As the world shifts its fears between nuclear war to a trade war, a new wave of progressive women could overpower the strongman politics sweeping our newsfeeds.
In the last week, Tunisia has elected its first female Mayor of Tunis, and Mexico city has elected a former IPCC scientist as its Govenor. In the US, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become its youngest ever female Congresswoman, promising to overturn Trumps Coal addiction.
Here’s a profile of these three amazing woman, as well as 2 more you may already have fallen in love with.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Democratic Hope
The 28 year old former teacher and barmaid hit the mainstream news across the US last week as she became the youngest ever woman elected to Congress, ousting one of the strongest Democratic candidates in her home seat of the Bronx (and Queens). She ran as an openly Socialist candidate with strong views on overturning America’s harsh Immigration Enforcement Agency, Free Health Care, and abolishing Trump’s ‘coal first’ Energy Policies.
While most American Democratics have been relatively uncertain how to approach Climate policy in the wake of Trump’s coal miner-populism, Oscar-Cortez openly called for a plan to transition the United States to a 100 percent renewable energy system by 2035. She has cleverly linked this call for Climate change with elements of environmental justice and jobs.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, she outlined her proposal for a “Green New Deal” for the US.
“The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan,” she told HuffPost by email last week. “We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy.”
Oh, and incase you’re wondering, she’s not afraid of Trump. She told Steven Colbert that “Trump’s not ready to deal with a girl from the Bronx”.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović : Croatia's Dancing President
The Croatian President has shone this week, as her outspoken support for her national team has won admiration around the world. Not only has she danced in the face of the Russian PM, but she raced into the dressing rooms to celebrate with the team.
But before the World Cup, President Grabar-Kitarović was winning fans in Paris. As she signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, she famously called Climate Change a “weapon of mass destruction”. In an interview with Sense and Sensibility has since pledged to do “to do whatever is in our power to provide for climate control and for control of environmental pollution and the protection of the environment in Croatia”.
With this level of awareness, and her now infamous approach as a “(Wo)man of the people”, she could play a critical role in shaping Climate action across Central Europe.
Oh, and btw… She flew to the Russian World cup in Economy class, proudly wearing her Croatian jersey.
Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo: Mexico City
Claudia Sheinbaum is a little new to the spotlight, and probably feels more at home measuring vehicle emissions than crowd numbers as for most of her professional life, she has worked as an Environmental Engineer.
After completing a PHD that focussed on analysing Mexico’s energy consumption, she later focussed on trying to mitigate motor vehicle emissions. Up until 2015, she was continuing this research at one of Mexico City’s biggest Universities.
Her work in this field has been widely recognised and she has been a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Basically, she’s a global expert on the topic.
As of last week, she’s Mexico City’s new Governor. With close ties to the new leftist President, she brings a new hope for the future of one of the world’s biggest megacities, and has the potential to radically shape Mexico’s energy and transport systems.
Jacinda "Zero Carbon" Adern
There’s not too many people who haven’t heard of New Zealand’s incredible new Prime Minister. From day 1, her new vision of progressive, people-focussed politics has seen her labelled as the “Anti-trump” .
Ardern believes New Zealand has a “responsibility” to her Pacific Island neighbours, and believes that New Zealand could be a leader in combatting emissions across the Agricultural sector – a key, largely unmet challenge for Climate action.
““The most difficult thing for us to do is to mitigate and offset our agricultural emissions,” she told Vogue Magazine. “If we find a way to do that, then we’re showing other countries how to do it too.”
She also plans to develop a sector-wide Emissions trading scheme, a Climate Commission, and a legally enforceable plan to get New Zealand to Zero Emissions by 2050. Don’t believe me, take it from her:
Souad Abderrahim - the new Femenist Mayor of Tunis
This week, Tunis also elected their first ever female Mayor. Souad Abderrahim beat off 10 other male candidates to get the position, some of argued that a woman couldn’t hold the position.
A former dissident under the previous Ben Ali regime, she gained the support of the moderate Islamic party Ennahdha even while not wearing a veil and being a staunch advocate for woman’s rights.
Abderrahim stated that her victory was a “triumph for the decentralization of power and it is an honor for me to be the first woman ‘sheikh of the Medina’.” She also dedicated her victory “to all Tunisian women”.