Why empowering women is essential for the future of humanity

Since leaving on sabbatical from the Commission on 1 December last year, I have been thinking about where I want to go professionally, and the idea that Europe needs fresh air in order to avoid a catastrophic, or perhaps merely pathetic, slide into global irrelevance is one of the ideas I have been exploring in this context.

But an arguably more fundamental issue in the context of the future of humanity concerns the position of women, and it is related to the need to inject some “fresh air” into existing political, administrative and corporate structures.

Around the time that humans invented the wheel and tamed the horse, men started to dominate the public arena. These technologies suited men (as opposed to women) well, and arguably led to the paternalistic religions, ideologies, civilisations and cultural habits that we have today. With the industrial revolution came change, and in some countries an increasing unwillingness on the part of women to accept the status quo. Women started to insist on contributing to, and benefiting from society in every bit as public a way as men.

The jury is out as to whether this progress is continuing or has gone into reverse, but what I want to do here is to make the specific case that the still largely male-dominated political, administrative and corporate structures that we have are not drawing sufficiently on the intelligence of women, and that this is undermining humanity’s ability to deal with its problems and steer its way towards an ecstatic future. This is one reason why I favour affirmative action in this matter.


About Peter Wicks

International consultant. I bring clarity to complex and confusing situations and identify the most promising solutions.
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7 Responses to Why empowering women is essential for the future of humanity

  1. Anne-Françoise M says:

    So true ! The population groups with weakest development indices are the ones where women are the least educated and empowered. Girls education makes the difference. See:
    – the girl effect : http://www.girleffect.com
    – population council: http://www.popcouncil.org/countries/guatemala.asp and their programme for the empowerment of Mayan women (I’m just back from Guatemala where I visited Mayan communities, where women are not educated and married away very young).

  2. Intomorrow says:

    Intomorrow here. I spoke with a radio station this week that wants to do 5 minute segments (half hour and hour segments are all booked at this time), and said I could probably arrange to have ‘scientists’ on. Guess what they do is call you up and do a five minute interview– or I suppose one could send them a recording. Though it is only five minutes available, there is less pressure and more segments can be arranged.
    So the station could do a segment with you, and then others at IEET.

  3. peterwicks says:

    Thanks Intomorrow!! Just sent you an e-mail.

  4. ptittle says:

    This is nothing new. (Many) women have been saying this for half a century, if not more. Glad you’re (finally) on board with the idea!

  5. peterwicks says:

    @ptittle You’ right, this is nothing new. But it is an idea in need of dissemination, and not only by women.

    Re “(Many) women have been saying this for half a century”, I would even say they have been saying this for longer. The suffragettes, for example, were protesting way more than half a century ago. And yes, men have taken longer to come on board, for reasons that are fairly obvious. But now that some of us are, let’s work together to make it a reality. There is still work to do, as both of us know well.

  6. Intomorrow says:

    What has improved is violence has somewhat diminished– which makes it different from what it was like a million years ago, at least for starters (mentioning the time-frame is sobering)
    Farther you look back in time the more women were oppressed thus the gradual lessening of violence is the plus.

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