By: Ndidi Rosemary Uzegbu
THE US election has come and gone leaving many with surprises. From the very beginning, I watched with keen interest the electioneering campaigns of the two candidates – Mrs. Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party and Mr. Donald Trump of the Republican Party. It was a campaign marked with so many intrigues. Unbelievably, Americans have made their choice. I pray it favours them, not only them but other nations.
As we all know that no nation can survive alone even with its powers and resources. I do also pray that Mr. Trump will be careful with his utterances, actions and the way he handles state matters. And above all, he must be in control of his temperament to avoid causing tension in the state which could have ripple effects on global politics.
If I was asked to make a choice between the two candidates; just as I had preferred Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to President Muhammadu Buhari during that campaign era for change, till tomorrow I would choose Mrs. Hillary Clinton. It is a choice devoid of sentiments. Like it is rightly believed in several quarters, it is one thing to win an election; it is another thing to govern. It is left for people to attest to this fact.
Anyway, my write-up focuses on the campaign strategies of Mrs. Hillary Clinton, the Democrat, and the lessons there in for Nigerian women particularly, to learn from her personality traits. I, for one, was more than shocked when Trump emerged a winner. In several opinion polls, Mrs. Clinton had been rated better than Trump. Well, I leave that to the acts of the gods. Initially, at the inception of the electioneering campaign, I was very skeptical about Mrs. Clinton. I was afraid she would put up some sorts of crude behaviour especially if she was pushed to the wall. And you know very well that the whole world was interested and involved in the election. Women, in the past, have been accused of not managing their emotions well particularly those occupying leadership positions. But in the case of Mrs. Clinton, she simply debunked such wrong perceptions. This, of course has several implications for women. It is an indication that there are women out there like Mrs. Clinton, who have transformed their attitudes for leadership positions. These women have been able to alter their historical legacy: the crude life and behavior they were known for.
At each stage of the electioneering campaign and even after the election, Mrs. Clinton proved to be the better candidate in terms of expertise, experience, exposure, skills, and control of temperament. She was unaggressive unlike many women. She remained cool, calm, confident, stable and collected all through the campaign. She did not leave a gap of doubts in the minds of people throughout the campaign as that ability saw her through. She has just enlightened us on the reason people, particularly women, put up aggressive behaviour when they are in leadership. They exhibit some sorts of sadistic spirits that are very unaccommodating. The reason is not far -fetched. These set of people lack the expertise, experience and knowledge needed for leadership positions. They adopt these as strategies to cover up their inadequacies, deficiencies and inferiority- complex.
But the way Mrs. Clinton addressed issues with command and astuteness will continue to appeal to the sense of reasoning of people like me. If Mrs. Clinton had won this presidential election; it would have been victory for all women, victory for men who support their wives especially in politics and overall victory over all forms of gender stereotypes.
However, she has advised all who cared to listen: “let us not grow weary … for there are more seasons to come…” Better seasons for the shattering of glass ceiling of all gender biases through the political will of women. It is a pity the world will be missing this rare gem and her touch on political issues. I hope that some day the world will make up this loss. It is a loss for the world not to have tapped from her wealth of experience. But not withstanding, Mrs. Clinton has created the platform for all women and particularly the girl-child, and it will remain a reference point for aspiring women and girls. It cannot be better than now because the ball is set rolling. Even though, it is no more news that women suffer multiple disadvantages in access to politics, education, economy and labour markets and often do not have the same freedom to choose as men; they must be gingered by the current happenings in global politics. Through the expertise of Mrs. Hillary Clinton, we could see that women are becoming better organized in sectors (politics, industry, education and religion) where they have traditionally been discriminated against and gaining better access to services catering for their specific needs.
These boil down to the need for women to develop themselves personally before vying for any elective position. For Mrs. Clinton to have got it right and better than her male counterpart is an indication that she has undergone personal development. It is an indication that there are still more women out there like Mrs. Clinton whose expertise are begging to be tapped. It is an indication that women can at last get it right if they start on time to equip the girl-child with leadership skills right from her childhood.
It is also an indication that women across the globe if they work as equal partners with men in politics and interventions can achieve gender equality and empowerment of women. Therefore, what is paramount now is women’s activism and social mobilization, combined with innovative ideas and responses from civil society to drive home these demands. Also, we must not fail to recognize the important role that women’s advocacy organizations could play in achieving these goals both at the national and international level.
Uzegbu writes from Owerri