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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 09:11 AM

Hillary Clinton: Why Women Must "Dare To Compete" In Politics

Although electing a female president would, according to Clinton, require a “leap of faith” on the part of American voters, such an historic occasion also “really depends on women stepping up and subjecting themselves to the political process, which is very difficult,” admitted Clinton. She referenced former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who noted, “If women want to be in politics, they need to ‘grow skin as thick as a rhinoceros.’” “And I think there is still truth to that, so you have to step up, you have to dare to compete,” Clinton added.

Despite the history-making possibilities associated with a Clinton bid for the oval office, her remarks were a sobering reminder that not enough women today are willing to make a run for elected office. Very few of us can relate to or take cue from the course she’s charted in becoming arguably the most powerful woman in American politics today. What’s more, she’s charted that course over the past two decades under the same unrelenting public eye that’s soured the political aspirations of so many women eager to engage in our political system.

Nonetheless, the presence of more women in positions of political power around the world does serve as a powerful affirmation of what’s possible for others. Women, for example, are at the helm of some of the world’s largest economies such as Brazil and Germany and here at home, women’s representation in the Senate is at an all time high. As Minority Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi serves as the highest-ranking woman in government today, while others leaders such as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hold some of the most powerful cabinet positions in the current administration.

Despite these global political role models, are women in America willing to “step up” and throw their hat into the brutal, rough-and-tumble world of politics as candidates? The paths may be getting paved faster than ever before for future generations of women to ascend in the political ranks, yet are these the paths women are looking to follow?


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