Libmonster ID: KZ-2173
Author(s) of the publication: A. A. SUVOROV


Doctor of Philology Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences

women in Asia Keywords: charismatic leaderswomen's gender rolepolitical dynastiesinheritance of power

There are not many families in the world whose lives are most directly and directly connected with the history of their countries - with the exception, of course, of the royal dynasties. In the recent history of Asia, the role of such influential family clans as Nehru-Gandhi, Bhutto, Sukarno, Bandaranaike, Mujibur Rahman, Aquino and some others, who for many years determined the political course of India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Philippines, is unique. The family chronicle of all these political dynasties seems to play out the latest world history in their faces. Rather, history invades the intimate lives of these families, their relationships, forming conflicts and characters, influencing how they created the present and future of their country.

In the second half of the 20th century, as a result of systemic postcolonial transformations, women became the" first persons " in a number of Asian states, which partly destroys the gender stereotype of traditional patriarchal society and causes a polarization of political forces in these countries. Undoubtedly, this new phenomenon of world politics had deep historical and cultural roots and, under the influence of the gender factor, led to a change in the composition of the ruling elites and the modernization of traditional ideas about power and society.

Women, whether presidents or prime ministers, shared a common family and hereditary component-they were all widows or daughters of the "fathers of the nation", founders of new states, charismatic leaders in the struggle for national independence or democratization. The real merits of the" patriarchs " of political dynasties, multiplied by their charismatic gift and unquestionable authority, evoked universal national love, reaching the point of worship. Widows and daughters who later came to power in the footsteps of the" fathers of the nation " were identified in the popular consciousness with their great predecessors, shone their reflected light, inherited not only their political course, but also the charm of the glorious family name passed on to them by the laws of close kinship.1

The authority of women leaders was only partly and not always determined by their business and professional qualities, their personal contribution to State and world politics,or the success of their reforms. In the eyes of the overwhelming majority of ordinary people, they bore the magical stamp of being "chosen" and a charismatic idea of power acquired not so much as a result of the free expression of human will, but rather by an irrational right to inherit merit - a right, if not already divine, then also not quite rationally legal. The rise of women to power in these republican countries was traditionalist in the sense that it paradoxically confirmed the cardinal principle of patriarchal society - the value of a woman is determined by the merits of her father or husband.2

The legitimacy of Asian women leaders is provided by three types of Weber's famous concept of power. As you know, the German sociologist Max Weber distinguished three "pure" types of legitimacy of power, in accordance with the types of social action: 1) traditional, represented in patriarchal and estate rule, 2) charismatic, where the ruler receives legitimacy due to holiness or personal characteristics, and 3) legal, based on rationality and legality. The rational-legal type of power relations ultimately leads to the formation of democratic institutions.3

The strengthening of one type of legitimacy in a particular society can weaken the rest. Revolutionary ideas offered by a charismatic leader or the strengthening of rational and legal principles undermine traditional ideas of power. Revolutionary charismatic movements can crystallize into a traditional order or, conversely, bureaucratize into a rational-formal organization. And finally, irrational forces,

The article was prepared with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for National Research, grant "Female leader in Traditional Muslim Society: the Benazir Bhutto phenomenon", N 10-03-00014a.

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traditional or charismatic tendencies undermine the rational and legal basis of power.

Weber's interpreters noted that in the" empirical "reality of the modern world, "pure" types are represented only as mixed or intersecting. It is obvious that in the socio-cultural substratum of the countries in question, the authority of "forever yesterday", customs and ideas sanctified by traditional primordial significance, is still alive. In times of crisis, during the military and state coups that are frequent in these countries, charismatic leaders came to power with their own "formula of power", which implied full personal trust and loyalty of the people due to heroism, sacrifice or "martyrdom" of the leader. Finally, in the post-colonial period, legal institutions were established in all these countries to ensure a rational transition of power.4


Indira Gandhi (1917-1984), the only daughter of the first Prime Minister of independent India, the head of the Indian National Congress Party, the true "father of the nation" Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), is a textbook example of a woman leader who made good use of and even enhanced the political legacy of her father. Indira has not just served twice as prime minister of a huge power-she has become one of the most respected statesmen of the modern era. Indira has been at the heart of India's political life since childhood. It really grew along with the growth of the national liberation struggle, and it was not out of nowhere that the propaganda slogan that caused many to sneer would later appear: "India is Indira, Indira is India."

