“The fact that so many Asian countries have accepted women as political leaders and heads of state long before Americans have managed to put a woman in the White House has led some observers to believe that it must mean Asian societies are ahead of the Western world in accepting women in leadership roles. The truth is far more complex than the simplistic observation that this automatically means women will benefit from such role models at the pinnacle of their power. In the case of Park, she may have earned the position on her own merits more than other female counterparts, but that doesn’t mean her leadership will bode well for women’s rights in South Korea or the region during her tenure.”—
As Park Geun-hye becomes the latest Asian female head of state, Vishakha Desai wonders what, if anything, this means for women’s issues in the region.
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- The United States is 90th in the world in terms of women in national legislatures.
- Women hold 17% of the seats in the House of Representatives (the equivalent body in Rwanda is 56.3% female).
- Women are merely 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs.
- Women hold only 3% of clout positions in the mainstream media (telecommunications, entertainment, publishing and advertising).
- Women comprise 7% of directors and 13% of film writers in the top 250 grossing films.
- Courtesy of missrepresentation.org