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Women Leaders

Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2011

What do Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have in common? They, along with Geraldine Ferraro, are all “political pioneers,” entering the race to be the first woman elected to a position in the White House.

Women have accomplished many “firsts” in the fields of medicine, education, law, business, sports, and entertainment. But politics has been one field more difficult to enter. Some attribute the lower numbers to having fewer women in the pipeline; who are ready to tackle the job. Others believe that the high cost of elections put women at a disadvantage, as historically they have had more trouble raising money. But as these women have shown, the national stage is ready and willing to accept women candidates and officeholders.

When Geraldine Ferraro became the first woman from a major party to appear on the ballot for vice president, there was hope that many more would follow her lead. There has been progress, to be sure, but there have been many women world leaders since the 1984 election, and we are still behind the rest of the world in this category.

Recognizing the role of women in history formally began in 1978, with a week devoted to the project. Ten years later the month of March was designated as Women's History Month. The theme for 2011 is “Our History Is Our Strength.” As we close out the month, I celebrate the past, and have no doubt that building on this history will make our future stronger.

Tags: Geraldine Ferraro, Hillary Clinton, National Women's History Month, Sarah Palin

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