Nehru died of natural causes, from a heart attack, while his daughter Indira and eldest grandson Rajiv (1944-1991) were victims of political assassinations. Indira's youngest son, Sanjay, was killed in a plane crash earlier. The price paid by the Nehru-Gandhi family for nearly half a century of Indian rule was incongruously high. However, this same triple tragedy has created a tense force field around the name of the family of universal relentless interest, mass recognition and worship, fierce criticism and controversy-a field that will continue to affect all new generations of the family.

As history shows, the death of a political figure is not a private matter, but a certain important stage of his activity, which can be more or less successful and affect the future. Therefore, the popular love for the heirs of those founding fathers whose death was perceived as a feat or sacrifice, who fell in the struggle for national independence or democratic transformation, was especially passionate. The aura of martyrdom also extended to widows and daughters, and when they won a victory in the wake of protest movements caused by the murder of male leaders, they received unlimited credit of popular trust.5

Thus, the world's first female Prime Minister, Sirimavo Bandaranaike (1916-2000), came to power in 1960 immediately after the assassination of her husband Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister and founder of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (then Ceylon). Sirimavo remained at the helm of the country for 40 years and retired at 84, being the world's oldest female politician. The heir to the Bandaranaike political dynasty was their daughter, Chandrika Kumaratunga (b. 1945), who won the presidential election in 1994. In turn, Chandrika's legitimacy was ensured not only by the charismatic glow of her parents, but also by the martyrdom of her husband, Vijaya Kumaratung, founder of the Sri Lanka People's Party, who was killed in 1988 by a Tamil terrorist.

Another example of inheriting power by blood relationship with a "martyr" and a fighter for the idea is the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina Wazed (b. 1947), daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975),

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the first president of this country (in 1971-1975), revered as the "father of the nation". Mujibur Rahman, founder of the Awami League Democratic Party, fought hard to achieve the independence of East Pakistan from West Pakistan and the creation of a new Muslim Bengali state, Bangladesh. He was killed in a coup d'etat in 1975. Mujibur Rahman's reputation in South Asia continues to be incredibly high to this day: according to a survey conducted in 2004 by the Bengali service of the Air Force, in Bangladesh and India he was recognized as the "greatest Bengali of all time", even ahead of Rabindranath Tagore in popularity.6 Obviously, the father's reputation and fame affected the fate of his daughter, who twice served as the country's prime minister.

However, the" august "daughter of Hasina Wazed had an eternal rival in the person of the" porphyry-bearing " widow Khaleda Zia (b. 1945), who was also twice elected Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Khaleda inherited the charismatic "right" to power from her husband, Ziyaur Rahman (1931-1981). He was one of the heroes of the War of Independence, rose to the rank of general, and in 1975 organized a military coup that killed Mujibur Rahman. Actually running the country, in 1977. Rahman was elected president; Khaleda Zia became the first Lady of Bangladesh, but was not involved in politics at the time. To consolidate power, Ziyaur Rahman founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which was then led by his widow. In 1981. Rahman was killed by a group of officers who tried to carry out another military coup.

Widowhood also brought to power in the Philippines Corazon Aquino (1933-2009), the first female president in Asia7. Her husband Benigno Aquino (1932-1983), a leader of the opposition to the dictator Marcos ' regime, was killed on the day he returned to Manila from exile. Corazon Aquino's rule has become a symbol of democratic reform. Aquino herself was named" Woman of the year " by Time magazine and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1986-1992, during Aquino's presidency, a new constitution of the Philippines was adopted, and legislative reforms were carried out in many sectors, including the agricultural sector. It also managed to get US military bases out of the country. Despite her ostentatiously democratic style of politics, Aquino also became the founder of a political dynasty - in 2010, her son, Benigno Jr., took over the post of president of the Philippines.

