Impressive women fight stereotypes

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 April, 2002, 12:00am

I would like to praise Tom Plate for his two 'Pacific Perspectives' columns in the South China Morning Post, on March 25 and April 1.

Mr Plate challenged negative stereotypes of women as leaders.

It is true that women are more heavily scrutinised than men when in positions of power. Mr Plate has shown how Makiko Tanaka, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Megawati Sukarnoputri and Park Keun-hae are very good examples of this unbalanced criticism. When we compare these women to many of their political predecessors we should be thankful for the courageous way they have broken the overwhelming pattern of gender inequality in their home countries.

At present, Asia has more female sovereign leaders than the Western world. This is amazing given that the US, with advanced equal opportunities laws, has never had a female president or even presidential candidate.

Half of the world's population is female. And one day, half of the world's leaders may be female.

Those who find that a disturbing possibility are people who still feel that a woman cannot lead men as effectively as a man, just as many feel that a man cannot nurture a child as effectively as a woman. It is rare for people in Asia to openly challenge gender stereotypes. Thank you Mr Plate for telling it like it is.


Tai Tam