My Idols – Female Leaders Around the World (Part-1) : The Iron Lady of Israel

There have always been female rulers on earth. Even since 3000BCE, Egyptians Queens ruled the Egypt. Each of the world’s country has at least one woman leader. queenThese leaders inspire me in a way that was shown in the articles. Most of the leaders who are going to describe here will be those who had passed away many years ago.

“Being Seventy is not a sin”. Golda Meir, seventy-year-old lady who had been an Israel pioneer leader, despite of her age argued that it doesn’t mean that old people can’t do well in politics. Older people have more consideration on what should be done.

Woman like Golda is rarely found in the world. Golda Meir is one of the founders in building new land of Jewish, Israel, equally likely with the men although she was just a normal teacher and didn’t have very impressive education background. Once the Israel was established, again Golda Meir had to participate in struggling within the Arabs countries. Golda Meir’s soul and sprit upon her country and nation was so impressive.Just like most women leaders, she scarified most of her time for country. Scarifying time means both personal time and family time. She was known to be a dutiful person in spite of her bad health condition.

ImageGolda Meir is someone who is as soft as silk if it concerns with personal or concerns with persuasion of people towards her goal. However, she is as strong as an iron in dealing with political problems and who can convince her idea into public very well. She had been the Minister of Labor Union who had built a lot of homes for the people of Israel and made remarkable contribution in transportation. As a foreign minister, she had found many friends for Israel especially from Africa, Denmark, Sweden and Myanmar. She was famous for protecting her country, Israel, as a very good lawyer on the stage of United Nations. Lastly, even in her retired time, she had to accept the heavy responsibility as a Prime Minister again.

Unlike the other women leaders like Indira Gandhi, she was not born from high class family, or educated family, or rich family. Her life was so severe as she went along. She did everything she believed on her own hands. Actually, she was the one who born with the earth rather than heaven.

Golda Meir’s ancestors were Jewish who were born in Soviet. However, the Soviet treated the Jewish as the second class citizens so that they were placed in the second class in politics, education and businesses. America and Israel are the new major centers of the Jewish and Europe was decimated of its Jewish population. Surprisingly, almost all the prior leaders that gave-birth the Israel, including Golda, were born in Soviet. (online avaliable at:(http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/world-jewish-population.htm))

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Just like the leader of Israel, Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir was born in Soviet. Her father, is a carpenter whose work was consistently under appreciated. Although her father is one of the carpenters who figured out the very first refrigerator, their family financial situation was completely a crisis. The very first years of Golda in her home town was full of terrible hardships that her family suffered, with poverty, cold hunger in fear (Golda Meir, My Life, 1975)

When she was about five, her father went to America, where the Jews called “the land of gold” and made his fortune there. Her mother, elder sister, younger sister and Golda, herself have to wait their father’s calling back. Actually, Golda had not only sisters but also brothers. Her four little boys fell ill while they are facing hardships in Kiev. Two of them died before they were a year old and two of them died within one month.

Golda Meir (My Life, 1975) states her life in hometown that “I suppose my recollection of being frightened is the clearest of all my memories.” There was a program to descend on Jews. The Jews-hater rabble that used to surge through towns brandishing knives and huge sticks, screaming “Christ Killers” as they looked for the Jews. Her father tried to barricade the entrance with boards of wood. Being a Jewish made Golda to be different from other children and the feelings of fear, discontentment  and responsiveness of being different and the belief that one have to make effective action personally if he or she wanted to survive, had been grown.During the establishing time of Israel, Golda convinced that these frightened experiences were the foundation of her willingness towards her vision in politics.

Golda Meir seemed as symbol of strength and authority. While she went to US to ask for Authoritytheir support of weapons during war period, President Nixon couldn’t resist her. He stated that “I remember so well when we sat down in the chairs and the photographers came in… and we were shaking hands and she was smiling and making the right friendly comments. Then, when the photographers left the room, she crossed her legs, lit a cigarette and said, ‘ Now, Mr. President, What are you going to do about those planes that we want and we need very much’….” Nixon seemed Golda as a man since then. (Burkett, The Iron Lady of Middle East, 2008)Golda and US President

There were several leadership abilities that I would found in Golda. These abilities are:

  • Servant Leadership (Golda was a good follower before she became a leader and I think this nourish her servant leadership)
  • Task-Oriented (If you read more details on her political actions, you will know that she has less concern in process implementation than the ideas)
  • Advocate Management (At that time, Israel’s political solutions were said to be coming from what they called “Golda’s Kitchen” rather than official cabinets. I found pros and cons for this. As Golda mainly discussed issues in person with one or two people unofficially, they can discuss in details for those information which should not be distribute to many people. However, this style had made Golda to bypass the second partner.)
  • Knowing the People (She had used them and knew their value. She never gave orders. The things she gave were just guidelines and requests which show her great deal of leadership.)

