Vital Voices: promoting women’s leadership
It is surprising to note, that while a lot of the developed countries might be doing well economically and militarily, they still manage to lag behind in terms of human rights and especially in terms of what stature they give to the women in their society. Just basic rights such as those of education and universal suffrage are not enough. Women are just as advanced and as capable as men are, and as such, they should be treated with equal importance.
This is what spurred the creation of the International NGO called Vital Voices. Its founder, the then First lady of the United States of America, Hillary Rodham Clinton had founded this organization on order to promote women’s rights at a much higher level. The purpose of this organization is not to fight for the basic rights of women, but to promote the recognition of women as change-makers on a much larger scale. This organization was founded in order to fight for political representation, economical participation as well as the recognition of women as capable and competent leaders.
Vital Voices was founded in 1997, and Hillary Clinton wanted women to be recognized in all the bigger spheres of not just the U.S.A, but all over the world. She wanted to promote and encourage women across the globe to stand up and become leaders in business and in politics. Human rights of women are also something which this organization addresses on a large scale. Clinton wanted equal rights for women to not just dominate her own country, she wanted it to become a foreign policy as well as a domestic policy in the United States of America.
While women are being given the basic human rights in many places, their worth as leaders at a global level is largely left unrecognized. Political representation of women is almost always unfair. A fair amount of representation would be the kind where the number of seats given to women will be proportional to the population of women in the country. Even though today’s woman is not considered to be restricted only to housekeeping, the patriarchal school of thought still holds true, and women are considered to be too “fickle” to run a country. However, women are, in politics, just as good, if not better, than men, and they should be given the chance to decide what’s good for the country.
Also, women in business, according to research, tend to do better than men because of their ability to multi-task, and to give each sector its due importance. While a large percentage of women do go to office, a very small percentage get to the top of any company. Women are considered to be a liability by the men at the top, and are hence, very subtly, kept out of the big positions. Very few of them get to the top, and they have to fight twice as hard and have to wait twice as long as compared to men.
The glass ceiling does exist with regards to politics and businesses. The global gender inequality is largely biased towards men, and women are kept out of big leadership positions. However, as wives, mothers, and breadwinners and even as daughters, women juggle many relationships with equal gusto, and are thereby, perfect for high-ranking leadership positions. This is the basis for Vital Voices, which strives for fair representation of women in the higher positions, and which is not just content with basic rights for women. Women are not meant to be pacified with basic rights. They’re meant to be celebrated with all the rights which are due to them.