similar to the one published in The Echo, May 16, 2014:

March 5, 2014

Women Matter


I believe that we live in the most interesting time to be alive as human beings.  I believe that we live in a pivotal time, where we are facing economic, environmental, political and social challenges, where our choices often have an immediate and consequential impact. Never before have the stakes been so high.  And so it is with this as our backdrop, that I believe that we are all being called forth, to alter the course of current inertia. 

Indeed we have a perfect example of this in our own neighbourhood with the threat of the mega-quarry.  Many of us, perhaps you too, were called forth into an expanded expression of ourselves to take a stand for something more important to us- clean water & food- over the comfort of our anonymity or the status quo.

And so it is, on many local and global fronts – opportunities that scare &/or enrage us, or, from a different perspective, that inspire and engage us to bring a little –or a lot- more of ourselves forth than we might have known ourselves to be, to make a difference that matters to us.

It is exciting for me to start noticing the places where we have something to add to the conversation, to the unfolding of a situation.  And this is where I join some notables who see that the time has come for women to step forth, to offer our capacity to bring forth new perspectives, and with that, whole new worlds of possibility.

In 1995, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Sun Kyi opened the NGO Forum on Women at the Fourth UN World Conference on Women in Beijing in her keynote address with:

For millennia women have dedicated themselves almost exclusively to the task of protecting and caring for the young and old, striving for the conditions of peace that favour life as a whole ... Now that we are gaining control of the primary historical role imposed on us of sustaining life in the context of the home and family, it is time to apply in the arena of the world the wisdom and experience thus gained in activities of people over so many thousands of years. [1]

In 2000, the UN Security Council unanimously passed resolution 1325 that calls for the inclusion of women in peace and conflict negotiations.  To me, this seems like a no-brainer if we want to widen the basket of possibilities that will make us more successful in negotiating peaceful resolutions to difficult conflicts.  Interestingly enough, fewer than 30 of the 192 member countries have done anything real about adopting this resolution. 

Let us make no mistake that in many corners, both local and global, it is still very much a man’s world.  I need not produce statistics to demonstrate this; it really is all around us still.  Except perhaps in the Creemore Echo office!

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has long supported the notion that women have something different and valuable to offer both local and global communities, going a little further than I might, saying “What we need is a revolution led by women. I think women ought to be saying to us men: ‘You have made a mess, just get out and let us in’.”[2]

This Saturday is International Women’s Day. 

For men, I welcome you to honour and acknowledge the difference that the girls and women in your life have made, and to consider just one thing that you could do to facilitate our world being more inclusive of women’s contributions, locally and globally.  For women, I encourage you to take a few moments to notice the difference that you make in the lives of those around you, to celebrate the difference that women together have made in the course of local and global history and to consider where next you will make a difference.  As business philanthropy consultant, Erin Giles says to women, “You aren’t only able to change the world, we’re waiting for you to!” 

Indeed, we ARE the ones we’ve been waiting for, to make the world a safer, more compassionate, inclusive and joyful place!


[1] Bolen, Jean Shinoda, MD, 2013, Moving Toward the Millionth Circle, p.7




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