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Many People In MENA Believe Women Are Not "Meant to Lead!"

In several conversations with people working in media field (my field currently), well educated and experienced people from different countries in MENA, they actually uttered the words: Women are not meant to lead, they are not fit to handle managerial positions! And I thought to myself: If such people who were lucky to know much are saying this, then what would those who are still dwelling in the cycle of traditions and don’t have the leisure to even think of things other than food on the table.

As the usual habit of not accepting other opinions in this region, they were not even accepting a discussion about it. The sad thing was that among these people there were women. How can women be better partners and associates in life if they cannot see themselves in top positions and can’t imagine themselves as leaders.

We do suffer from scarcity of women leaders and role models in Middle East, there are a few names doing a good job, but there is the issue of trusting women in taking right decisions and calling the shots. Men are usually trusted even if they were cold blooded murderers like dictators. In the discussions, I said that I worked for many incompetent and jerk men, they were mean and despicable, but somehow this is accepted by society if it was a man. On the other hand, if a woman committed her own share of flaws, then she is good for nothing and her natural place is to follow instructions and rules not making them as she doesn’t have the ability to form a sound action. There is always a sense of underestimation of women’s abilities and wisdom. And because of this same viewpoint, women are seen as intimidating when they show wit, stamina and courage in decision making and doing their jobs in workplace and life.

I recognize that there are almost no organic women working on the micro-social level. When we want to empower the role of women, it is there we need to start from. Not the ones we see on media and TV, not the “high class” women who start organizations out of prestige, and definitely not the pseudo women organizations created by the women related to dictators and men in power. We need to empower women on micro-social level.

Such a conversation made me realize how women in MENA must walk a long long way to at least change the social mentality about them, respect their choices and freedoms.

What a disappointing conversation I found myself in.

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robo's picture

This is the same case in Pakistan

Dear Hummingbird, your thoughts are very strong and positive. I truly agree with the points you mentioned here about empowering the women on micro-social level. In Pakistan , financial power is another factor that is in Control of MEN in the lower middle and lower class levels and that is why , at that level , women are just thought of as sex commodities , giving birth to children and cooking food for the Powerful provider and bread winner of the family.
I agree with your line that women will have to walk a long long way to at least change the social mentality.
I am on the mission of doing this through my work .
I welcome you to join me in my mission to empower women and make her aware of her self and of her rights in the society and in her HOME .

Looking forward to read more from you.
Best of Luck. May Almighty be with you always.

Love from Pakistan
Robo

Hummingbird's picture

A long way to change mentality

Dear friend, thank you for your reply. I do find that we are always missing something despite the campaigns and social media talking about spreading awareness and empowering women, and I believe it is the address of the roots of society which is why I admire WP for doing and teaching others to do. and you are right, the role of economy and financial power is very determined in changing the situation of women, I always believe that empowering women economically is vital so she can be looked as a real partner in the development of her society.

Thank you for passing by and reading, and bless you.

A drop of rain can revive the earth, be the drop.

Hummingbird

PohChing's picture

Not to give up

Let's not be disheartened by such comments. Change is never easy, there is bound to face social resistance to change as the system has been like that for so long....to change to the level when women can be accepted to lead, takes time. The pioneer women activists advocating for equal education, must have also faced all such similar problems before. Till today, women in some countries are still not allowed legally to hold driving licenses, just to drive. Don't give up...let's persist in fighting for a better future for us, women.

Eliel sam's picture

my massage

Hi dear, weldone for putting up this, just my massage that it is time we let the world and our men know that we are not second class citizens, that we can lead, that we must be head and not just be seen, that our place is not just in the kitchen, that we have equal rights, that our opinions are important, that were not created to be slaves , that we have great potencials inside of us ,that any women diligent in her doings can stand before kings and not mean men. lt is my massage that able and educated women should stand to trained and help the rural ones to come to this knowledge, be their voice, advocate for them, let them know their rights, get them well informed, show them the modern way of livelihood, "when we all shout with one voice on this issue the world will hear us." Thank you , Eliel Sam.

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