Ted Talks: It's Time For Women To Run For Office
Iceland is one of the many countries that have the best place for a woman according to Halla Tómasdóttir. She vividly recounts how close to 90% of women participated in a peaceful a strike when she was only 7years as they sought equality. It was not in vain because five years after the women’s protest march into the center of Reykjavík, the country democratically elected a woman as their president, President Vigdís, a single mom.
Tómasdóttir is of the opinion that the world is in real need for women leaders that can showcase principle-based leadership in general. Apparently, women are less likely to consider running than men given the latest study done in the US in 2011. The study reveals that 62% of people had considered running for office unlike 45% of women.
She still needed to do her bit
The 16% possibility gap of leadership between men and women was somewhat a trigger for Tómasdóttir to take the mantle even without any political experience. She felt the urge to put the world in its rightful position; that both boys and girls are equal and from 20 potential candidates the race came down to three men and her being the only female.
Despite the then sitting president of 20years citing his assurance that two people were qualified to fit in his shoes of running the office, Tómasdóttir remained optimistic. 45 days to the Election Day she was nowhere on the graph with her polls reading 1%. Only those who had 2.5% and above were featured in the first TV debate.
But there were more challenges
She eventually found her way into media where she had the problem of getting not only access but also airtime. While the leading candidate appeared in broadcast media 87 times, she was only covered for 31 times.
Access to media proved difficult, but this did not deter her desire. She turned to Facebook sessions while conducting them with so much transparency. She indulged younger people to her advantage. However, she was not financially rounded like other candidates but surprisingly she had a fantastic team that surprised everyone on the election night. She was neck-to-neck with the first candidate.
She did not win the elections, but she refers to all this as an incredible journey. However, it calls for hard work, resilience and perseverance, great support and an active mind. She risked failure but received accolades in many other levels.