Can Western Women Save The World?
The Dalai Lama is not known as a man to mince his words. At the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2010 he made the statement that;
“The world will be saved by Western Women”
The ensuing debate and discussion about what he meant is well documented on the internet and elsewhere. The general consensus of opinion is that he meant that women living and working in the west, because of their access to all kinds of resources such as birth control, education and lifelong learning opportunities, employment, their own earnings, freedom to marry or stay single, own property and run their own businesses, to travel and play a role in politics, and publish books; they could raise their own status.
He also noted subsequently that the single most pernicious problem that the world faces is WAR, and if women could fill the roles of Ministers of Defence in their respective countries, there would be peace, mainly because women generally operate with more empathy and compassion, and less hostility than men.
In the last 40 years (and more so in the last 10 years) women in the west have gained a lot more social, economic, and political power than they ever had historically. We now see women have made political gains around the world, with female first ministers in Slovakia, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Trinidad, Lithuania, Brazil, Argentina, Thailand, Liberia, Costa Rica and Bangladesh, and of course we had one in UK too.
“A rising tide lifts all boats”
As well as the growing numbers of first ministers, more and more women are taking up positions in parliaments. They are finding their way around the Pay Gap by starting their own businesses, as evidenced by the current unprecedented rise in female entrepreneurship.
Growing numbers of the worlds philanthropists such as Melinda Gates recognise girls and women as untapped resources, and the key to solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
They see that the progress of western women is all the more remarkable given the long history of women being oppressed, rendered powerless, silenced, discriminated against and generally treated as less than, and therefore hardwired to dumb themselves down, play small and behave tentatively. According to Buckminster Fuller;
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
Western women need to not focus all their energies in the direction of external inequalities, but rather (just as importantly) to their inner world, learning, growing, contributing to each other, and gradually (but exponentially) increasing their impact in the world.
In answer to the question of Can Western Women save the world?, they are certainly making unprecedented progress in moving towards it! for women to save the world, they need to;
- not stand helplessly by while the world hovers on the brink of disaster.
- realise that there are ways that they can indeed make a difference.
- know that their strength lies in alignment with other women who are committed to their personal growth and development.
- develop their feminine soft power skills of compassion, connection, collaboration, to strengthen themselves and to consciously support each other.
- strengthen themselves individually and collectively to emerge from their Victim narratives, to deconstruct and reconstruct those narratives of not being enough.
- become aware of the evidence that shows with encouragement and support, they are
- engage in a process of self inquiry preferably with others, either online or offline, to become aware of the individual and collective ways they sabotage themselves.
I shall tackle these points in my next article 🙂
Grace Chatting is the Leader of Western Women Mean Business
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