One of the most famous quotes of U.S. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020), who passed away last year, is the following in a speech given at Georgetown University in February 2015: “When I’m sometimes asked, ‘When will there be enough women on the Supreme Court[?],’ I say, ‘When there are nine,’ and people are shocked. But there had been nine men, and nobody has ever raised a question about that.” I cried out “Eureka!” when I heard the quote. Honestly, such an audacious statement never came across my mind, although I am a woman myself.
Lately, I have given lectures a lot to working women. As the first woman who served as an executive director, I had a lot on my plate, and women I meet seem to be going through similar agonies that I went through myself. I sympathize with them, and I spend a significant amount of time trying to answer their questions because lectures alone do not cover various challenges working women encounter.
Many questions I receive are concerned with gender equality. Who is right, between men who feel discriminated against as women are, allegedly, getting preferential treatment, and women who are strong feminists? There is no simple answer to this question. In brief, I believe the answer to gender equality lies in gender harmonization. I want to ask back to men who feel disadvantaged. Have you given a serious thought to discrimination against women, which has long been perpetrated in human history? Men have to bravely disengage themselves from the wrong conventions that have chained their mothers, sisters, and daughters, and embrace changes.
Also, I want to speak to many women who are suffering from gender inequalities or memories of discrimination. To forgive, no matter how deep your wound is, is a step towards healing. Unless the door of forgiveness is open, the way forward will remain closed. When men and women no longer stay in the past and choose to understand and help one another, a better future will come. I believe this is the world Ginsburg dreamt of.