Perhaps not in such dramatic circumstances, but still at a time of crisis for the country, the political career of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (b.1967) began. She is the younger sister of billionaire former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. After the military coup of 2006 Thaksin was forced to flee the country and seek asylum in the UK. The sister took over the business owned by her brother in Thailand, and the opposition Phya Thai party, and at the same time

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With their financial and political support, she won the election in 2011 and came to power.

Megawati Sukarnoputri (b.1947), the daughter of the founder of Indonesian nationalism, the "great leader of the revolution", the first and "lifelong" President of Indonesia, Ahmed Sukarno (1901-1970), is an example of how a woman politician does not have to have special personal qualities if a powerful "dynastic" factor is working for her. Megawati Sukarnoputri 2001-2004 She served as the president of Indonesia, but she is still a mystery politician. Observers and analysts are not sure about her political and ideological preferences, argue about the breadth of her horizons-she twice tried to get a higher education, but never graduated from university, and about how independent she is in making decisions. But one thing is clear: Megawati Sukarnoputri has more supporters than any other political leader in Indonesia, simply because she is her father's daughter.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007) also entered politics as the daughter of an exceptionally popular democratic leader, whose execution in 1979 sparked a wave of international protest. It seems that in the early stages of her political activity, she was mainly guided by her daughter's feelings: first, the desire to save her father, then the desire to avenge him, restore his good name, and finally prevent the destruction of his political legacy, first of all, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) that he created. She herself has repeatedly publicly stated that the execution of her father made her a politician.8

Bhutto's tragic death in an assassination attempt in 2007 created a cult following for the family in Pakistan. Like any cult, it is supported by appropriate apocrypha, rituals, and relics. Benazir's extremely unpopular widower, Asif Ali Zardari, who, according to the laws of the plot under discussion about the inheritance of power through the "martyrdom" of close relatives, took the post of president of the country in 2008, also caught a glimmer of family "grace". The "dynastic" factor is likely to determine the fate of Benazir's son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who was hailed from birth as the successor to the family's political legacy and is currently the chairman of the PPP.

Among the names of famous Asian women, presidents and prime ministers, I would like to mention the one who was supposed to become prime minister, but never became one, while gaining huge international fame and authority. We are talking about Burmese Aung San Suu Kyi (b. 1945), head of the National League for Democracy party, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (1991).

According to the laws of the story about heiresses of power, Aung San Suu Kyi is the daughter of the national hero and fighter for independence of Burma, Aung San, who was killed in 1947. In the 1990 elections, her party won more than 80% of the seats in Myanmar's parliament, but the ruling military junta ignored the results. Instead of the chair of Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi was put under house arrest, where she spent more than 15 years. Over the years, she has become a true icon for democracy and civil rights activists around the world. In 2011, the famous French director Luc Besson released the biographical film "Lady", dedicated to the life and struggle of this "heroine of our time".


In most cases, the female leader did not take office immediately after the death or murder of her father or husband, but as a result of a fierce struggle against the dictatorial or military regime of the "usurper". The victory of the "rightful heir" in this struggle for power was perceived as a well-deserved retribution, the restoration of violated justice, the triumph of good over evil, and the return to democratic forms of government turned out to be the best revenge for the dictator and murderer.

So, Hasina Wazed and Khaleda Zia, before becoming the head of Bangladesh, were in strong opposition to the regime of General Ershad, who acted first as a military administrator, and then as president of the country. Both women, as leaders of the main opposition parties, organized mass protests against the rule of the usurper, and were repeatedly arrested. Many believed that Ershad was the real mastermind behind the murder of Ziyaur Rahman, so the motive for revenge was traced to the fact that it was his widow, Khaleda Zia, who managed to secure international sanctions against the government and, eventually, Ershad's resignation in December 1990.

Corazon Aquino generally began her political career with

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she spoke out in defense of her husband and continued it under the slogan of fighting the Marcos dictatorship. She became a candidate in the February 1986 presidential election. The presidential campaign was marked by violence and murder by the authorities and ended with the announcement of incumbent President Marcos as the winner. However, Aquino's supporters did not recognize the outcome of the election, and the broad-based opposition forced Marcos to resign. In the same year, 1986, Cora-son Aquino assumed the office of President.

