‘The world will be saved by the western woman’

Dalai Lama

When women get together with a purpose, magic happens, from the inside out and from the outside in.

This is what we are about.

Some people may balk at this statement. What about all the women of the East? Why the women of the West? In the West we are in a privileged position. We also consume more.

We have traditionally received more education than the women in the East – many of whom are still fighting for the Right to Education, the right to not be mutilated or married off at a young age. We have traditionally had the fortune to have less focus on where our next meal is coming from, than those in the East. And we have traditionally had the benefits of ‘civilisation’ – clean water, sanitation, healthcare. The infrastructure has enabled us to focus more on feminist issues.

Thus, the suffrage movement grew in the West, the Feminist Movement has grown in the West and the balance of power in business is growing in the West.

The infrastructure counts for a lot. Having lived in Africa and India, I found that life required more effort to deal with the simple and basic things; food, sanitation, clean water. Roads and transportation was also more challenging. There is a cost to the infrastructure we have, in terms of freedom, adventure, immediacy and raw living, but it reduces the time and effort taken to deal with simple things.

Our First World problems have become a meme – not being able to find a babysitter, having the hairdresser cancel our appointment, the carpet fitter scratching the wall, having a bad phone signal… None of these are any great problem, but indicate that our concerns are very different to those in the East – generally speaking.

The Dalai Lama spoke these words (the blog title) at the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009, in a discussion with former Irish president and peace activist Mary Robinson, and four Nobel Peace Prize Laureates: himself – the Dalai Lama (who won in 1989); Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams, founders of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement and winners of the Nobel in 1976; and anti-landmine crusader Jody Williams, an American peace prize winner in 1997.

‘I’m not entirely sure what he meant…but I am wondering if when he travels across the globe and sees so many of our sisters impoverished and repressed, he sees western women of all ages in a position to speak out for justice and to take on the responsibilities of the hag (originally a representation of feminine power)… to take loving care of the planet and its people’.

Marianne Hughes, Executive Director of Interaction Institute for Social Change

At the same convention the Dalai Lama also said;

‘But we need more effort to promote basic human values — human compassion, human affection. And in that respect, females have more sensitivity for others’ pain and suffering’.

Dalai Lama

And we do. And therein lies our power. When we truly learn how to use these qualities to advantage everyone, we women will rise…

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