In a recent Women in Livingness Group in London, Sara Williams shared some insights from a recent International Women’s Conference. As she was sharing these it raised a question: whilst things have changed for some women in some parts of the world, is it possible that there is nothing that has changed for women in many hundreds, if not thousands of years, that could be universally applied to all women across the globe? And if this is so, have we really gone anywhere with regard to how women are treated in our societies today?
If we look at some of the changes in history for some women in some countries they include:
- Voting rights for women
- Narrowing of the Gender pay gap
- Education for women
- Abortion rights for women
Although as yet these are not universal: they are not the same for all women in all parts of our world today.
We regularly see headlines in the professional press such as:
- 73% of senior execs believe gender equality can be achieved by 2030 (Human Resources Online, October 2015)
- The workplace gender gap won’t close until 2095 (Human Resources Online, October 2014)
Yet on reading them they are contradictory and we have seen headlines like this before in previous decades too. Do we actually know in truth what the ‘gender gap’ is, and what and when ‘gender equality’ will be achieved? More so – whilst we may achieve something related to gender pay parity or gender equality in some countries, as it stands this isn’t universal for all women in our world today. Particularly as every day in our media we hear of tragic stories about women around the world who are facing all manner of atrocities including:
- human trafficking
- sex trading
- forced labour
- forced marriage
- female genital mutilation
- domestic violence
- objectification of women
- sexual harassment at work
We also read or hear about the differences in culture and beliefs in parts of the world, and headlines pertaining to women’s rights (or lack of them) such as:
- In Saudi Arabia women cannot go anywhere without a chaperone, drive a car, or go for a swim (The Week, 2015)
Added to the list of restrictions that women face, are further restrictions to their human rights, freedom of speech and atrocities to their human bodies that include some of the following examples:
- Marital rape is not illegal in Lebanon
- Women are not able to vote in Vatican city
- In El Salvador women who suffer miscarriages or stillbirths can be jailed
(Irish Examiner, 2015)
When we read ‘Gender equality can be achieved by 2030’ – who exactly are we then talking about? Us in the corporate world? Us in the westernised world? Or women all over the world? Surely until we have dealt with the many atrocities and inequalities in the world we as yet haven’t anything that can be universally applied to all women? Wouldn’t we need to change the laws on the broader issues such as the right to vote for all women in all parts of the world before we even began to consider that we have gender equality in all of our workplaces?
It’s not that the many incremental changes in parts of the world aren’t big – because they are huge – for example in 2015, Nigeria banned Female Genital Mutilation (Topping, 2015).
But where are there any rights for women that currently extend to every single woman on this planet?
And, more so, how can we, upon whose watch this planet currently is, start the conversation to consider amongst us all what would it take to bring a more universal (worldwide, applicable for all) approach to bringing change in the way women are treated in the world?
If we did start the conversation, maybe one question to ask is whether there is another way to go about making change for women. A way where it is not first and foremost about fighting for rights, or comparing ourselves to what men can and can’t do, but where we as women start to consider why the world is as it is today.
Why is it that despite the many marches, demonstrations, petitions, activists, movements, and media or stories, we haven’t as yet even begun to bring about change to the way women are in the world universally – with changes for all?
There is much to consider here for women, and for us all – including the way we are all living our daily lives wherever we live in the world. Isn’t it time to start the conversation? Starting it universally, and contemplating together as women, tapping deeply into our inner knowing about how a true woman could live in our world today, one who knows who she is, who cherishes and adores herself, who feels at ease with her true sexiness and beauty, who feels contented from within and is not reliant upon images or roles to complete her. And as Serge Benhayon, modern day philosopher says;
“We must free the woman to allow her to truly be in every way so that we can benefit from her living stillness and her natural nurturing ways”
(Serge Benhayon 2011)
If we take the time to deeply understand how far away we have been living from the true tender, delicate, sacred women that deep down we all naturally are, we can begin to realise that there is a truth for all women that has yet to be a universal way of living… one that can be applied to all women equally so, no matter where they are in our world today. A truth that when lived once again not only benefits the woman for herself, but benefits all.
By Jane, UK
You may also Enjoy:
1) Human Resources Online; 73% of senior execs believe gender equality can be achieved by 2030; October 2015
2) Human Resources Online; The workplace gender gap won’t close until 2095; October 2014
3) Irish Examiner; 7 shocking restrictions on women’s rights around the world; Irish Examiner March 8th 2015
4) The Week; Eleven things women in Saudi Arabia cannot do; August 2015
5) Topping, A; Nigeria’s female genital mutilation ban is important precedent, say campaigners; The Guardian 29 May 2015
6) Benhayon, S (2011) Esoteric Teachings and Revelations: a new study for mankind pp 522; Unimed Publishing