Benazir Bhutto's political activities also began in opposition, with rallies in support of his father. In 1977, Pakistan's Chief of the General Staff, General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq, led a military coup, seized power and imposed military rule in the country. Ousted Prime Minister Bhutto was arrested and jailed. In 1979 and 1984, after her father's execution, Benazir was repeatedly placed under house arrest, as well as in prison, where she was held in very harsh conditions. While in exile, she led the party founded by her father. Shortly before Zia-ul-Haq's death in a plane crash in 1988, Benazir was finally able to return to her homeland. That same year, in the first free parliamentary elections in more than a decade, her party won, and Bhutto took over as Prime Minister.

Megawati Sukarnoputri also won the presidency in a long struggle: in 1996, as chairman of the Democratic Party of Indonesia (DPI), she strongly criticized the "new order" of President Suharto, who had usurped her father's power. Megawati was removed from the leadership of the party, and her supporters organized mass demonstrations, which were dispersed by law enforcement forces. In 1998, after Suharto's resignation from the presidency, Megawati created and headed the alternative DPJ and joined the fight against the regime of the unpopular President Abdurrahman Wahid, who turned against himself a variety of political and religious groups, including high-ranking military personnel. Indonesia's parliament voted unanimously to impeach President Wahid, precipitating Megawati Sukarnoputri's rise to power in 2001.

In the political dynasties of Asian countries, the successor openly declares adherence to the precepts of the "founding fathers", immutability or, more often, restoration of the ideological and political course of the predecessor. A political party created by the "patriarch" and bequeathed to the "descendant"acts as a tool for transferring authority, influence and ideology of power. A political party is a modern democratic institution associated with a rational and legal type of government. However, Asian political dynasties use parties as a channel for broadcasting charismatic, irrational legitimacy. Before assuming the post of head of state or government, all of the women leaders listed above headed the party created by their grandfather, father,or husband. 10


Benazir Bhutto became the first female head of government in recent history in a country with a predominantly Muslim population. Female leaders of other major Muslim states-Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Turkey-11 took up their posts later, following the path laid out by Bhutto. Despite the widespread perception of the disenfranchisement of women in Muslim society, history shows that in the countries of traditional Islam, women often occupied the highest positions of power. Another thing is that the legitimacy of women's leadership, from the point of view of religion and traditional society, has always been disputed and continues to cause heated discussions.

As usual, Islamic conservatives, Islamic liberals, and supporters of Muslim feminism look for arguments for or against women's socio-political rights in the texts of the Koran, hadiths, and early Islamic history, justifying their positions not in the sphere of modern political science, but in ontological grounds.12 Defenders of the view that the Qur'an allows women to participate in public life and express themselves freely refer to Sura 58 ("An argument"), which refers to a woman who got into an argument with the Prophet Muhammad himself (58: 1) 13. Opponents of women's participation in politics cite a reliable hadith: "When the Messenger of Allaah was informed that the Persians had made the daughter of Khosrow their ruler, He said:' The people who are under the rule of the Persians are the people who are under the rule of Khosrow.-

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if a woman is rude, she will never succeed" " 14.

It is interesting that Muslims are more likely to recall the hadith about the daughter of a Persian king than the Quranic legend about the Queen of Sheba, the ruler of the fabulously rich country of Saba, who is "given everything and has a great throne" (27: 23). According to the Qur'anic text, the Queen of Sheba managed to avoid war diplomatically and wisely lead her people to the true faith, which shows that she did a good job with her authority.

A historical precedent that opponents of women's participation in politics rely on is the conflict between the Prophet's widow Aisha and the Caliph Ali, which led to the so-called "Battle of the Camel" in 656,15 After a battle lost by Aisha's supporters, in which thousands of Muslims fell at the hands of their co-religionists, Ali addressed her with a reproachful question: "About Is this what the Messenger of Allah asked you to do? Didn't he tell you to stay home?"16 Aisha's instigation of the first major Muslim clash in the battle for the Caliphate, according to fundamentalists, proves the perniciousness of women's interference in politics.

