Tuesday, 5 April 2016

One of our own to lead UN?

Helen Clark, current head of the UNDP and former NZ Prime Minister, is a woman with no children. Like me, she grew up on a farm in New Zealand in the 60s and 70s, but unlike me, she has risen to great heights, leading NZ for nine years and the UNDP for seven (with a record of reform and transparency), a tireless advocate for the vulnerable and needy.

Today, with a nomination from the current NZ Prime Minister, she has entered the race to be the next UN Secretary-General. I know there are other candidates, and - with my diplomatic background - I know as well as any that these things are rarely chosen on the basis of who is the best candidate, but always on political wheeling and dealing. If appointed, she would be the best qualified Secretary-General in history. And it is time there was a woman at the head of the UN. 

I doubt she could have achieved what she has achieved if she had children. I just hope that this isn't held against her.

6 comments:

  1. Wow, she sounds amazing! It seems so unfair to me that women can have both having children and NOT having had children held against them. Seems not right that men aren't ever judged on whether they have kids or not when it comes to qualifications. Even Hillary Clinton was criticized as a new grandma when she was first campaigning, like she wouldn't want to take the time away from the baby. Drives me nuts.

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  2. A politician with integrity? Wow! Fingers crossed that she gets it!

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  3. Like Jess, I think you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Has she said that she could have never achieved what she has achieved with children? Or is that what other people say?

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  4. Agreeing with Jess and Mel. There's so much focus on whether reproduce. The focus instead should be on who they are and what they've done.

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  5. I've heard of Helen Clark, via my longtime NZ penpal. I am sure she would be no worse than any of the men who have held the position over the past 60+ years. Here's hoping!

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  6. It'll be interesting to see what happens......

    I've noticed the local politicians running for office where I live who don't have children (both male and female) still make it a point to pose with them - nieces and nephews, or a boy scout group - in their printed material. Politicians who do have children don't hesitate to use it, listing their parenthood as if it's a criteria in their favor.

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