Although it is more common for a lot of us to focus on women emerging as leaders in business in the developed world, I believe it is equally important to acknowledge and promote women being empowered and doing the same in the developing world. We hear more and more every day about women as CEOs and as leaders, and generally, these women are from developed nations.
Despite the fact that the contexts in which women from developed versus developing countries work, the challenges they face and the countries they work in may be totally different, it is safe to say that they face the same, underlying difficulty – to grow and make an impact in a world that makes it a little more perplexing to do so, than their male counterparts.
In spite of this, women still do continue to make an impact, and women are the backbones of any society that exists today. Women are capable of changing the world in any way they wish, but more importantly, women dream.
In the article posted below, we read Masooma Ibrahimi’s story – her dream is to start a tailoring and clothing company in Afghanistan. Her drive to do this started with her small tailoring store in rural Afghanistan. For women, in this society, this is a huge step to take and is one that requires a lot of perseverance and determination. Similarly, organizations like the Grameen Bank, that offer microfinance loans to women in these areas are catalysts in allowing these very women, who dream big, in achieving what it is they truly want. This automatically makes them leaders in their various villages, countries and maybe even continents.
Growing up beside a village of 20,000 people in Kenya, I have too, witnessed women with big ambitions, some even bigger than their male counterparts. They strive to educate themselves, to educate their children and to ensure that their children don’t go to bed hungry every night. In my opinion, this is an epitome of “dreaming big”.
In the article, it states that there are countless women like Ibrahimi with this drive to succeed. All they need is more help with concrete business plans, advice on marketing, strategies for small business loans, and other technical assistance. I strongly believe that while we, as women in the developed world keep striving to move forward, we must also consider and think about other females in other parts of the world who face the same, underlying difficulty that we do even though we may have vast differences between us. We must strive to bridge the gap between those women and ourselves, and ensure that the lives and livelihoods of all women, no matter where they live or what their cultural backgrounds are, are improved and that they too, can make their dreams come true.
Article Link: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2012/08/22/rural-women-start-small-dream-big