The best clue to a nation’s growth and development potential is the status and role of women. Historian David Landes in “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations.”
As I sorted through some papers a small yellowed fragment of newspaper literally fell into my lap. It was this Landes quote. Immediately, I wanted to write about this. Throughout my life I have seen the roles of women expand exponentially. When I attended law school, albeit briefly, there was one woman in my class. Now they are about 45-50% of students.
My life has been blessed by good women. Mother, aunts, sisters, surrogates, and all their friends surrouded me from day one. As I grew up and began my adult life there have been a number of partners from whom I’ve learned so much. I’ve always enjoyed talking to women at social gatherings; conversations are generally much more interesting!
Watching the women around me be able to express themselves in all sorts of endeavors has been a bright spot in my life. Liberated expression was the exception, not the norm in my earlier days. It wasn’t that long ago that roles for most women were tightly cast and difficult to escape. But now these liberties are being questioned, curtailed and controlled.
I know there are a large number of people in the U.S. right now who don’t seem to want to be bothered by the facts. Why should they, they have their opinions! The onslaught of legislation on both the national and state levels to control reproductive rights, education and basic healthcare for women is not only insulting, it’s damaging to the well being of our nation.
If historian Landes is correct in his facts, based on extensive research, not voodoo science that objectifies women as chattel, nations do best when their women are liberated and allowed to contribute as fully as men. Lately, it seems to be felt by some that a panel of these guys will certainly do a much better job of making decisions for women than they would ever be able to make for themselves. Do these guys live in relationships?!
Our country did exceedingly well over the last 60+ years as women gained increasing positions of power and influence. Undoing these gains cannot be allowed, not only for reasons of justice and equity, but also because we realize that all of us together, no matter ethnicity, gender, sexual preference or any other of a host of historic discriminators, are needed to create a better, more balanced future.
This is such a relevant post and finds resonance in most parts of the planet even in a globalised scenario. It is also a well known fact that the population growth is contained to sustained levels only with women education and this correlation has been found to be strong over decades and nations. This becomes a vital factor for the under=developed parts of the globe in Asia and Africa.
What is it that needs to happen for women to get an equal status naturally in societies without the need for political interventions?
Education, education, education until the last vestiges of gender discrimination are eradicated and go the way of ancient superstitions. Since it is a change in the human heart, it will take time.