1) Our country has yet to elect a woman president -- a national embarrassment! Almost every country in Europe and Latin America; along with India, Israel, New Zealand, Canada, China, Pakistan, Rwanda and many other countries have been led by a woman. The UN cites: "The achievement of democracy presupposes a genuine partnership between men and women..."; then goes on to rank the U.S. 75th for women's representation in government (great news, we're tied with Turkmenistan). It is time we move forward as a country and elect a woman president!
2) Left to their own devices, neither party will run a woman -- in 2008, Hillary was not only betrayed by the' Senate Boys Club', but the DNC allowed overt sexism to hurt her chances (acknowledged by Howard Dean after she dropped out). The GOP Establishment continually discourages Palin (and Bachmann) from running. For a women of either party to become president, she'll need to take a non-traditional, circuitous route. Since women are brought up to be 'good girls' the moxie and bravery to buck the system is rare. Palin has it.
3) A generation of girls will see politics as a possibility -- over the past decade, an alarming trend has developed on campus: college women are less likely to seek out positions of power. Not only avoiding politics, but also corporate America. One Ivy League woman told me her take-away freshman year on career paths for women was: "social work or medicine - you know, women need to help people."
4) Women's representation in leadership is moving backwards -- from congress to Fortune 500 management, the percentage of women in leadership roles is decreasing. We're moving backwards! The best way to move forward again is to get women who support other women into positions of power.
5) Palin 'walks the walk' on supporting and mentoring women -- no one has done more to dismantle the GOP's white-male construct than Palin. Her 2010 efforts helped deliver the country's first Latina governor (Martinez-NM), first Indian-American woman governor (Haley-SC) and many new and returning women candidates.
6) Standing up to sexism -- Palin has faced a steady barrage of sexism since 2008, including yesterday when a sign was posted on her bus referring to her as a media "whore." In fact, women in power are frequently referred to as "sluts, bitches and whores." Unambiguously, sexism hurts female candidates. Which is why it is so important for Palin to continue to stand up against and smack down the low-lives who perpetrate sexism and misogyny, by running despite them!
7) Women's voices (and faces) are evaporating -- increasingly, the decisions which determine the future of our country are made predominantly or exclusively by men. Although women make the bulk of consuming decisions, there is not a single woman in the federal budget negotiations or leading a major economic agency in the Obama Administration. Geez, NASA couldn't put one female astronaut on Shuttle Endeavor's final mission?
8) Teaching girls to take risks (and pick themselves up and try again) -- our culture pressures teach girls not to take risks. That they must be perfect and not make mistakes. As a result, as women we are under-represented in high-paying jobs and top-level management positions. Palin running for office again would send a powerful message to take risks, keep trying and never give up. Truly empowering.
9) Like so many of us, Palin is a working mom -- she understands the quandary facing today's women, and how we are put in a no win situation. She's been a victim of gender stereotyping from the moment she stepped into the national spotlight: how dare she be a working mother?! (here, here and here). She'll bring that understanding to office.
10) Palin made her own way -- she was not the beneficiary of her father and his cronies, her fraternity, or the boys' network. She worked hard and did well based on her own abilities, and never forgot where she came from. This gives her an implicit understanding of the battles that the marginalized and underrepresented (including women and girls) must wage to advance.
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