If women ruled the world…

There would probably be more humanity around us; it’s only a probability, without any particular guarantee. This is a personal view which could be disputable.

Arrogance is usually and empirically associated with men, and exceptionally with women. This note is only to highlight two recent decisions to prove my point on women in the driving seat of politics.

The decisions were made by two women politicians, one from UK and another from Malawi.

Justine Greening

This is the new British Secretary of State for international development. She replaced her predecessor Andrew Mitchell on 4 September 2012.

On the last day of his tenure at DfID, the UK department for international development, Andrew Mitchell decided to release £8 million of UK aid to Rwanda.

The decision came as a big surprise to many in international circles who follow prevailing situation in Eastern Congo where the rebel movement M23 has displaced almost half a million of people, and caused mayhem among civilians, killing hundreds, raping women, and enrolling children to become soldiers and sex slaves.

Like many other countries supporting Rwanda in its efforts for national development, UK had found appropriate to delay allocated funds, after UN Group of Experts on DRC had pointed at Kigali as supporting the Congolese rebel movement.

As any rational decision maker would normally proceed, I suppose once Justine Greening got fully informed of the facts incriminating the Rwandan president Paul Kagame, it would appear morally wrong to keep funding his government, knowing how much devastating humanitarian damages his M23 sponsored rebellion is doing in North Kivu province of Eastern Congo.

That Greening’s decision to reverse the one made by her predecessor is welcome by those voicing more condemnation of warmongering policies of Paul Kagame in the Great Lakes region, there is no doubt about that.

I think more sense of humanity towards the hundreds of thousands of displaced people and particularly cases of hundreds of women who have been victims of these unending wars that Kagame of Rwanda and Museveni of Uganda are responsible of must have played in her decision.

Joyce Banda

Joyce Banda - President of Malawi
Joyce Banda – President of Malawi

The Malawian president Joyce Banda came into power after the death of Bingu wa Muthalika in April of this year.

Vanguard NGR News reports that “Malawi, a country of about 15 million people, 60 per cent of whom are living below the poverty level, is one of the embarrassments of the African continent where dependence on foreign aid has for long been accepted as part of the nation’s fate.”

At the time when almost all governments around the world are faced with an almost global financial crisis, there are different initiatives politicians have been taking to address the situation, but rarely have they tried to touch at what their positions entitle them to.

In an unprecedented move of radical cuts in government spending and consequently aimed at reducing public deficit, President Joyce Banda has last month decided a significant cut into her salary.

Malawi Today news outlet indicates that “In support of the austerity measures, the president and the vice president have voluntarily decided to reduce their monthly salaries by 30 percent with immediate effect,” Vice President Khumbo Kachali said, launching a fresh economic recovery programme.

The president earns on average $5,000 per month, but will now take home around $3,500. The vice president earns $4,000, and will take home $2,800.

Only a few months in her new position, President Joyce Banda decided to differentiate herself from her predecessor’s lifestyle by making drastic measures that undoubtedly appeared favorably in the eyes of the Malawian people.

As one reflects on the example of Justine Greening and Joyce Banda, from the perspective of highlighted decisions they recently made, could it be rightly assumed that these were only politically motivated, or also undoubtedly influenced by the gender of who was making them.

I leave the discussion open. But, whatever your views, as far as I am concerned, I am convinced that if women ruled the world, things would be different on many fronts.

The Rising Continent