I'm often debating with myself on the question of freedom. The most common understanding of freedom is being able to do what you want to do, or not to do the things you don't want to do. Here in America, freedom is the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
But the more I think about it, I don't know that freedom is always such a great thing. I can think of many examples where giving certain freedoms to one person or group, infringes on the happiness or rights of another group. Take the Western free-market system; it gives multinational companies the liberty to amass entire supplies of staple goods like corn or rice, thereby affording them control of whole economies. I'm thinking here predominantly of large agribusiness, which is a topic I know a great deal about. Another example is the freedom of industrial countries like the US and China to consume the great part of the world's natural resources and to cause the most pollution. This right, based on the eagerness to create wealth and consume freely, impinges on the right of humanity as a whole to clean water and clean air.
Does this not go to argue that we as global citizens should introduce a new dialogue on freedom? That perhaps, in terms of systems of governance, we should explore the center between the two dominant ideologies of capitalism or socialism/communism. Is it that impossible to consider that individuals could both pursue their own happiness through free enterprise while also considering the greater good and the health of our planet? It makes me incredibly sad that we do not have a real world governing body that correctly represents our planet - a governing body made up of half men and half women and people and who can justly speak for the least fortunate of us all.
As women, we are inherently nurturers and care-takers. It is a pivotal time in the world's history to bring voice to these types of issues. I encourage all my sisters across the world to speak out when they see injustices caused by one person or one group's liberty to exact control on another.
Looking for inspiration? Check out Vandana Shiva - one of the most inspirational speakers I've ever heard. With the power of her single voice, she fights large agricultural companies who control food production in India by patenting the genetics on seed varieties.