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Women Ruled the World

By Susan Jacobs

Every morning, I wake up scratching my head in disbelief, wondering how the world has gone so adrift. Our beautiful, precious Earth and humankind seem to be suffering from a collective head trauma, caught in a maelstrom of existential challenges.


From countless wars raging in countries ruled by men to the heart-wrenching plight of refugees, the fabric of our global society is under strain. Natural disasters are wreaking havoc on millions; rising racism and fascism are emboldening hatred and division; the chasm between the rich and poor widens; our basic rights are being stripped; and crimes against humanity have become the norm.


Let’s not forgot violent attacks on political leaders and figures, gang violence terrorizing Ecuador, coups, famines, droughts, the alarming spectacle of pieces of planes falling from the sky, and the real clencher… a leading presidential candidate with 90+ criminal indictments,


The world is hurting; it has veered off its moral compass and lost its true north.


At night, I turn to light-hearted television shows to escape reality and recently caught an old episode of Golden Girls.


How can we emulate the Golden Girls, who fearlessly peeled back the layers of aging, revealing the complex tapestry of older women’s lives - flawed, passionate, occasionally foolish, yet undeniably courageous?


How can we convince the world that women have what it takes? That we are a valuable force and deserve to be part of shaping the future.


Is the current state of the world directly related to the lack of women in positions of power? I venture to say it’s highly probable. It’s a predominantly a man’s world; we just live in it.


More than 50% of countries around the world have never had a woman leader. According to the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report, the average world leader is a 59-year-old man. It’s not that women haven’t pursued being president or prime minister; yet each time one steps forward, she is scrutinized for perceived inadequacies by the public and her opponents. UN Women reports that at this rate, gender equality won’t reach the highest positions of power until 2152.


It’s natural to feel angry, frustrated, helpless, and despondent, and it’s no wonder getting out of bed sometimes and carrying on with our lives amidst this bleak landscape is challenging. But succumbing to these emotions can inadvertently perpetuate the cycle of negativity.


So… why not entertain the idea of a world led predominantly by women?

Driven by curiosity, I did a Google search and discovered that I wasn’t the only one contemplating this concept. Millions of results turned up for ‘if women ruled the world,” “a world ruled by women,” and “what would happen if women ruled the world.”


The search for “could the world be ruled by women” delivered a mind-blowing 3 trillion+ results. That’s a lot of people asking the same question.


Here we are in 2024, where it’s clear that mere speculation is no longer enough. The time for a transformational shift is now.


Will women ever fully rule the world? I don’t know. It is not likely anything that I will witness in my lifetime.


But upon deeper reflection, I realized that this is not the right question to ask.


The real question is: How do we balance power, and what would the world then look like?


Women bring unique values to the table – empathy, inclusivity, relational skills, and a focus on community. These qualities are essential for tackling the monumental challenges we face today.


The goal is not to simply reverse roles but to establish a true power-sharing dynamic. A world where women and men rule alongside each other offers the opportunity for a rich blend of diverse perspectives, fresh insights, and innovative solutions.


History has shown that change is not easy, especially when it involves shifting power dynamics. Men in power often resist relinquishing their control. For women to gain more leadership roles, persistent and concerted efforts are needed, like the intense, sustained pressure that forms diamonds.


Change requires a movement, and every movement begins with one person and a single, courageous act.


Think Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Isabelle Peron, Angela Merkel, Margaret Thatcher, Benazir Bhutto, Sheikh Hasina, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai, Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Tsai Ing-wen, Julia Gillard, and Jacinda Ardern, to name just a few.

A veritable who’s who of game-changers who used compassionate leadership to ignite positive change and are constant reminders that change can and does happen.


Neuroscience shows that the female brain and psyche possess a heightened sensitivity to empathetic responses compared with the male counterparts. Empathy is deeply integrated with cognitive functions, playing an important role in the processing of emotional information, and influencing the decision-making process.


The world has gotten increasingly aggressive and violent. Again, is this the result of gender inequality? Probably.


In the natural work, the matriarchal societies of ants, termites, and bees, offer a valuable peak into female-led social structures. Unlike human societies, in these insect kingdoms females play dominant roles.


For ants, the queen ant is at the center of the colony’s survival and cohesion. Worker ants, also female, manage essential tasks, positioning females at the heart of both leadership and operational roles.


In termite colonies, the queen plays a pivotal role in the colony’s growth and stability, supported by female workers and soldiers. And in bee hives, the queen bee is the sole fertile female, supported by female worker bees, with male drones playing a limited role. Male bees are even expelled from the hive when resources are scarce.


Yes, these examples are of insects, but these insects are crucial to our human existence. They are highly organized and efficient, showing the effectiveness and importance of female roles. They serve as great examples that human societies should learn from.


If us humans would get out of our own way and draw inspiration from these insect kingdoms, perhaps we could finally work toward a world where gender-balanced, diverse, and inclusive leadership is the norm. Supporting women in leadership benefits everyone. It’s time for the reboot – a shift towards Humans 2.0, where a balance of power leads to a more harmonious, peaceful, and effective world.

Susan Jacobs spent twenty years working in entertainment PR and marketing. She is a versatile freelance writer and passionate storyteller living in Brooklyn, NY. She earned a B.A., Liberal Arts, New York University. Salsa dancing is her passion and therapy. When she's not working, you’ll find her on the dance floor!

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