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EDITORIAL – Not a man is an island


luigimarshall, [email protected]

EDITORIAL – Not a man is an island

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The choice of Madame Christine Lagarde as the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in succession to Dominique Strauss-Khan, is a decision of interest to us as an IMF member nation, coming as it does in the middle of a potentially serious problem for Europe and the whole world – not to mention the Greek people.
Madame Lagarde has broken through a ceiling of sorts, because she is the first female to head the IMF. But her ascent to this important position ought not to be surprising, for she has a formidable record as a professional involved in managing an international large law firm, an achievement which she capped by her acclaimed competence as the Minister of Finance in her native France.
Experience and skill
She will need all the experience and skill that she has acquired in this her most recent appointment, since the problems facing Greece will require as much experience and skill as diplomacy.
Yet, Madame Lagarde’s track record in chairing and leading the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie should have given her major exposure to cultural diversity.
It may or may not have helped that she is female, but the importance of her appointment is that she is by all standards eminently qualified for the position.
She is a lawyer with a Master’s degree in politics and has been given a fair crack of the whip in an organization that for all of its 66-year existence has stuck to the old boys’ network in making its choices.
Madame Lagarde thus becomes another trailblazer for millions of women all over the world, who have in the last 50 years begun to see some light at the end of the tunnel; in their quest not only for equality with their male counterparts, but also for a fair share of the top decision-making positions if they are qualified for such.
It is this aspect of her appointment that meets with our wholehearted approval. True equality means more than laws relating to equal treatment. It extends to functional equality in which suitably qualified women are given a fair chance at obtaining some of the functionally powerful international positions.
But we hope that the significance of the appointment is not lost on those countries in the Middle East and Far East that still insist on the subjugation of women.
It may not be a big thing for Caribbean girls and women that one of their gender has attained such Olympian heights; but wondrously powerful must be the impact of this major high-profile appointment in those countries where the application of local customs and laws stifle the exposure to education of girls and women.
Another crisis
We wish Madame Legarde well in her historic appointment, and not least in her efforts to deal with the hot button issue of the Greek economy.
That issue must be quickly handled lest we see Greece defaulting on its international loans and fuelling another economic crisis.
The fallout from such a development would be bound to affect us, given the interconnected nature of the world economy and our dependence on European-derived tourism, for in the current state of the international economy no man is an island!
 

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