Being the first women elected as the Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright has gained the reputation to be considered as one of the important women leaders in the world. Surpassing the possibilities of gender discrimination in US politics, she was able to prove wrong the beliefs that a woman does not deserve to handle such a high-ranking position in the government. “I was up against the fact that many people doubted that women could even do this job at all – that was the main challenge” as she put it in an interview documented by the International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics.
Albright’s example proved the exceptional capacity of women to be effective government leaders. Being able to handle the difficult and complex tasks evident in the world of politics with conviction, she was able to make room for another possibility of having another woman take her footstep. She was able to establish how the process of empowering women economically and politically could help stable societies. The pressure of expectations from the people who support and doubt her made Albright a very determined and hardworking person.
And need to perform better if not equal than her male colleagues pushed her to be a very accomplished leader and government official. In an article by Nancy Gibbs for Time, Albright was described to be someone that understands the importance of communication, has great command of politics, and person that gives time to issues regarding human rights and democratic principles. Albright was able to rise to her position by working twice as hard with great focus on want she want to achieve in her term.
These skills became very useful to her since the responsibility she took demands twice or even more effort than any other position in the government. Her early interest in politics especially in foreign affairs as influenced by her father and her good wok ethic as a result of her being a hardworking student eventually made her develop attributes necessary to become a good leader. She taught the importance of having equality between woman and man since for her their differences could work together and bring more benefit to the society.
As she told it, “I think there are certain characteristics women possess that are very helpful in diplomacy and in all aspects of governing, such as an interest in personal relationships and an ability to see another person’s point of view. Women are able to make a difference because they are able to view national security issues, for example, or the issues of their specific countries, from different angles. Our experiences allow us to better approach issues and see the linkages between them. ” (International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics)
Albright’s experience also taught women to be confident with herself and with her ideas. Leaders must posses the ability to trust in her opinions and ideas and be proud of them. Since women are seen to be less equal than men, the former has tendencies to doubt her and decline her ideas, thinking that the overflowing opinion of men that surround her are far better important or intelligent. Albright having faced similar situations didn’t let her nature and feelings as a woman affect her actions, judgment of things, and ideals.
Being a leader requires a perfect combination of conviction and heart. She was able portray a good example of how women can employ a distinction to being a woman to being a leader. Today, many see Albright and her successor Condoleeza Rice as a resemblance of the other. One of the evident similarities between the former and the recent Secretary of State was their determination to pursue a successful implementation of their responsibilities centered on foreign policy.
They were able to efficiently extend US influence over countries believed to need the help of American democracy. Their similar beliefs regarding politics especially US international relationships can be attributed to the great influence of one person who loved the ideals of American democracy Josef Korbel. As noted by Raz of the National Public Radio in 2006 “Both women say Korbel inspired them to pursue public service, and echoes of his abiding belief in the merits of American-style freedom are clear in their public statements. ”
However, for Sami Moubayed, a Syrian political analyst who writes for Asia Times in 2005 , “Yet apart from the fact that both are women, and both rose to senior posts in the US government, the similarity ends there. Albright, like her boss Bill Clinton, was a believer in Palestinian rights to statehood, showed little bias toward Israel, and worked hard to achieve that, especially during the final months of the Clinton presidency. She believed in diplomatic means to solve international crises, and voiced that very clearly during the Iraq war in 2003, when she was out of office.
Meanwhile Rice was one of the strongest advocates of militarism. Through her numerous visits to the region, Albright came to understand how the Middle East operated, and how Arabs thought. ” Albright and Rice are very distinct in the nature of their approach towards their responsibilities. Albright significantly believes in ideal-driven foreign policy while Rice employs a realist’s view. Albright’s approach to proceed in a peaceful manner like carrying US military activities for humanitarian interventions or moralistic objectives was not very likely of Rice.
The latter believes a more forceful action will render be more effective. Albright’s ability and desire to combine diplomacy and force was her ultimate difference and success. This not only made her an effective leader but also a celebrated person. Her speech in 1997 during the Joint Service Officers’ Wives luncheon reflects this, “It is also why we need first-class diplomacy. Force, and the credible possibility of its use, is essential to defend our vital interests and to keep America safe. But force alone can be a blunt instrument, and there are many problems it cannot solve.
To be effective, force and diplomacy must complement and reinforce each other. For there will be many occasions, in many places, where we will rely on diplomacy to protect our interests, and we will expect our diplomats to defend those interests with skill, knowledge and spine. ” Madeleine Albright’s life as leader is filled with experiences that talks about lessons of triumph after overcoming hard obstacles. Her accomplishment is an inspiring story to young female leaders who wish to take the same path. References:
Asia Times. (2005, June 28). Rice and the Middle East dream. Retrieved December 20, 2007 from http://www. atimes. com/atimes/Middle_East/GF28Ak03. html International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics. (2006, February 26). Interview with Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright. Retrieved December 20, 2007, from http://www. iknowpolitics. org/en/node/614 National Public Radio. (2006, June 28) All Things Considered. December 20, 2007 from http://www. npr. org/templates/story/story. php? storyId=5516648 TIME.
(1997, September 29) Condi Rice Can’t Lose. December 20, 2007 from http://www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,992061-1,00. html TIME. (1996, December 16). Madeleine Albright: The Voice of America. Retrieved December 20, 2007 from http://edition. cnn. com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/analysis/time/9612 /16/gibbs. html Albright, Madeleine. (1997). Transcript – Speech at Joint Service Officers’ Wives luncheon, Washington, DC, Nov. 12, 1997. Retrieved December 20, 2007 from http://findarticles. com/p /articles/mi_m1584/is_n10_v8/ai_20186348
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