Ramaphosa is constrained by his tenuous control over South Africa's governing party, the ANC.
Research shows that women work more collaboratively than men in groups and create more inclusive solutions to thorny problems. More women in Washington could bridge America's yawning partisan divide.
Previous efforts to cement national cohesion offer a model but also, says a historian, a warning.
After the tumult of the Rudd-Gillard years, Bill Shorten has steered his party back to traditional Labor policy ground and made it an unlikely serious contender in this election.