The Irish Examiner View: Celebrating women but sexism endures

The Irish Examiner View: Celebrating women but sexism endures

Tomorrow will be International Women’s Day, which is “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women”.

The objectives of the celebration are universally shared in the West even if only in an equality-lite sort of way. Just this week the American Democratic Party primaries offered a chilling judgement on women who aspire to the highest office. The rejection of the last woman seeking the nomination, showed why the day’s relevance endures.

Elizabeth Warren, once a front runner, dropped out of the presidential race after she failed win the kind of support needed to challenge male hegemony. A senator and law professor, her competence was not in question. Indeed, it outshines that of those still in contention.

She built her campaign on fighting corruption and changing the rules regulating how finance, and financiers, are making our world less and less equitable but her argument it did not resonate with Americans. Warren’s departure means that a Democratic field once the most diverse in American history — and included six women — is down to two, old white men: Joe Biden, 77, and Bernie Sanders, 78.

We can hardly afford to be too preachy on this. Just a month ago women were elected — roughly — to just one in five Dáil seats — 22.5%. Of 160 TDs only 36 are women. Changing this limiting, anachronistic bias would still be the best way to mark International Women’s Day.

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