Does it not strike you as perverse that in many ‘advanced democracies’ there has never been a woman in high office, for example in the White House? If women truly were treated on merit alone, there are plenty of them who would have been elected. Study upon study shows that people have a negative bias against women when it.comes to leadership positions: this is why blind C.V.s are a way around barriers to entry, for example, where unconscious biases are at play.
I think, on merit, that a lot of women could be presidents, CEOs, high court judges, Defence Chiefs, etc. but they have centuries of attitudes to leadership stacked against them.
The fact is that there are a lot of women who are able to lead but are not treated seriously just because they do not have a male voice or because they wear a skirt. It is ridicilulous that we bypass potential leaders who could give enormous contribution to the political, financial, and judicial life of many countries just because they are women.
If we fail to see that, we are blindly believing that meritocracy exists: it is also why men from less privileged backgrounds rarely get to lead countries or be part of the ruling/financial elites. Poor men and women have less access to the connections that later in life will enable them to rise through the social ranks. Women have that hurdle too, except that even privileged women are often pushed aside based on their sex, thus facing a double barrier.
This is a problem because women are half of the population thus by excluding them from places of power you are basically saying that half of the population will never be able to, for example, make laws that could directly affect them, as is the case for those concerning abortion. How can we change structures so that women are trusted enough to get TRUE recognition of their worth when seeking to attain places of power?