Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbOn the world stage, men have been the leaders. This is not because they have been the best or even the best prepared for the tasks of running a country or business. This reflects the laws and privileges of the white male in Western society. Women were treated as property, with no rights of their own except for those bestowed on their husbands; women were the wives, mistresses, and courtesans of the men in their lives. While there were some notable exceptions, such as monarchs like Queen Elizabeth I of England, Queen Victoria of England, Queen Isabella of Spain, and Catherine the Great of Russia, women were not permitted to take their rightful place in Western society.

Amritsar-golden-temple-00

In America, women started their crusade for equality and the vote from the mid-19th century. The Seneca (New York) Conference held in 1848 was a good first step in this process; powerful rights crusaders like Frederick Douglass intervened on the part of women’s rights as well as those of slaves. But women in the U.S. would not gain the vote until the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. Women since that time have served in the Congress and Statehouses, but none have been elected or even nominated for the Presidency of these United States. The situation was different in other countries.

It took the small country Sri Lanka (Ceylon) to have the first female leader of a country. Sirimaro Bandananaike became Prime minister in 1960. In neighboring India, the third Prime Minister was Indira Gandhi who took office in 1966. And it would be 1969 before Golda Meir started the first of her four terms as Prime Minister of Israel. But it would be at least two decades later before Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister of Great Britain in the 1990s. Angela Merkel would not become the Chancellor of Germany until 2005. We must view these pioneers with great respect and admiration.

Hopefully, this signals a time when women have their own identities and do not need to live in the shadow of a man. As I was doing research on women photographers in the 19th century, they were hard to find. Most of them ran the studios, developed the film, and ran the business. But it was the husband’s name that was on the prints and the studio. Yes, some were recognized on their own, but except for Julia Margaret Cameron of Britain, most of the women who had their name associated with their photography were either not married or Lesbians. Anyway, let’s hope that women can and will take their rightful place in society, not hidden behind (or “under”) a man.

Let get on with our exploration of the life and leadership of India’s Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4579 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Indira Gandhi:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/i/indira_gandhi.html ]

    

“Anger is never without an argument, but seldom with a good one.”
— Indira Gandhi

“Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.”
— Indira Gandhi

“If I die a violent death, as some fear and a few are plotting, I know that the violence will be in the thought and the action of the assassins, not in my dying. If I die a violent death, as some fear and a few are plotting, I know that the violence will be in the thought and the action of the assassins, not in my dying.”
— Indira Gandhi

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