The Path to Political Leadership and Women in Power:

Topics: Gender, Benazir Bhutto, Power in international relations Pages: 4 (1111 words) Published: April 25, 2006
World politics today have an unequal gender division that delegates who may and may not obtain power. Certain labels such as ‘femininity' and ‘masculinity' associated with gender tend to make one sex appear weaker than the other. This gender division covers the world over and this ideology shapes how concepts, practices, and institutions are taught; but most importantly, how the world's power is distributed and illustrates women as being the inferior race.

Both men and women who rise to power tend to be well educated (women often in fairly nontraditional areas), affiliated with political families, and to come from wealthy ancestry. Generally though, women have a decreased amount of access to and leadership experience within the institutions that provide for candidate pools. However, typical paths to power for female candidates for political office include: recruitment from previous leadership roles in specific political parties, local/regional government, civil service careers, and the military, among others. Some women follow the stepping stones of politics, climbing the rungs from local to regional to national party activities and building on prior successes. Other women rise during transitional periods; while others still, such as Benazir Bhutto, acquire office through familial ties to politically prominent men and develop their own right to political power.

Bhutto, born in Karachi in 1953, attended both Radcliffe College and Oxford University and graduated with degrees in philosophy, politics, and economics. Having dealt with the assassination of her father, she rose to power after a six year struggle as the leader of the then opposed Pakistani People's Party. After being arrested many times over and spending time either in prison or under detention, Bhutto was sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan on December 2, 1988. As Prime Minister, Bhutto has focused on issues such as reducing discrimination between men and women in...
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