92-year-old Sir David Attenborough says he would like to see more women leaders and pointed out that females often have more power in the animal kingdom.
The animal documentary veteran, and presenter of upcoming BBC series Dynasties, says the series demonstrates that with many species the female has far more power and use than their male counterparts.
He uses the bull elephant as a clear example.
“If you restrict it to mammals, then by and large it is true. Bull elephants, for example, don’t stick with the family. The females have all the wisdom,” he said in a Radio Times interview.
“They bring up all the kids, they deal with the problems of drought and so on. The males dash around, trumpeting and copulating whenever they get the chance,” he added.
He also noted female progression in the workplace, and credits the invention of the contraceptive pill. When asked if he would like to see more women in leadership she said:
“Yes, I guess so. We do have a female prime minister, and you have some women in Fleet Street who are fairly powerful.
“I think it depends on all kinds of things. One of the reasons society is changing so much is the development of the Pill.
“The huge dominant fact among mammals is how you rear the young. Now we have ways of dealing with that – one of which is not to have children until quite late in life [or not at all]. The responsibility of producing the next generation is now optional,” said.
Dynasties follows the lives of five animal families – lions, emperor penguins, tigers, chimpanzees and hunting dogs across a four year period. In the trailer Attenborough explains that they follow each species ‘At a crucial point of their lives. When the future of their dynasty hangs in the balance’ due to the threat of mankind and an ever-changing landscape. ‘We didn’t know how these stories would unfold. Will they end in triumph or tragedy?’ he continues.
Attenborough admits the initial concept of the series seemed a bit ‘barmy.’
“I don’t think anyone has dared to do this before. When Mike [Gunton, executive producer] first told me, I thought he was barmy – to devote two years to filming one group within one species and say ‘we will show exactly what happens’ is either very brave or very foolish, because supposing nothing happens? And in lots of instances in the natural world, nothing does happen,” he said.
Dynasties begins on Sunday 11th November on BBC One at 8.30pm.