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Do you agree with the Dalai Lama that Western Women will save the World?

Recently on Hers By Design, Deb Rock-Evans asked if we believed that the Western Women will Save the World, and referenced this article in the Huffington Post, which referred to a statement that the Dalai Lama made in 2009 that “The world will be saved by the Western woman.”

This excited me! Yes! Of course women can play a leadership role in enacting positive change in our world! We have a lot to give!

But as I read on, I got more and more agitated

…. You see, I was expecting the article to go into how we can support women to take more of a leadership role – how we might need to challenge some of the structures that keep women from taking these roles….

I was so disappointed that this article didn’t even go near this direction.  All it did was say that women cannot solely focus on raising their own families and think that this will make a positive difference in the world.  That they have to do more.

Whilst I totally agree

that “Be the change you want to see in the world” is actually NOT enough (a bit controversial there – you may disagree), I do have a problem with the total lack of structural analysis in this article.  I was actually quite offended by it.  Felt judged. And found lacking.

So rather than feeling empowered and hopeful by the Dalai Lama’s words, I felt completely disempowered and put-upon – yet another thing to do – “I’ll just add “save the world” to my to-do list, after I put the kids to bed and finish the washing”. FFS.

I truly believe

that women can have hugely positive influence in “saving the world” (whatever that even means) – I believe an increase in diversity in powerful decision-making can only bring about better outcomes for everyone.  But I sincerely believe that in order to do that, we have to do more than just issue the challenge! We have to understand what holds back women (and other people who are in minorities in decision-making roles) from stepping up, and then work hard to overcome those barriers.  When we work hard to understand, acknowledge and actively challenge oppressive structures, then we can support others to step up.  And then we will see women saving the world.

What do you think? How can we support women to step up? What could someone do for you to help you step up?

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