Nowadays, the simple consensus is: women will save the world!
Problems in the Middle East? Educate the women!
Economic Crisis? Wouldn’t have happened if more women worked on Wall Street!
There’s no proof that women wouldn’t make a difference, but I have a hard time believing that equal gender representation will ever be achieved across the entire work force…or that even approximating it would be much of an improvement.
First of all, different jobs attract different kinds of people. If being aggressive, taking risks, and liking money is how you get a job on Wall Street, the women on Wall Street would be highly likely to have those qualities.
Second of all, one of the reasons there are more men on Wall Street is because men are more likely than women to be aggressive, take risks, and like money. So since there is a greater number of men fit for the job than there are women, there will always be more men in that workforce. (This same logic is applicable to MANY jobs: teaching, plumbing, non-profit work, etc.) Furthermore, women are more likely to prioritize finding a job that enables them to have families.
With regards to the Middle East, from what I’ve read, a lot of the extremism comes from people living in repressive societies.* It’s possible that if enough women are educated, they will start to demand more rights. And once women eventually get them (slowly), just the fact that those societies must internally respect every individual could go a long way towards respecting non-Muslim individuals in the rest of the world. Maybe. But that could take 100 years. And frankly, it’s not my place to solve the problems of the Middle East. (Why do we keep trying when it only gets us in more trouble?)
Basically, on the home front, I think we need to be asking for something different than numbers. Instead (perhaps), our society needs to assume different values. You could even call them “female” values. But even women will have a hard time with this.
Instead of defining our country’s health by the GDP, we could also consider other things, such as the mental and physical health of its citizens, the quality of life, quality of education, etc. Why does it all come down to money? You can’t say that being so focused on money hasn’t had it’s consequences…so really we should be taking the “obesity crisis” or the “clinical depression crisis” or the “education crisis” just as seriously as the economic crisis.
In a sense, just like Middle Eastern countries have repressed their citizens, we in the West, and particularly America, have repressed ourselves by valuing work and income over our families, job creation and profits over environmental stewardship and responsibility, and material consumption over fulfillment.
The Messiah will not come with women. The Messiah will come when we value the well-being of the individual and of the Earth just as much as economic growth.
*But it also comes from a feeling of having been denied sovereignty over their own lands. The solution to that = pull out U.S. troops! You solve half the problem right there.