Russia Beyond: Is Russia ready for a woman president?

Does a woman really have a serious chance to become President of Russia? If so, then what type of person must she be in order to win the hearts of ordinary people? A striking young beauty, or a wise ‘iron lady’ in her fifties? Alexey Andreev comments the situation.

Since last week when the flamboyant TV celebrity, Ksenia Sobchak, announced her 2018 presidential bid, two other women have quickly followed her example. While Russia is known for female beauty, it’s still hard to say if the country is ready for its first female president.

Even though President Vladimir Putin has not announced whether he will run in 2018, Sobchak has already stolen the show.

“We will gather a large number of people who might not agree with themselves and might not agree with me, but they are not willing to live under the current system,” Sobchak said during a recent press conference when she announced her bid.

Alexey Andreev, managing partner at Depot WPF branding agency, said a female candidate has only two strategies to try to win the hearts and minds of the public. The first is non-gender. 

“The candidate declares her readiness to respond to external challenges and to satisfy all internal requests. And she promises to do it better than other candidates,” said Andreev, who added that this is common for many countries. 

Another strategy focuses on niche issues: The female candidate calls to solve the problems of other women, old people, or dogs. This mission has no national coverage, but due to social attractiveness it is capable of recruiting infantile voters,” he said, adding that he believes neither strategy will work in Russia today.


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