The Qur'an clearly shows the difference between the gender roles of men and women: "Husbands are superior to wives because Allah has given some an advantage over others, and because they spend out of their wealth" (4:38). At the same time, however, the Qur'an emphasizes the equality of men and women before God, referring to "Muslims and Muslim women" (33:35). Because women have no financial obligations to support their families, a man has more property rights, and according to the will, the son receives a share "similar to the share of two daughters" (4:12). Nevertheless, Muslim women have historically enjoyed the religious right of ownership: "Men have a share of what they have acquired, and women have a share of what they have acquired" (4: 36) - and this right has not been denied: "You are not allowed to inherit your wives under duress. And do not hinder them from carrying away a portion of what you have given them" (4: 23).

The Qur'an and Sunnah do not prohibit a woman from working and doing business - a successful and rich businesswoman was, in particular, the first wife of the Prophet Khadija, one of the main role models for Muslim women. However, in most countries of the Muslim world, there is gender segregation in the social and industrial sphere, which is manifested in the division of professions into "male" and "female", in the lower level of employment and education of women compared to men.

The reason for this phenomenon is indirectly due to the same behavioral patterns dictated by the precepts of Islam. For example, the large number of children characteristic of Muslim families, which is directly related to the prohibition of abortion and insufficient distribution of contraceptives, is an objective obstacle to women's career advancement. A large family serves as a standard for most Muslim women, according to which they plan and build their lives and choose professions, taking into account that the main forces will be given to the family and raising children, and not to work and career.

However, the exclusive importance that Islam attaches to childbearing in the gender role of women is not an obstacle to political activity, as the example of Benazir Bhutto illustrates. Bhutto has been accused by the conservative opposition and religious circles in Pakistan of running afoul of a Muslim woman's sacred duty to bear and raise as many children as possible.17

In fact, Bhutto launched her bid for Prime Minister in 1988 while pregnant with her first child. The Zia-ul-Haq regime sought to take advantage of her position to manipulate the election date. Bhutto kept the expected date of birth secret, and Zia's agents tried to gain access to her medical records. Fortunately for Benazir, her son Bilawal was born five weeks early, which gave the young mother the opportunity to recover in time for the start of the election campaign.18

In addition to the problems associated with childbearing, Islamic fundamentalists considered the religious segregation of the sexes to be an unavoidable obstacle to women's political activities. Maulana Sayyid Abu al-Ala Maududi (1903-1979), a Pakistani religious figure, one of the ideologues of Muslim fundamentalism and founder of the ultraconservative Jamaat-e Islami party, stated that women cannot be in power because it encourages them to openly communicate with other men and thereby violate the laws of Muslim ethics and prescribed religion. The Qur'an of Modesty 19.

However, in the new political situation, the same Maududi actively supported the candidacy of Fatima, the sister of the late founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who ran for the post of president of the country in 1965. Fatima Jinnah (1893-1967), who was called the "mother of the nation", led the opposition to President Ayub Khan, who at one time came to power as a result of a military coup. Maududi stated that by generally denying women's rights to political leadership, he was making ip-

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Fatima is a key player, as only her charismatic popularity and blood relationship with the" Great Leader " Jinnah can stand up to a military dictator. In parentheses, we note that Fatima remained unmarried and childless all her life, which violated the traditional gender role of a Muslim woman, but this did not prevent Maududi from making a choice in her favor.

Non-observance of seclusion and the rejection of traditional women's clothing were once the main charges that were brought against the sole ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, Sultana Razia (ruled in 1238-1240). According to the laws of the Delhi Sultanate, Razia's rule was legitimate: her father, Sultan Iltutmysh, personally bequeathed her the throne, considering his three sons unsuitable for reigning.

The medieval historian Sayyid Abdullah Baizawi (d. 1300), in his chronicle Nizam al-Tawarih (The Order of Stories), describes Razia as a shrewd ruler, a generous patron of scholars, a justice-giver, caring for her subjects, and a military talent. At the same time, he notes: "She possessed all the qualities necessary for a ruler, but she was born of the wrong sex, and her virtues were worthless in the eyes of men."20 As a result of the intrigues of the court and military nobility, Sultan Razia was dethroned, imprisoned in a fortress, and later killed.

