Theresa May Takes Over As British Prime Minister On Wednesday
After her last remaining rival pulled out of the race to lead the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party on Monday, Theresa May will today take the keys to Prime Minister’s resident Number 10 Downing Street today, taking over from David Cameron. She will be the 19th current female world leader.
Andrea Leadsom dropped out of the race on Monday, admitting that with the backing of under a quarter of Conservative MPs, she failed to command “sufficient support to lead a strong and stable government should I win the leadership election.”
There had been controversy over the weekend when Leadsom made remarks that seemed to question May’s suitability for the position as she has no children. In an interview with The Times, Leadsom said, “I am sure Theresa will be really sad she doesn’t have children so I don’t want this to be ‘Andrea has children, Theresa hasn’t’ because I think that would be really horrible, but genuinely I feel that being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake.
“She possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people, but I have children who are going to have children who will directly be a part of what happens next.”
Does being a parent have a bearing on someone’s ability to lead?
The fact that May will be the UK’s second female Prime Minister has generally been noted, but not greeted with surprise – apart from The Sun newspaper, which led with a typically sexist front page, focusing on her choice of footwear.
It is not likely to be an easy first week or so for the 19 year MP – she demanded Gordon Brown call a General Election in 2007, when he took over as Prime Minister in similar circumstances.
After being formally invited to form a government by the Queen later Wednesday, May is expected to hand cabinet positions to Amber Rudd and Justine Greening to address gender imbalance in the government.
With Hillary Clinton favourite to win the Presidential election in the United States in November, and Angela Merkel Chancellor of Germany since 2005, a growing number of women occupy the highest positions of power.
Would Iraq benefit from more women in senior positions in government?