I recently had an interesting conversation with a Mohawk gentleman whose thoughts and observations I’ve come to appreciate. In that wide ranging conversation, he stated that the strength of their culture was/is strong women.

I already knew that the clan mothers were the voice of reason behind the Iroquois society and that families were built around these clans. The next step, independent women are the reason for their success took this conversation to gel.

Some observations:

1. In south Asia, where the mini loans were made famous, these loans were most often made to women. These women got a start, were for the most part successful, paid back the loans and brought prosperity and respect to their families.

2. In the poorer areas of Africa, it appears that true progress in raising the people from poverty occurs when women have enough wherewithal and say to adequately provide for their families.

3. In some of the more stable successful parts of western society (Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries and possibly Great Britain for example), women have/have had great influence.

4. There is research on families that the most successful in rearing balanced children come from parents who shared family decisions equally.

Is it possible that we in the more patriarchic societies have it wrong. Women aren’t just a secondary part of society to be kept at home but are the key to success.

Do women bring a different view of how things fit together? I truly don’t know but their inclusion has to bring forth ideas/philosophies worth considering.

I have a slightly pessimistic cousin who say that people are only governed by self interest and greed. Hopefully including women in all parts of society doesn’t become just pitting male vs female in a contest of who is better won’t work

There are examples out there. We should/have to balance views from both sides of the gender divide.