By: Mohammed Naeem, Social Entrepreneur & Mina’s List Advisory Board Member
During the last couple of years I’ve thought a lot about presence– its importance and why it has been denied to our mothers and sisters. From classrooms to boardrooms; from clinics to hospitals; from congress to parliament, this denial has cost our humanity severe social, economic and political brilliance.
The most powerful form of presence is a political one, because it cements leverage. This leverage can be used to create structures that end gender based violence, which is the longest and largest epidemic humanity has ever known. It can be used to invest in female entrepreneurship, knowing that women reinvest 97 cents for every dollar earned back into their families. It can be used to include women in the peace building process, which often results in sensible decision making. Leverage also serves as a conduit for billions of voices and as a trail for billions of dreams. Knowing this, and also acknowledging that my generation is inheriting the fiercest challenges ever confronted, we need the leadership of our mothers and sisters. Without it, we will fail.
In anticipation of this post, I messaged friends from around the world (in typical millennial style) to find out their views on these issues. Below are thoughts sent by fellow millennials on the importance of equal political participation:
“I think a society that atrophies its women can never advance and is basically paralyzed. We are depriving ourselves of brilliant minds and perspectives simply because it is a threat to our male ego. It is chauvinism in its most classic sense. A false sense of entitlement for a gender simply because we were born into it.” – Ashraf
“The non-violent potential of feminine virtues will create a peaceful world.” –Farah
Simply put, my generation is betting that women are the aces of our deck. They will get the job done, always better and always faster. To be quite frank, we find it foolish that previous generations haven’t thought so. In conclusion, if we are to move from patriarchy to humanity, from war to peace and from fear to love, we need women to hold the mantle of independent decision-making. I challenge all my mothers and all my sisters from across the world to dream of parliament seats and presidential addresses. As an Advisory Board Member for Mina’s List, I am here in service to you and stand with you on your journey.