As some of you may know by now, today it was just about confirmed that Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has beaten George Weah in the run-off election for President of Liberia making her the first female President in African history
. Much ado has been made over this as a resounding win for women everywhere due to many things including the persistence of Sharia law in parts of Africa that allows women to be publicly stoned for sexual fornication
as well as widespread sexual assault, rape, and abduction that occurs in relation to political and military conflicts around the continent. At this I point out the irony that for all of the lauding that the New York Times is doing on the fact that Johnson-Sirleaf is a woman leading a nation in Africa (a symbolic victory that has yet to bear policy fruit), they neglect the fact that this has never been done in the U.S. and many other “developed” nations. Africa’s progressiveness regarding women in politics can be seen in numerous spheres. Even the NY Times recognizes:
The prime minister of Mozambique, Luísa Dias Diogo, is widely seen as a likely future president. In Rwanda, there is a greater proportion of women serving in Parliament than in any other nation; they occupy nearly half the seats. Indeed, Africa leads the developing world in the percentage of women in legislative positions, at about 16 percent, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an organization of parliamentary bodies worldwide.
Please stop characterizing Africa as this backwards continent so far behind the rest of the world and in need of Western ideological and financial salvaging. Have you not heeded O yet? Do so, please. Portugal and the Roman Catholic church beat you all to it hundreds of years ago.