In 415 AD, a Roman Egyptian and Christian “Peter the Reader” was a radical who led a mob that accosted the female educational leader Hypatia. Returning home from a lecture, she was strapped to her carriage, stripped of clothing, and then dragged naked to the Christianised Caesareum in Alexandria. In the presence of the horde of Christian onlookers, she was skinned with tiles and seashells. Torn into pieces Hypatia’s body was then burned. Thousands of years have passed in the wake of that tragedy, yet those of us born female still struggle under the same omen of global gender disparity.
Three generations of the world’s greatest female warriors met at the Lincoln Center in celebration of strong hearts and the power of brilliant minds.
In New York City on March 8, 2012, Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s editor-in-chief Tina Brown hosted the third annual Women in The World Summit. It was an event to celebrate women. The gathering was to shed light on the organizations that bravely step onto the global battle arena for the rights of all women.
It was an important occasion because an ongoing war to repair the harsh realities of global gender inequities still exists. The outcries of the youngest generation of women were heard in a single voice. The amazing then 16-year-old songstress Suma Tharu held captive her audience. Escaping servitude in her home of Nepal, her a-cappella voice rang strong and clear enfolding emotions. The lilting melody and lyrics cut through the glare of glamour and media to draw attention to the appalling truth of urgency for many millions of women.
In stark relief, the summit illustrated the wins and losses in the war to achieve global gender parity.
Nevertheless, these enormities of statements are only snapshots of a small place in time in the history for many women. Creating parity among the genders is not only the “human right” thing to do – it is the smart economic thing to do. Building gender equality is fundamental to developing a strong core to successful economic sovereignty. It is intelligent economics. This meme of creating an equal footing in societies will become the intuitive to how a nation should function in achieving success. Only in apathy will that path to gender equity not find successful completion.
The World Bank argued empirically the wasteful financial cost of gender discrimination to governments.
Western cultures live a tale of two cities. In continuing to support poorly enacted women’s healthcare and educational regulatory policies, they merely feed a singular narrative voiced by politicians. This furthers governmental underutilization and undervalue of its workforce. Opportunity for federal change has come. A seismic shift in world leadership is occurring; changing the geopolitical landscape forever.
China has undergone a 70% modification in its cabinet and national leadership. The French Republic has greeted a fresh new opposition leader, Socialist Party Chief Martine Aubry and a woman, Angela Merkel, leads Europe’s strongest economy. From Asia to the Eurozone and the United States, new global governance is inevitable. Fundamental fiscal policies that shape how countries govern women must be altered.
Women now account for half of the world’s universities attendance. They comprise 40% of the global work force – yet still lack formidable legislative power that directly affect them.
Often cloaked in the guise of economic austerity measures, government programs that support woman’s needs are the first to be sacrificed.
According to World Bank’s 2012 “World Development Report”, fiscal policies are the oil that lubricates the constructs of governmental and private agencies. They coop and steer advancement of the female population in all countries. Statistics illustrate that growth in the numbers of educated women in the world has been tremendous in emerging countries. Yet they still lack parity in nations like the UAE, India and Pakistan.
Women, who are heads of households, have become the largest pocket of poverty among the ethnic and the poor in all countries. They are most likely to be economically victimized by discrimination than any other demographic.
The world ignores a very important fact.
The realities are that the attainment of equality represents freedom to all to contribute to the economic success of their country. An important roadblock to achieving this utopia is in creating financial parity.
Institutionalized gender discrimination is a construct in credit markets. This is especially true when underemployment is based on gender and economic status. Blend these realities with the inability to represent and have equal say in governments. The achievement of upward mobility for women is doomed to failure.
The European Union and some eastern countries have instituted gender biased budget initiatives.
They are policies broadly based with a focus on the health and education of women. These initiatives have received mixed reviews; due in part to its application in emerging markets. In addition, the complacency for change and ending old dogmas in developed nations continues to block full implementation of these projects.
Legislated tweaks to established gender friendly policies are considered “sacrifices” in the name of fiscal prudence. Many western nations create appearances of transformative healthcare policies, while endemic poverty and discrimination toward women continue.
Global economists have demonstrated that there must be total integration of female participation in all economic constructs. Without complete and seamless gender parity, in all nations there can be no claim to victory over women’s rights.
“There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions.”
—Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History
Article from Surface Earth