Nine Women to Run the World

Mar 21, 2010 | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I recently came up with an idea: that it would be revelatory to ask as many women who were willing to "nominate" our next world leaders: to choose who, among women, they'd put forward to lead the world. This seems more apt than ever, given last week's decision by the Supreme Court, which may guarantee even more corporate sponsorship of our elected officials.

Is your present Supreme Court not delivering on its promise to you as a U.S.citizen? In its responsibility to adjudicate, interpret and set in place the law of the land, according to the Constitution?

For example, do you think that ExxonMobil, Inc. or General Electric qualify as "persons"? A person who might, say, end up standing with you in the unemployment line? Who might hold your hand with its own "human" mitts when your health insurance claim is denied by other corporations called big insurance companies (who are, according to the Court, "people" too)? Do you think EXXON or AIG or (name any other big corporation) will place their little flesh-paws over the hand that rocks the cradle?

Before we cue the violins to play Barbra singing "People Who Need Corporate People," how about this: a little speculation about another kind of Nine? Another kind of court: worldwide, and populated by women. Not corporate faux-protoplasm propping up those already in power, but living women, nominated by other women. They just might come up with some new ways to interpret what it is to be human, and what it means to take responsiblity for saving the world.

What do you think? Is it time for us to start imagining a new kind of world, since this one ain't working? Is it time for us to try a different approach --say, give the other gender a chance at running things?

Most in the handful of women I polled, of all ages, would like to see women given a chance at piloting the ship for a while. We've had men in the majority in just about every area of governance and power -- everywhere on the planet. If women were in charge, would things improve? How about The Nine, an international court of women -- enlightened governance?

Please respond by nominating one or two or nine women who you think could take charge and give us a chance to save ourselves and the planet. At a certain point, I'll tally the results to see who The Nine are, but we are not so interested in how many votes any single"candidate" gets as which names appear.

By the way, here are just a few of the names I've gotten so far. (We've added links to WVFC stories when possible, and Wikipedia when not. - Ed.) So add your votes for them as well, if you like -- and still, please, give us at least one more.

UPDATE: Nominations for Nine Women to Run the World will be considered complete on February 14, 2010. If you have not yet "cast your vote" - please do it soon!

* Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State, U.S.)
* Michelle Obama (First Lady, U.S.)
* Mary McAleese (President, Ireland)
* Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President, Liberia)
* Barbara Boxer (U.S. Senator, California)
* Ariana Huffington (Journalist, Activist, Founder, Huffington Post)
* Margaret Thatcher (Former Prime Minister, U.K.)
* Victoria Donda (Argentinian Politician)
* Melinda French Gates (Philanthropist)
* Shirin Ebadi (founder, Center for Human Rights in Iran)
* Sheila Bair (chair, FDIC)
* Elizabeth Warren (Law Professor)
* Anousheh Ansari (Business Entrepreneur)
* Esther Dyson (Journalist, Philanthropist)
* Adrienne Rich (Poet)
* Azar Nafisi (Author, Professor)
* Sylvia Earle (Oceanographer)
* Sandra Day O'Connor (Former Supreme Court Justice, U.S.)
* Aung San Suu Kyi (Nobel Laureate, Activist, Myanmar)
* Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court Justice, U.S.)
* Isabel Allende (Author, Activist)
* Caroline Kennedy (Philanthropist, Author)
* Jane Goodall (Anthropologist, Author)
* Toni Morrison (Nobel Laureate, Author)
* Wislawa Szymborska (Nobel Laureate, Poet)
* Noor al-Hussein (Queen of Jordan, Philanthropist)
* Sonia Sotomayor (Supreme Court Justice, U.S.)
* Kathleen Sebelius (U.S. Government Official)
* Maria Shriver (First Lady, California, Author)
* Mary Robinson (Former President, Ireland)
* Fran Pavley (Environmentalist, Activist)
* Gloria Steinem (Journalist, Activist)
* Nadine Strossen (Lawyer, Former President of the ACLU)
* Amy Lehman (Doctor, Activist)
* Karen Armstrong (Author)
* Edwidge Danticat (Author, MacArthur Fellow, Haitian)
* Oprah Winfrey (Television Talk Show Host, Philanthropist)
* Eve Ensler (Author, V-Day Founder)
* Marsha Moss (Public Art Curator)
* Rachel Maddow (Rhodes Scholar, Public Health Ph.D., MSNBC host)
* Maxine Singer (Biochemist, Former President, Carnegie Institute)
* Madeleine Albright (Former U.S. Secretary of State)
* Martha Coakley (Attorney General, Massachusetts)
* Patricia Strachen (Editor)
* Vandana Shiva (Physicist, Philosopher, Eco Feminist, Activist, and Author)
* Medha Patkar (Social Activist)
* Hu Shuli (Journalist)
* Esther Dyson (Journalist, Philanthropist)
* Margaret Wheatley (President of the Berkana Institute)
* Vicki Flaugher (Entrepreneur)
* Dr. Jane Lubchenco (Sec. of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Admin.)
* Reverend Alexia Salvatierra (Exec. Dir. of Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice of California)
* Dr. Holmes Hummel (Dept of Energy)
* Alisa Gravitz (Founder of Green America)
* Sheila Kuehl (Former U.S. Senator and Assemblywoman)
* Constance "Connie" Rice (Civil Rights Activist, Lawyer)
* Kavita Ramdas (Head of the Global Fund for Women)
* Louise Arbour (Former UN Human Rights High Commissioner and Canadian Supreme Court Justice)

Please add your nomination. Nominate your mother, your sister, your mentors and neighbors. Just let us know, in the comments section below. Who should we be following?

Thanks for adding a name -- even your own.

Carol Muske-Dukes