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THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

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Sir,

I feel it is important to continue the fight for equality and call for the end to gender-based violence. It is said that women hold up half the sky, but too often many of us may not realise by just how much. All over the world women are creating, designing and innovating to make better lives for ourselves, our families and our communities.

Individuals, civil society organizstions and some leaders are building a bridge of equality; connecting to others and imagining more prosperous and more fulfilling relationships.  Women know and believe that women’s equality is one of the most guaranteed ways to raise people and nations out of poverty, tackle climate change and help fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). As a nation we are concerned about achieving first world status, and that is not possible if women do not have equal participation towards the achievement of this goal.

Allegations

The storm of sexual relationships and statutory rape allegations against school teachers that pupils in some schools are talking about these days takes away the little hope I had for equality in the near future. How can we confidently say the future is female if the very same women who are expected to grow up to be leaders are destroyed while they are still so young? The quest for women’s liberation from their traditional subjection is an essential part of the story of human freedom, and the very people who are trusted with grooming these girls into liberation are the ones who are destroying them and it is very disappointing.

Leadership

The future is female does not mean female over male, nor is it trans-misogynist. The future is female means that we must look to the female epitome for alternative forms of leadership. It means we ask, ‘what can we learn from the female energy in our lives’? It means we live in a world that is emotionally intelligent, a world that is collaborative, a world in which we are linked and not ranked. We say ‘the future is female’ as a call to action to remember that we have so much to learn from those whom have been typically underestimated in a heteronormative, patriarchal system.  We say ‘the future is female’ as a personal reminder to ourselves that each of us has a voice, and that we must own it.

In my years of advocacy, I’ve always been met with the ‘how about men’ question and it still surprises me that so many men feel attacked by campaigns that are aimed at empowering women. When we say, ‘save the dolphins,’ we don’t mean ‘kill the whales’. Similarly, when we say, ‘the future is female’, we say it to serve as a reminder that alternative and possibly stronger forms of leadership lie in untapped resources. That hope lies in looking to those voices that have been typically unheard. That hope lies in passing the mic to those who have never had a mic before, and having the bravery, respect and diligence not to speak over them.

In modern history, there have been few examples of female leadership. We do not know its power, its breadth, and its diversity. Think about what a future that is female would look like if we gave women, non-gender conforming individuals and those who are woke enough to learn from the female energy in their lives, the chance to lead?

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