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CHIME Through the Years Series

Sharing women’s first-hand experiences, especially when progress on gender equality is at risk

Mariane Pearl, CHIME FOR CHANGE Advisory Board member and Emeritus Managing Editor of the CHIME FOR CHANGE Journalism Platform, in a close-up photo, smiling at the camera, with the interior of a room in the background

Hope might soon become the most sought-after currency as, under the COVID-19 pandemic, the world cracks under the weight of its incoherencies. “Blessed are the cracks as they let you see the light,” wrote Nietzsche. There will be plenty of urgent needs to meet in the near future, and the cracks are manifold, but perhaps our most vital want will be for leadership. By leadership, I mean people worth turning to when we crave empathy, courage and strength of character. Skilled citizensable to navigate the big and small hardships the virus will throw at us. And by Hope, I mean the ability to see the light through the cracks.

As women, we didn’t get to write history; instead, we were brushed off its pages like the remains of a sharpened pencil. But we embraced it, didn’t we? We stomached it, suffered through it, came out the other side and left revenge behind. Perhaps therein lies one explanation: it is not about gender, it’s about preparation, and women having been at the receiving end of all manners of injustice since history was first recorded, are exquisitely well-trained and ready.

In all their diversity, the narratives we have published on the CHIME FOR CHANGE platform in multimedia formats over the last seven years feel like precious gems, the expression of human response to human problems. I can’t find a better way to illustrate this than to bring you a selection of weaved tales about the lives of said ordinary women from around the world. Each person, each struggle, one more threadin the collective female fabric, a cloth of women of all races and creeds, cultures and faiths, that strive daily to keep everyone sane and safe and warm, and the planet alive.

In my role as CHIME’s Managing Editor, I have felt like the operating goldsmith. I help extract the embedded wisdom, capture the process that led to change for the greater good. Once it shines, I watch the story cast its lights for others. Often by triggering the desire to invest in becoming an outstanding version of yourself and toreflect that in your relationship with the world.

Women only make up 7% of world leaders: 10 out of 152 elected heads of states. Well, those 10 ladies have outshone the 93% with their leadership and authority (and by saving tens of thousands of lives so far during the pandemic) in countries as far apart from one another as New Zealand, Finland, Taiwan and Germany. Meanwhile, domestic violence has tripled worldwide during the confinement. And of course, gender equality is far from being a memory: FGM and child marriage, sex trafficking, acid attacks and ironed breasts, epidemics and wars too still define millions of women’s lives, so these voices are also very urgent in their timeless way. Let us gather together like never before, let’s restore faith in ourselves and foster these young women with old souls, who are standing for gender justice from Afghanistan to Ukraine.

They are breaking free from the violence that befell their mothers and every single woman in their lineage. They are doing it for everybody.Healing a wounded world, coronavirus included, with their little hands and their big hearts, as they always have.

Hence, it is thanks to women and their allies that I can believe in what comes next.

I hope you enjoy this best-of CHIME series.

Mariane Pearl, Emeritus Managing Editor of the CHIME FOR CHANGE Journalism Platform

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