By Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa
The 21st Century as the Century of the Woman continues to take shape so solidly now with the nomination of Hillary Clinton as US Democratic presumptive nominee for the presidency of the United States. I have previously written a lot on this subject of the 21st Century being the Century of the woman.
Locally in Zambia, there are plenty of examples extolling the above thesis. The Vice- President of Zambia is a woman and she has been so since January 2015. The Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Zambia and Constitutional Court are women. I was present when the female President of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) was elected, the first woman in Zambian history to grace that office. This is no mean milestone.
The election of women to positions of power is not only of symbolic significance and value, it brings different dynamics to the justice quotient. It adds a different value to decision-making paradigms.
It adds more people to enjoy the benefits of leadership. It gets more people to enjoy the intangibles inherent in being a human being. It continues to approximate the value of equality that all must enjoy. It even empowers men as a result of women assuming leadership positions, as this increases more fire-power in the arsenal of human experience.
Just imagine how happy you were if you were already born when Zambia obtained its independence or when apartheid was eventually dismantled or more recently when Obama became the first Black president of the United States! Didn’t you feel that everything was possible? Didn’t you feel more empowered than ever before?
How about the rush of uncontrollable happiness and euphoria!You can’t imagine the whole millions of people, especially young women and older women who have been positively affected by what Hillary has achieved and is yet to achieve when she becomes the first female president of the US. The whole world and not only young and old women will be affected.
I explore fully the value of diversity including what women bring to the table, in my 589-page book entitled, The Politics of Judicial Diversity and Transformation.
Hillary brings a whole new dimension to the value of diversity. There is perhaps no woman in recent US history who has endured more abuse but displayed more endurance than Hillary. She has been under intense attack since she emerged as a politician early in her husband’s governorship and the presidency, the Republicans at the forefront of that onslaught.
Many a person, including men would have given up a long time ago from associating themselves with public service. When she lost the nomination campaign to Barrack Obama in 2008, she could have given up and disappeared from view. But she soldiered on until she has reached this pinnacle, a breadth away from the Presidency.
The lesson for all humanity is: perseverance eventually produces positive results. Most people who were not handed a silver spoon with which to navigate life can attest to this.
Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa is the author of the book, The Politics of Judicial Diversity and Transformation.