Need for Women empowerment
Men and women are endowed with different capabilities, physically, mentally and emotionally. They complement each other to form a holistic unit of strength and attributes. The discussion and argument for judging on superiority between man and woman are fallacious. Both are supreme in their way based on their strength, capabilities and contribution to the family, society, nation and humanity in general. Together and in their full bloom, they build and create a nourishing ecosystem for the family and community.
However, the growing trend of male domination in family and otherwise reduced the female contribution. This unfortunate trend initiated in the middle ages is still in vogue. The skewed and unbalanced contributions have led to strange anomalies in human society: today we are more affluent but less happy; more educated but less wise; stronger but fearful and intolerant; more intelligent but emotionally weak; have great possessions but lead a lonelier life than our ancestors. The skewed contributions had to lead to skewed results.
If the womenfolk could have continued with their positions in and contributions to society, the outcome would have greatly differed. The male domination got in the riches, education, strength, intelligence and possession, but happiness, wisdom, tolerance, emotional stability and joy were lost.
The compulsion to survive in the male-dominated world has forced women to forgo their feminism and associated qualities to develop male attributes (1). It has further aggravated the already dire situation. Women are living in a suffocated inner self environment. This situation is precarious not only for the women but for the society in general.
Innate strength and capabilities of women.
In ancient Greek mythology, Sophia represented the female wisdom based on intuition, sensitivity, warmth, and receptivity. Sophia prominently figured in the Jewish, Christian and pagan papyrus texts and had a center stage role in society (2). Empathy is undoubtedly a strong female attribute that leads to tolerance and co-existence with diversities. Emotional intelligence and compassion are also very unique to female disposition. They are adept at maintaining and fostering healthy relationships.
Women are endowed with the ability to nurture and give. Pandora, the first human woman in Greek mythology, freed the world from all miseries by opening a jar of goodies (Pandora’s Box) (3). In Hindu Mythology, knowledge, wealth and power are in the possession and disposition of Goddess Saraswathi, Goddess Laxmi and Goddess Durga respectively. In the ancient Maya Civilization, women were treated with due respect and actively indulged in politics and economics. Women’s ability at multitasking and handling crisis with a calm disposition is unique. Throughout the world, every ancient Civilization respected women for their unique qualities and were never treated inferior to men. They had their designated place in the cultural, social, religious and political matters as an acknowledgement of their unique contribution to the family and the society.
Ancient Egypt’s Isis temple, Inanna temples of Sumeria and the Oracle of Delphi are indisputable evidence of the awe and respect, commanded by the feminine community.
Ancient wisdom for women empowerment
But due to the pressures of the contemporary world and the race with the masculine tribe, modern women have gradually lost these priceless qualities. The real empowerment of women can only happen by regaining all these feminine qualities and power. Trying to acquire masculine qualities and excel in them to prove equal or better than men is a wrong race.
Women were never inferior to men in any way. Civilization and history have endorsed this beyond any iota of doubt. A few centuries of contorted perception and glorification of masculinity cannot undo the facts. And women and society have already paid a considerable price for this misconception.
Too much stress on cognitive abilities and the acceptance of logical thinking as the only guiding force for humanity have nearly killed our sixth sense, intuition and sensibilities. The biddings and guidance of the heart is a subject of ‘mockery and ridicule’. ‘Gut feeling’ has no credibility. These signals and guidance of the soul, so meaningless for the modern man, guide the smallest ant to the Earth’s largest mammal. A migratory bird flies thousands of miles in the right direction, in the worst weather, based on ‘what it feels’. And without GPS, we humans cannot find our friend’s home (and sometimes our own), thanks to the over cognitive and super logical thinking abilities.
Ancient wisdom from any part of the world is firmly rooted in the natural attributes of compassion, empathy, tolerance, sharing and nurturing. These are the same qualities that adorn the feminine personality. Tapping into ancient wisdom will help a woman resuscitate her priceless virtues to attain self-confidence, peace and meaning in the life. It is the true empowerment of the self and the mind.
Ancient wisdom is what nature and the universe had taught to our ancestors. It is based on universal law applicable to every living being in the universe. Human beings are an integral part of the living entity called universe. Till the time, we understood and respected this knowledge; human life explored its true potentials. The unfortunate assumption of human, being a stand-alone entity, and not one with the universe has weaned us away from our true identity.
Despite, all abuses, the Earth is still tolerant and does not refuse to grow food and nurture us. No matter how much we dirty it, water still quenches our thirst and does not refuse to rain. The air does not refuse to breathe life into us, while we make all attempts to destroy it. No amount of tree cutting, and ill-treatment could induce the trees to stop bearing fruits. The weakest of the twig supports the nest and the eggs, that is empathy in nature. Animals sense the oncoming natural disaster, days before it manifests, that is intuition. The ancient wisdom has picked all these qualities from nature and realised it to be universally binding, life-nurturing, self-sustaining and self-balancing. Oneness with the universe is possible through ancient wisdom.
In ancient times, the elderly women of the tribe, as wisdom carriers, shouldered the responsibility of guiding younger women of the tribe to attain their best. Women in groups, developed a unique kind of bond and energy that nourishes feminity. Together, they sustained each other and created a synergy, which acted as a fertile ground for young women to reach their true potential. This system worked wonders for centuries and generations until the tribes drifted apart into families and families split into smaller satellite units. The collective wisdom gave way to individual fears and despair.
Fortunately, the ancient wisdom is not lost to humanity. Worldwide there are people gifted with the ability to unravel and tap into this ancient wisdom. With further training and association with indigenous tribes and ‘wise’ women and men, they are the modern-day ‘Ancient Wisdom Keepers’. The hope of the resurrection is alive till they walk the Earth.
Athena Wisdom Institute AG is one of the pioneers who work ceaselessly to integrate ancient wisdom with modern knowledge, theories and practices. It has successfully conducted a series of Management Programs for Business leaders. Spurred by the success in such path-breaking endeavours, Athena Wisdom Institute is about to launch a Women empowerment program based on Ancient Wisdom, Science and Business Frameworks. The five-month comprehensive program, titled; ‘Fearless, Free, Feminine: Finding and Living Your Truth As A Woman In Business is designed to help the participants explore their true identity, develop clarity to transcend the past and create a new vision and reality. A truly accomplished business woman, can nurture and tend the society as she would her family. We see the realised business woman as the flag bearer of a new movement in business, and the objective moves away from mere profit to the well-being of humanity and the world at large. It was the part of the original design, but we lost it en route.In the revered and respected Dalai Lama’s words, “The world will be saved by the Western Woman” (4). Women today have a responsibility and should rise to the challenge to save the world.Humanity and the universe can never be what it is intended to be until feminine energy and potential are fully realised. Athena feels blessed and honoured to accompany the modern business woman on this journey.