A more equal society

by Moeed Mirza

I THINK the saying of ‘behind every great man is an even greater woman’ is very true.

Most men who are successful have in some way been inspired, driven or supported by an important female figure in their lives. For me, personally, that figure was my dearest mother, who shaped me into becoming the man I am today, someone who is driven but will never forget where he came from and always be compassionate towards others. She brought me up alone and battled through societal challenges, which include zero help from my father, to make me the man I am today.

Although most men won’t acknowledge it, the amazing impact women will have on their lives can’t be underestimated. It could be a wife, girlfriend, mother, daughter or another female figure.

Women lead the way and us men follow by trying to imbibe the best qualities they have. I believe if more men were truly honest about this aspect of their lives there would be more equality in the world and more women would be given the powerful positions they deserve in male-dominated fields like business, politics, technology and so many more.

But I believe men putting up barriers shouldn’t discourage young girls and women of any age from pursuing their dreams. Right now, the way business and, especially, politics is headed, the world needs women in positions of power more than ever before. I believe women have all the attributes to achieve the greatness their heart desires.

Today, there are plenty of wonderful examples of girl power in all aspects of the world and these amazing role models are shattering the glass ceiling, but there is room for so much more.

In the coming decades, there will be a more equal and balanced society, but it will take work from all sides. More young ladies should feel confident to be ambitious and those around them, including parents, should be supportive. Men need to understand that the more successful women we have and in positions of power, the better the world we live in will be. Boys should be taught about equality from a young age and be made to understand that being a real man means respecting women in all areas of life.

We should also acknowledge that the problem of inequality is perhaps worse in Asian communities, and especially in countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, where so many young girls aren’t afforded the opportunity of a basic education.

Those living in the west should see the availability of a world-class education system as a blessing. While more Asian families than ever living in the west are giving girls the support and respect they deserve, there are ones who are stuck in the past and that needs to change.

Having said that, I do feel positive about the future and if you are a young girl reading this don’t let any man ever tell you what to do or how to live your life. Have big dreams, huge ambitions, never settle for second best and always remember the world needs you. Believe in yourself and go conquer the world. This world belongs to you.

Moeed Mirza is a London-based consultant at CISCO in Professional Services. He is a keen squash player and believes in equality.

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