We have wealth in our hearts as we love deeply. We have wealth in our ideas and our connections with each other. We have wealth in what we are sharing with each other. We have wealth in how we have empowered ourselves, and as we have created channels for our sisters young and old to empower themselves and each other.
All this we have achieved against great odds and with relatively few if any resources. For the most part we still live in, work in, and do our best in a world economy designed and protected to keep work that women do, unpaid. So many women dependent completely on men for survival, and all of us in danger as we trespass into what is still largely considered “men’s territory” - paid work and outside the home. We are amazing in what we have accomplished and continue to accomplish, in creating change.
We have been making remarkable and celebratory changes to this landscape, but to write about wealth, my heart welcomes this opportunity for us here within WorldPulse to embrace discussion on how to challenge successfully this economy that we live in: intentional creation of hardship and poverty, with women scrambling to care of family and communities with unpaid labour.
To prepare, I rewatched a film “If Women Counted” made through the National Film Board of Canada in 1995 (now free online) by Terre Nash, about a daring feminist in New Zealand, Marilyn Waring. She describes our world economy, based on rules set when the UN was formed, originally from a colonial Britain that designed the “market place” by what is bought and sold, and work unpaid and not counted (subsistence farming, feeding and caring for families) to be “of little or no importance”. These are actual words found in the books in the UN. What has developed is that causing and maintaining war accounts for 50% of the world economy, followed closely by allowing businesses to rip into the earth, create pollution that brings business of cleaning up and health crisis business, added to by the multibillion dollar and devastating sex trafficking of women and girls, also a big part of this current world economy. The imprisonment of many working against this system adds to the GDP and silences people with vision and courage to speak out. I hope that you will have the time and/or online capacity to watch this film.
One of the biggest reasons, I believe, that women’s work is unpaid, that girls are kept from school, that widows have no right to property, that we are ridiculed, violated even murdered for speaking out, for stepping out of the assigned roles we are given, for challenging every rule that we have been told is "the way it has always been and the way it must stay" is that we carry in our hearts a different vision, ideas of a whole new way that this world can function - taking care of each other and of the Earth, ending war, poverty and violence, empowering those who believe in peace and recognizing the sacredness of each other and of our planet.
We have made such headway in the past half century, even then, standing on the shoulders of strong women before us, and recognizing women who have always lived in ways most of us have only dreamed of. We have learned/been reminded that other ways have existed, do exist and can be reconstructed where broken. We are busy, describing how life can be different, and we are creating change through so many powerful actions. We know how many we are, through our connections here within our beloved WorldPulse. We know now how profoundly we are working together globally.
So, this subject of wealth is critically important and I thank our WorldPulse Team for bringing it forward so that we can put our hearts and heads together. We have learned that despite the fact that we have multibillionaires, by far mostly men hiding money offshore, women do now hold 30% of the world economy. And increasingly men are in support, wondering what they can do, wanting to be part of this vision we have been creating, of a world in which all women and girls are free, a world in which we end poverty, a world in which health care is available to all, a world that dissolves corruption, a world in which we care about the Earth and about each other. I believe that this resistance to women having money is tied to the awareness that so many of us have these priorities at heart.
So what can we do to accelerate these essential works that WorldPulse sisters are doing?
Where I am, Canada, still invested in war, pollution, and the continued impoverishment of people including Indigenous Peoples in this country, many women now have access to education and paid work (still pressing for equal pay, more inclusive and non sexually violent work possibilities even 50 years later). Increasingly men in many countries are in support and wondering what they can do. One group of men here have for 40 years committed 2 hours’ pay per month each to a Women’s Shelter. Many women here, and certainly many more men have money that could be shared while we work together on this disgusting and immoral mess of a global economy.
I am no expert in economics, but WorldPulse sisters are finding ways to make support flow and to teach me how to take part in a sharing economy, one that we can create while we work together for the complete change that is needed. Can we create many more circles of partnering, of sending money from women who are comfortable, to sisters making change happen with few or no resources? Can we create thousands of circles of sharing, that bring waves of girls graduating with brilliant ideas, that save lives, that pay expenses to send sisters to remote areas, that buy equipment for women owned businesses, that increase funds for children who have been adopted, that help WorldPulse sisters travel to speak out, that increases the amplification of our voices and work together to take down tyrannical and corrupt governments? And to my brothers who have generally more access to higher wages, will you also create circles?
One of the most frequent questions I hear is “How will I know that the money is used well? A question that has arisen due to organizations that send men to play golf with each other while they pretend to transfer donated money (this news from a WorldPulse sister in frustration). WorldPulse has solved this question for us. We are all in touch with each other. We know what each other is doing. We can bypass the corrupt agencies by direct contact with each other.
The problem I want to solve is to make this happen. My commitment to my WorldPulse sisters, is to take this message every time I speak about WorldPulse. Our wealth is in sharing our love for and our encouragement of each other, and this in itself is the nourishment that sees us all through the profound pain we experience as we uncover and heal the damage this current global economy causes. While we work to create change, our wealth is also in sharing all we can with each other, and to look deeply and honestly at what we can do.