Golda Meir had to scarify her status as a housewife for Israel. She divorced with her husband, Morris. She got the genies of optimistic from her mother and that of stubborn from her father, again, political sprit from her elder sister, Sheyna. Some knowledge, she got from her husband, Morris. Golda said that she was so lucky because each and every of her relatives and friends in her life gave her something for her life.

The great Golda was not heritage by the male leader, for example : Indria Gandhi was heritage political aspect from her father. Golda Meir is not the one who is pretty because of her diamond earrings. She, herself, is the diamond. She was born to be a leader and then trained to be good.

As for my recommendation, Golda Meir is not a woman leader. She is the leader whose gender is woman.

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6 thoughts on “My Idols – Female Leaders Around the World (Part-1) : The Iron Lady of Israel

  1. I don’t think “Each of the world’s country has at least one woman leader”. Of course, it depends on your definition of “leader”; do you mean someone who is working in the government, or someone who holds the absolutely high status?

    From your blog post, I can quite safely assume you meant someone who is a queen – which in modern society translates to a prime minister, president or vice president. Even in a country like Australia, we only see our first female prime minister in 2007. And Australia is a first world country which is striving for equality. That is not the case for so many countries in the world. Obvious examples would be those countries from Arab world, where women are highly oppressed, do not have women leaders – at least not the prominent ones who can bring REAL changes and not just figureheads.

    That’s my two-cents, cheers!

    xx

    • Thank you for your comment. Yeah!! I do understand your point but the leader here means to say not only leader of the country but also those who influence the people. As for part one, I’ve chosen Golda Meir who is said to be a political leader and that’s why my intro has been like this. To give you an example; you can see our motherly leader Ms. Aung Sann Suu Kyi. She was in prisons for many years and cannot prove anything significantly yet but we still love and believe her in a way we do to our leaders. She is neither president nor prime minister. About Arab world, I might say there are a lot of women leaders there who are striving for equal opportunities in every aspects as men such as education, health,etc,. These women can also be named as leaders somehow. You can see in my conclusion that as for Golda Meir case, she is not a woman leader. She is a leader whose gender is woman. I added this statement because some women leaders are representing for women’s affairs or specific affairs only not politics. Anyway, thanking you for giving your time to visit my blog and give useful comment. 🙂 Cheers!!

      • I’m glad you stated that “she is not a woman leader. She is a leader whose gender is woman”. It’s just that, I can’t stand feminists, because I feel like while they try to prove that women have done great things, regardless of being female, they are ironically admitting that women are inferior. For me, the gender of the person doesn’t matter, and I’m glad I can take it as you agree too.

        What I am trying to say about women in many countries is that, of course, they are doing something to improve the society. After all, half the population is female and they just can’t go without not contributing to the society. But, my point was that, you don’t get prominent female leaders like Julia Gillard, Hilary Clinton or Mother Theresa in every country. Which is kind of sad, but it is true.

        And I have high respect for Aung San Suu Kyi and I think she did prove a lot of things while she was being held as prisoner. Her commitment for non-violence as well as not abandoning the country while she could have easily fled to England are few of many things that she proved.

        It was a good read and looking forward to more from you. (:

  2. Oh…. Yes… I see!! So you are assuming that I’ll be writing prominent leaders because my intro has led to that way.. Oh, my bad!! I haven’t think of what to write in this series yet but actually another iron lady “Margaret Thatcher” is on my list to write. Hilary Clinton, I might say, if I have to write about her, I have more interest in her life as president’s wife than as a politician. How she overcame those rumors or may be some real stories about her husband as a wife rather than as a political leader. But Mother Theresa will definitely not on my list because although I adore her works, I cannot be the one who is doing those things that she did, and also the spirit that she had which is said to be very low self-esteem, So, as my topic is “my idol”, I will be writing about those I emotionally can relate to. Golda relates me in a way that she, herself, has become a diamond after overcoming severe obstacles of her life without having impressive background. This means that the leader I am writing may or may not be prominent leaders of that country and may or may not always be about politics but someone, somehow I can relate to.
    Please support me just like this for next ladies too dear….
    Cheers!! 🙂

    • This is quite an interesting article and point of view. The definition of leader in your own way is a good one to read up. I think you want to point out the facts of what these ladies did for their countries and yes Mother Theresa is not in this kind. DIfferent people will have different point of view so generally i agree with you. But for this article i expected to read up some of Golda achievements like 6 days war but i rarely found those. This is just my advice and it is not a big deal. I really enjoyed reading your articles. Looking forward for next ones.

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