The attitude of Muslim society towards a woman in power has apparently not changed dramatically in seven centuries, because what angered the Turkic military nobility in Razia's appearance and behavior also irritated the Pakistani army leadership in Bhutto. It is known that when Benazir took up her premiership duties, high-ranking officers were seriously concerned about the need to salute a woman - this seemed to them unthinkable by definition.

Modern political scientists usually associate the increased political activity of women in Islamic countries with the process of Westernization of society. However, scientific research shows that the history of women's rule in the Muslim world goes back to the Middle Ages.

First of all, this is evidenced by the Arabic language itself, in which the terms denoting the ruler-sultan, Malik, also have a feminine gender-sultan, Malik. However, most often a woman exercised her authority on behalf of a man, husband or son. An example of such rulers "because of parda" was the Empress Nur Jahan (1577-1645). She ruled the vast Mughal Empire for her husband, Emperor Jahangir, while living in a harem (the so - called "Female Sultanate" - Kadinlar Saltanati).

However, from time to time, Muslim states were ruled by women who exercised power alone, as sovereigns. There were at least twenty of them, and in addition to the Sultan of Razia, they included the Sultana Shagarat ad-Durr (Egypt, XIII century); Malika Asma and Malika Arwa (Yemen, XI-XII centuries); four rulers of the Sultanate of Aceh (Indonesia, XVII century); three women from the Nawab dynasty of the principality of Bhopal (India, XIX-XX centuries) and even our compatriot Syuyumbike, who ruled the Kazan Khanate (XVI century). Given that some of them were in power for quite a long time, minted their own coin and were mentioned in the Friday khutba (which was considered indisputable signs of legitimacy), it becomes clear that the Muslim communities of that time accepted female leadership. political leadership without explicit protest 21.

Muslim women who headed states and governments observed all the external requirements imposed by Islam on a woman. All of them were married (Megawati Sukarnoputri-even three times) or widowed (Khaleda Zia), had several children (including socially preferred sons) and wore traditional women's clothing. Women leaders of Pakistan and Bangladesh invariably appeared in public with their heads covered, as prescribed by sharia law. Benazir wore her trademark white headscarf, which became part of her image; Khaled and Hasina covered their heads with the end of a sari, as is customary for Hindus.

Bangladeshi prime ministers ' dress habits sparked a heated public debate in 1996, the year of parliamentary elections. Khaleda Zia was in power, and her perennial political rival as opposition leader boycotted the election. Sheikh Hasina, who recently performed the Hajj in Mecca, began to appear publicly in the traditional black head hijab, completely hiding her hairline. Islamic circles immediately declared her a" better "Muslim than Khaled, who only threw the edge of a light sari over her lush hairstyle, in which she allegedly followed the customs of the"infidels". Meanwhile, the liberal media accused Hasina of populism and playing on the feelings of believers, since the Avami League party she leads has always declared its commitment to secularism22.


The Muslim social model is often characterized as patriarchal. However, the main signs of patriarchy are: patrilineality, patrilocality, monogamy or polygyny, concentration of rights to dispose of property and economic life of the family in the family.

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men's hands are no less characteristic of other social structures, in particular, those that rely on Abramic religions. It is a different matter if we are talking about a masculine-dominant and masculine-oriented society, where the male gender role is demonstratively aggressive, significantly prevails over the "feminine" role and deliberately infringes on it. Under such "sexist" social models that exist today in a number of Muslim countries (in Afghanistan, some Arab States), women continue to face violations of their constitutional rights and freedoms, including the right to participate in political life.

Women's legal inequality is also compounded by the patriarchal political culture that has traditionally developed in many Asian countries (including countries with a dominant Muslim population). This political culture is characterized by an orientation towards the personality of the ruler as the "father of the nation", paternalism, weak development of civil society structures, close fusion of political interests with religious ones, relics of tribal culture with its reliance on the values of the clan and clan. 23 Although, of course, today we should talk about mixed types of political culture, in particular, about the patriarchal-activist type in the same Pakistan, Egypt or Iran.

