Monthly Archives: November 2015

Suffragetts- a film to watch

Last night I watched the Suffragettes. Amazing!

The heroin, was working at a laundry house all her life for next to nothing, sexually abused by the boss since adolescence. The husband kicked her out of the family home because she was a suffragette and prohibited her to see her son. He eventually gave their son for adoption and she could not do anything about it. But she carried on fighting for a better world and her right to have control over her life.

 

The best thing about this film is that the message is still relevant. Women have not yet achieved equality. Women still earn 20% less than men on average. Women are still the majority in occupying part time jobs.41% of women have part-time jobs compared with 12% of men. Child benefit and income support are a help to thousands of hard working women who struggle between Zero hour contracts and rising cost of living, low pay and rents that exceed a monthly salary. So the welfare bill clearly targets women and in particular the poorest.

Mrs Pankhurst said at the film “we don’t want to be lawbreakers; we want to be law makers”. 100 years later and although women account for not 50.5% of the British population we are still not represented equally in society and definitely we are not lawmakers.

  • In 2015 elections only 29% of MPs were women. Out of 650 MPs 191 are women. From those 50% (98) were Labour party MPs and 35% (68) were Conservative party MPs.
  • Hereditary women peers were finally allowed to sit in the House of Lords after the Peerage Act 1963. Today only 21% of the peers are female.
  • Only 14% of vice Chancellors are female in UK Universities
  • Only 1in five university professors are female
  • Only 1 woman in 24 research institutes that make up Manchester University
  • Only 13.2 women are Council Leaders
  • Only 36 out of 351 Local Government Authorities have women CEOs
  • 68% of Voluntary Sector workforce are women yet only 27% are CEOs
  • The picture is worse in the private sector. In the biggest UK corporations women make up 23% of boardroom members and only 3.5% of CEOs are female

Women’s Equality is not about getting drunk at the pub, using bad language and having one night stands. It is not about putting down and treating badly our sons, brothers, and partners and treating men as enemies. It is about asserting our rights to a fair society, taking action for a better world. It is politics It is about using your VOTE! Our grandmothers died for this right.

 

Note: Socrates spoke about gender equality 2500 years ago and Plato captured it in the “Republic”.

 

Anna Pett

Do we vote for good leaders or Drama Queens? What makes a good leader?

Knowledge, experience, vision, communication and influencing skills, perception, and responsiveness are some of the skills that make a good leader.
So is it that simple? Undoubtedly a good leader must demonstrate knowledge and experience to deliver what is expected from him or her. But would a good leader be as good if he or she is not effective? The good leader should be able to see not only the target but how best to achieve it. What good can firing at the target be if one does not really hit the target?

Look at the Greek Prime Minister Tsipras. He created a lot of drama not accepting the EU memorandum, he organised referendum (that he completely ignored) and hold early elections. He came across as militant and on the side of the people and he definitely made noise and created drama. But is he a good leader?
Well, he cost Greece a lot of money that Greece did not have on first place, wasted time, damaged working relationship with EU officials and other politicians, decreased investor confidence at a time critical for the country’s recovery, sabotaged tourism, a major income source and he had to accept a memorandum with worse conditions than the initial one. So was not effective in actually promoting Greece’s interests. On the contrary Greece is worse off because of his actions.
But he said all the things Greek people wanted to hear and he was loud…
Well in that respect he is a leader that can enthuse the public and persuade them to vote but that has a good effect on him not the interest of the country he represents.
I definitely do not want a leader who can make noise and shout empty threats. I want results. I want a leader who knows the needs of the organisation and has sharp perception of how he/ she and the organisation are perceived by the public, the supporters and the opponents. A person who doesn’t create impressions but gets the job done, most likely in a quiet understated way. A leader who is respected and able to negotiate and collaborate, a leader who will stay calm to crises and help the organisation to come out of it strong not broken down. A leader who works for the organisation not him/herself.
As Thucydides said, “Few things are brought to a successful issue by impetuous desire, but most by calm and prudent forethought”.