Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., continues to bear unfounded
attacks on her gender and tenacity even as she increases the margin she has on
her opponents in the 2008 presidential race.

As Ms. Clinton continues her campaign of change,
government responsibility and empowerment, she is continuously challenged on
her ability to govern based on the fact that she is a woman. I recently saw Ms.
Clinton speak at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, and I
realized just how passionate and eager she is to turn this country around and
to repair the damages created by the Bush administration. Not only does she
have the experience to do so, she has the drive and the support of millions of
Americans who are ready to see a woman of such competence in the White House.

Ms. Clinton's ability to govern has been challenged
because of her gender, even in progressive places like our own campus — this is
ridiculous! Ms. Clinton continues to take the attacks she has received for the
35 years she has been in politics and still comes out on top. Women like Ms.
Clinton in politics today have the opportunity to create real change and
deliver a new standard to those who have been marginalized and repressed. 

The oppression of women in the Middle East and the war in
Iraq does not require a male president to fix. A person's gender neither
qualifies nor disqualifies him or her to get the job done — it's passion,
experience and ability to work with international leaders to create
change. Electing a woman president in the United States will provide a
unique opportunity for the most powerful country in the world to bring new
ideas and new voices to international politics.

Women in the Middle East have been oppressed due to
fundamentalist religion. This is not an attack on their traditional values; it
is an attack on the refusal to grant basic human and civil rights to citizens.
A woman leader from the United States may be just what we need to convince
leaders that regardless of religious traditions, women still should have basic
civil rights.

Women leaders around the world are making great strides in
providing civil rights to women. Chilean president Michelle Bachelet is working
to undo the years of political terror and oppression brought on by Pinochet.
Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is bringing her country out of the
depths of decades of civil war to give women the opportunities they have never
had before. Countless other women leaders worldwide have led the change in
policies toward women. Ms. Clinton has the audacity and reverence of many to
address the foreign policy in the Middle East that the Bush administration has
severely damaged.

Brittani Garner

UW senior, Political Science

[email protected]