However, if the advantages of a patriarchal political culture are symbolized by a male ruler, then it is he who is responsible for the main vices of this political culture-authoritarianism, dictatorship, repressiveness and corruption. Against this background, the rise of women to power means not only a change in the gender composition of the ruling elite. A female leader, in the expectations of the majority, is obliged to act in accordance with her gender role, which implies less rigid, rather than "fatherly", "maternal" care; lack of aggressiveness and peacefulness; sensitivity to the interests and problems of other people. In short, the range of" feminine " qualities imparted to political governance is associated with the democratization of society, although in reality these expectations are often disappointed.

* * *

As we can see, in modern Asian societies, women's political leadership was a constant stumbling block: a bogey for civil and military "male" power, a battlefield between liberals and conservatives, a sphere of heated discussions and a target for criticism from various "camps". Women leaders face particularly fierce opposition in Muslim countries, where they have to resist not only the persecution of fundamentalists, but also the prejudices of the majority, who still live according to the laws of a traditional patriarchal society.

Richter Linda K. 1 Exploring Theories of Female Leadership in South and Southeast Asia // Pacific Affairs. Winter, 1990 - 1991. Vol. 63, N 4, p. 524 - 240.

Pye Lucien W. 2 and Pye Mary W. Asian Power and Politics: The Cultural Dimensions of Authority. Harward University Press. 1985, p. 226.

Weber M. 3 The three types of legitimate rule // Berkeley Publications in Society and Institutions. 1958. Vol. 4, N 1, p. 1 - 11.

Blau P.M. 4 Critical remarks on Weber's theory of authority // The American Political Science Review. 1963. Vol. 57, N 2, p. 305 - 316.

Waylen Georgina. 5 Gender in Third World Politics. Boulder, CO: Lynne Kienner Publishers, 1996.

Sabir Mustafa. 6 Listeners name 'greatest Bengali'. BBC News -

7 Strictly speaking, Aquino was not the first female head of state in Asia. In 1953-1954, the head of the Parliament (Great Hural) of Mongolia was Sukhbataryn Yanjimaa, the widow of the leader of the Mongolian revolution Sukhbaatar.

Weiss Anita M. 8 Benazir Bhutto and the Future of Women in Pakistan // Asian Survey. 1990. Vol. 30, N 5 (May), p. 433 - 445.

9 Jeffery Patricia and Amrita Basu (eds.) Appropriating Gender: Women's Activism and Politicized Religion in South Asia. New York: Routledge. 1998, p. 199.

Thomson Mark R. 10 Female Leadership of Democratic Transition in Asia// Pacific Affairs. Winter, 2002 - 2003. Vol. 75, N 4, p. 535 - 555.

11 The first and so far only female Prime Minister of Turkey (1993-1996) is Tansu Chiller (b.1946).

Haddad Yvonne 12 and John Esposito. Islam, Gender, and Social Change. Oxford University Press. 1998, p. 31.

13 " Allah has heard the words of the one who argued with you about her husband and complained to Allah, and Allah has heard your conversation: indeed, Allah is All-hearing, All-seeing." Translated and commented by I. Y. Krachkovsky. M " GRVL, 1986).

14 Сахих ал-Бухари (5:59:709) -

15 Battle of the Camel - a battle between the army of Caliph Ali and the rebel forces led by Talha and az-Zubayr. The" mascot " of the rebels was Aisha, the widow of Muhammad. The reason for the mutiny was the delay in the investigation of the murder of Caliph Usmaia, which led to accusations of Ali's collusion with the murderers. A decisive battle broke out around the camel on which Aisha was sitting, which is why the battle got its name. The total number of dead reached 10 thousand people. Aisha was captured, but later released and spent the rest of her life in seclusion.

Ahmed Leila. 16 Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992, p. 79.

Rafiq Zakaria. 17 The Trial of Benazir. The Insight into the Status of Woman in Islam. Bombay: Popular Prakash Private Ltd. 1989, p. 98.

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