Who run the world? Girls!
Beyonce Knowles, Song: Run the world (Girls), Album: 4, 2011
In a world where the majority of women are still struggling with basic human rights issues, it is hard to see how this song applies to us all. Sure, it’s easy for Beyonce, with all her millions to sing about running the world, especially when it’s a possibility for her. But how can I say I run the world when my husband beats and rapes me; or when I can’t get the promotion I deserve, unless I sleep with my boss; or when I get paid less that men who do the same job that I do? How can women say ‘We run the world!’, when, according to the UN statistics division 2010 we account for about two thirds of the 774 million adult illiterates worldwide; and whilst we also make up the majority of HIV positive adults in parts of Africa and the Middle-East, and while only about 50 women (excluding monarchs) in global history, have been Heads of State and Government.
The answer is not in the positions we hold, but in how we define the term ‘running the world’. The focus should not be on control and visible power and leadership structures. Running the world is not about being in charge of it, but who ultimately does the work. I believe we run the world because it could not function without our efforts, (however mammoth or miniscule). We are the more downtrodden of the sexes, and yet we find the strength to just get on with it. Several studies show that housework, rearing of children and employment (formal and informal), included, women work twice as hard as men in a day. Imagine if for one day, all the women on the planet did no work. Who’d run the world?
Musician, Beyonce Knowles’ song, reminds us all of the true identity of women. Many a time, we lose a sense of our identity and power and let our feelings, jobs and duties in the home, shortcomings and disappointments, challenges and defeats define us as women. This song is a wake-up call, so, wake up, women of the world!
Remember, we are powerful beings, and we do run this world, whether we are acknowledged and appreciated for it or not. You may feel like what you do is little or nothing in the grand scheme of things. But what is this grand scheme, but an accumulation of small efforts, like your own? Let the men worry about who’s in charge, while we get on with business.
Now I’m not saying that we should just be content with what we have and suffer on, because after all “we (secretly) run the world”. No! I’m merely reminding women of our importance, and it is my hope that knowing that we play a major part in the world, will help us feel empowered enough to go our there, come out from behind the scenes, and take charge. The world would benefit from a more feminine touch.