Is motherhood a political asset?

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (born 1938) became the first African woman president in 2006 campaigning as a caring mother. She said voters told her during the campaign, “Men have failed us. Men are too violent, too prone to make war. Women are less corrupt, less likely to be focused on getting fancy cars and fancy homes for themselves.” Her campaign relied on women going village to village, door-to-door campaigning. She appointed women as Ministers of Youth and Sports, Gender and Development, Commerce, Foreign Affairs, and Finance. She believes that being mothers gives women leaders “a sensitivity to humankind” that will make the world a better and safer place.
A recent debate about motherhood, in July 2016, UK Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom told the Times of London that being a mother gives her an advantage over rival for Prime Minister childless Home Secretary Theresa May. Leadsom said, “But genuinely I feel that being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake. She possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people, but I have children who are going to have children who will directly be a part of what happens next.” A cry of protest arose and Leadsom tried to back track. May became the Prime Minister.


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