Life impacts differently on women than it does men. And you need to understand that experience when you are developing policies and programs that directly impact the lives of men and women.
So said Kathy Dunderdale, recently elected Premier of Newfoundland in an interview with Globe and Mail columnist, Doug Saunders. In reflecting further on the differences between how men and women approach politics and public life, she also observed that women typically enter political life with a particular goal, wanting to make change on a specific issue. Men, in contrast, are more likely to see politics as a career.
In the sessions we lead with women experts, we find a similar inclination around engaging in public discourse. Unlike their male colleagues, many of whom are happy to comment on any issue if asked, female scholars and NGO leaders are often only persuaded to respond to media interview requests or write op eds when seeking attention to an injustice or challenge ignorance on an issue close to their hearts.