Editorial, PIneeh Pinooh 3

Dear Friends,

It is indeed an honor to write this editorial and share with you the essence of a new wave of leadership among women. An old saying goes, ‘Behind the success of every man is a woman,’ and this resonates with the socio-cultural stigma assigning a passive role to women in society. Buckminster Fuller, a designer and inventor said, “To change an existing paradigm model, you have to create a new model and make the old one obsolete.” The paradigm shift to make the old model obsolete is a choice and this deliberate choice is gaining momentum and empowering women.

Today with the #MeToo movement gaining momentum in many countries, feminism is reaching a state of influence toppling old corporate structures, replacing powerful men and creating a ripple effect of feminist leadership and influence. This new wave of feminist leadership is prompting a new model of operation in government, the private sector, civil society, commune councils, communities and families. No more are women the passive player behind the menfolk but rather active participants contributing to the economy of a country.

So the question might loom, What is feminist leadership? The answer is both men and women with a vision of social justice that dismantles gender power structures to advance gender equality. Oxfam believes that personal transformation and social change go hand in hand and that this change begins with ‘us’ and not ‘them.’ Social justice is inward and outward looking to identify power structures in our own thinking, beliefs and behaviors. Even as we live in a patriarchal society where the system is dominated by men, social justice without gender equality is not feminism. This requires changes in system and structures, but first it requires making a change inwardly before the external change can be influenced. Feminism is not against men but against a system that promotes the privilege of men.

In putting women’s rights in all that we do, Oxfam is committed to create a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all staff, partners and communities to tackle gender discrimination and promote gender equality. For me, feminist leadership is inclusive. It challenges the idea of care work as women’s work and eliminates the gender stereotype by helping women to claim their voice and dignity, enhancing their respect and value.

I hope you enjoy reading the third edition of Pineeh Pinooh!

Biju