Hullabaloo over Kamala Harris exaggerated - GulfToday

Hullabaloo over Kamala Harris exaggerated

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Saratu Abubakar

It has been a week since Kamala Harris got inaugurated as the 49th Vice President of the United States of America. As a woman, it is a huge milestone. People described her as a ray of hope, women and young girls can see that they can be whoever they want to be. Quite sentimental, and very true but should we even be having this discussion in 2021?

In my twenty-plus years on earth, I have seen various women serve in different leadership capacities, they have ruled countries and some are still ruling. Jacinda Ardern, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Kamala Harris, Angela Merkel, Theresa May are some of them.

Does Kamala’s win mean anything? Yes, it does. With the exception of Jacinda Ardern, Angela Merkel and Kamala Harris, who are still serving, the tenure of Theresa May and Ellen Sirleaf might be deemed as successful or unsuccessful based on your relative perspective. But it shows that to be a president or a prime minister is not by gender, as long as you are qualified, man or woman you can make it.

It is sad that it is 2021 but a woman being elected into presidency still seems like a huge milestone as opposed to it being the norm. It breaks me as a woman that in years to come things might still look the same. A woman in a position of leadership might still be rare, a financially independent woman will still have people questioning her wealth, a female doctor will still be referred to as a nurse and in every sector, women will have to work twice more than their male counterparts to earn the same respect.

Growing up there is a popular saying that I constantly hear, it says “women mature faster than men.” This saying is usually thrown when it comes to making domestic decisions. However, when the same women are on the brink of being leaders, the saying of them being ‘too emotional’ pops up. It is such a strange way to categorize a whole gender.

 I wonder if the world will ever get to a point, where as a woman, I will be treated as human first before my gender is factored? You know, will I ever be able to have a fair playing ground in every aspect of the society like my fellow men. Will any dream ever not feel too farfetched because I am a woman? Without the attachment of any man will I ever be able to walk into any place I feel like and be accorded the same respect a man would?

Don’t get me wrong, I love that we have women breaking glass ceilings and achieving what might be deemed as the unexpected but these glass ceilings shouldn’t even exist in the first place. Man or woman, every person should be given a fair playground and be allowed to play their cards. May the best person win.

I don’t want to have to explain to everyone that I didn’t sleep my way to the top every time I achieve a milestone. I don’t want to be sidelined in making decisions because ‘I am too emotional.” I am tired of seeing things titled as ‘the first woman’. I don’t want to be the only woman in a room because the organization is keeping up appearances, I want my fellow women to be given equal chances as their male counterparts and let it be that they were not qualified enough and not because they were women.

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