The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “women

Misery and Company

Posted on May 10, 2013

Few know it, but I cut my teeth on international work four decades ago in Bangladesh.  It was a sobering and humbling experience.  A terrible war, hunger, excessive flooding due to a furious monsoon season, and the ongoing animosities between West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) made for a toxic brew for the young man I was.  Neither prepared for it nor capable of the level of performance required to truly help a beleaguered people, I nevertheless came to understand that they were devastated when I left – along with me went the hope that the rest of the world had been watching. Deep stirring and remembrances poured through me in these last few days at the thought of the brutal fire and…

Kathleen Wynne’s Victory – Look Deeper

Posted on January 28, 2013

Ontario has a new premier and her ascension is nothing if not groundbreaking – the first female and openly gay premier-designate. She ran a disciplined and largely respectful campaign and that last characteristic might have been a key reason for her ultimate victory. Repeatedly through the contest she said things like, “The rancour and the viciousness of the legislature can’t continue.” Many seasoned observers have noted that Queen’s Park has increasingly taken on the hyper-partisan characteristics of the House of Commons in Ottawa. So her emphasis on decorum and respect is a welcome signal. It was also Tweeted consistently that over 90% of Canadians are led by female provincial leaders – another positive signal. But will it last? And more importantly, can the effects…

For Women, It’s Still the Long Game

Posted on December 13, 2011

“You love your country, as I do mine.” Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf placed her hand on mine as she uttered the words and the irony of it all wasn’t lost on me. She was the first woman in modern African history to become a head of state, succeeding a brutal dictator and a 14-year civil war. Belinda Stronach had asked me to join the two of them for dinner in Ottawa and it was clear from the outset that Sirleaf was an exceptional human being. I was shocked to discover that her son had attended in school in St. Thomas, Ontario. So I was deeply pleased this past week when she, along with two other remarkable women, received the distinguished Nobel Peace Prize.…

Women Of The Sun

Posted on January 28, 2011

John Garang, deceased visionary and key political figure in south Sudan’s struggle for independence, once called them “the marginalized of the marginalized.” No more. Something is subtly changing in what will soon be the world’s newest nation and it’s not just statehood. It’s the millions of women who make up 65% of the southern population and who have survived decades of brutal war, famine, disease, slavery, and constant mobilization only to emerge as the key voting bloc in this month’s referendum. Politics never interested them much; survival did. But now that peace and likely independence have emerged, they are discerning an opportunity that’s not just about their children or their tribe but themselves – individual beings who up until now were the caregivers of…

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