INNSBRUCK. At the invitation of National Councilor Selma Yildirim, the SPÖ regional women’s chairman, the well-known political scientist Anton Pelinka presented his current book “The Political Ascent of Women” in the Liber Wiederin library yesterday evening.
This was followed by a lively discussion about how the influence of women has changed, what that means for political work, what content is in the foreground and what still needs to be done.
“First of all, one that was accompanied by a fundamental motive: In 1977 I attended a session of the US Senate and I noticed one thing: there are 99 men and one woman out of 100 members. In 2019 there were already 24 women compared to 76 men. Many may argue that this is still not enough – but it is still a positive development. There is a megatrend and it means that the proportion of women in democratic parliaments is increasing everywhere in democratic regions. However, one thing is absolutely essential in order to be at the top of politics: the willingness to exercise power “
, lifts Professor Anton Pelinka who taught political science at the University of Innsbruck from 1975 to 2006.
To the book
At the beginning of the 20th century there was still an exotic, exceptional war, but a century later it became normal: women conquered positions of political power in democratic competition with men. Anton Pelinka examines the success strategies and unique selling points of Eleanor Roosevelt, Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher. Based on the analysis of the political careers of these three successful women, the well-known political scientist investigates the question of what influence the gender of political actors had and has on the content of politics and thus helps us to better understand the role of contemporary women politicians.
Anton Pelinka: “The three women were not at all peaceful. There is nothing “feminine” to be found in terms of foreign policy and the willingness to use the military. That naturally leads to the question: What do we need women for in politics? The example of Margaret Thatcher shows that women in politics are not necessarily advantageous to women from the standpoint of distributive justice. Breaking through the glass ceiling in particular is difficult and only Indira Gandhi succeeded. Incidentally, in an excursus I also mentioned two politically less successful women: Rosa Luxemburg, as an example of a woman who has apparently objectively failed, and Hannah Arendt, who was a politician in the narrower sense, but has been intensely involved in politics her whole life and has also influenced politics. “
Selma Yildirim: In the area of high culture, women are still severely underrepresented. What is the reason for that?
Anton Pelinka: “It’s interesting that women are, and always have been, very successful stars in the field of singing. Women at the conductor’s desk or in the composition department, on the top floor of the opera management, are rather rare. Sure, you can’t reinvent male choirs, but I’m sure that there are operas that were and are composed by women. One thing is certain, however: the time is ripe and the future is always open to new things. “
Statement on Femicides
Anton Pelinka: “There is an interesting study of the behavior of white men in the 1940s. This study shows why a certain type of man reacted dismissively towards African Americans during this period because they were afraid of relegation. It was then that racism provided an ideological justification. I like it with women: They want to step out of their traditional roles and have just as much career goals as men. For example, if a woman leaves her husband, he is more likely to kill her than the other way round, as this goes against traditional roles. It is also interesting that it was not until 1970 that the classic sentence “the man is the head of the family” was deleted from the law books. “
“In conclusion, we can probably sum it up by saying that we wish women more courage and willingness to exercise power”
so National Councilor Selma Yildirim.
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