis. 

The Huffington Post reported in an article, titled "Men Got Us Into the Shutdown, Women Got Us Out", that six out of the 14 senators on the bipartisan committee who laid the framework for the debt deal were women.

“Before I went to the Senate floor, no one was presenting any way out,” Senator Susan Collins of Maine said. “I think what our group did was pave the way, and I’m really happy about that.”

This group of women, who are credited with essentially bringing America back from the brink of destruction (not to be dramatic or anything, but it would have been BAD), were able to overcome their differences when the men in their parties couldn't. Even as our society and many parts of the world continue to scoff at women who make their way in this male dominated profession, I think this most recent accomplishment proves why women are necessary in political positions of power if a country- any country- hopes to be able to effectively resolve internal differences. Meeting aggression with aggression oftentimes only exacerbates an already precarious situation, as seen by the attempts during the shutdown of certain male leaders to bring forth plans that would unfairly compromise and humiliate the other side. In scenarios as delicate as this (and it isn't over for us yet!) one cannot stress enough the importance of having leaders who are capable of both compassion and objective thinking.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that women were so heavily involved in trying to end this stalemate,” Collins added. “Although we span the ideological spectrum, we are used to working together in a collaborative way.” 
I think this example of women banding together to get the work done when others couldn't because of stubbornness, or sheer incompetency, is inspiring. Women around the world who hope to be politicians should look to these six for courage in the face of the doubters who say that women can't do the same job that a man can in politics. 
Actually, I take that back. 
You can tell the haters that they are right. Because in this case, and in many other cases, we have actually done it better.
By Sabrina Willard

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