The future of the world lies in the hand of the women – the Dalai Lama once famously said. I think that he is right for many reasons. One is obvious: during the last thousands of years masculine energy has ruled the world, in particular after the enlightenment where reason was elevated over all other human aspects. Reason and logic is the domain of the masculine, sensing, connecting and creativity the domain of the feminine, which was considered inferior and therefore the world slipped into ever more profound imbalance. Women with a natural proclivity for the feminine aspects of life have the potential of rebalancing it.
On the other hand, women were confined to private life almost entirely. They haven’t played the roles in public which men have for centuries and therefore they haven’t perfected the more or less vicious games men play to gain and conserve personal power over others by war and treachery. It doesn’t mean that women lived without power games, especially with men, but in their caring qualities they know how to lead their children through difficult times, to feed them and make sure that they have a future. Using these skills for the benefit of larger groups than the family and ultimately for the whole world – this is the unexplored realm where women have a high probability to succeed.
That’s why we need women’s empowerment. We need to educate girls in ways that they respect and build up their qualities and their potential. They need to be encouraged to feel themselves as full members of society, equal to men and equally needed with their specific approach to life. They need to become confident that the feminine approach to life is deeply needed and not at all sacrificed to the ideas and dominance of the masculine, as it happened with feminism from the 60s on.
Africa is a “developing continent”. The West has done a lot to colonize the countries and export their ideas and belief systems. But something like the western enlightenment hasn’t happened organically there. Tribal values have survived in the psyche of the people. Although patriarchy and the dominance of the males is overwhelmingly present there, too, there is the chance of not amplifying it by one sidedly celebrating the mind and reason alone, but to reconnect with the more feminine values of the body, of connection and community. There is the chance for women to step up in self confidence and take over their active role in society without trying to become similar to men.
Carine from Rwanda is a young woman who is stepping up. She works in a human rights association and she encourages other women to learn new skills, to build their own businesses, to step out of passivity and take over active roles outside of their traditional one in the family. A long way to go, but there is much hope that, finally, these women can convince the men to give up on their dominance and become equal partners to their women. Not only allow them to become a breadwinner for the family, but also actively take care of their own offspring which – so far – was exclusively in the hands of the mothers. Men changing the diapers: it took a long while in the west until it became a possibility. It will take a long while in countries like in Africa, but with the insistence and the patience of the women, they finally will arrive there – for the benefit of all.