New Voices

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How many members have been asked if women can join Lions? Unbelievably there is still a misconception in some parts the Community that Lions is male only. We, as members of this great service organisation, need to let everyone know that women are welcome to join local clubs.

Is there someone you know who would benefit by being a Lion, to be given the opportunity to help others, to meet new people and to use their talents to make a real impact in the community?

Many women have been inspirational.
Helen Keller, with her plea to the Lions of the world to become the knights of the blind.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver with Special Olympics.
Professor Wangari Maathai, who founded the “Green belt movement”, an environmental project which started with the National Council of women in Kenya.
Malala Yousafzai After being shot by a Taliban gunman for attending school when she was only 15, Malala became one of the world’s most famous young activists for her fight for girls’ right to education. In 2014, she won the Nobel Peace Prize. Celebrated for her relentless resolve and bravery in the face of terror and sexism, Malala is proof of the power, courage, wisdom, and tenacity of young women.

In her memoir “I Am Malala”, she wrote: “I raise up my voice — not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”

What all these women have in common:
Something very close to the heart.
Determination to reach their goals.
It’s not about them but it’s about doing something, making a difference.
For the blind and visual impaired; for people with mental disabilities and focus on environmental problems in Africa with and for women to offer them a better future.

These women have done something very special. These women led their movements and achieved so much. Powerful and determined.

Sometimes someone has to find a reason to make a difference. Sometimes you need a role model. What we have in common with these women and all the women in Lions – we care about others.

We have seen what women in Lions do all over the world. Impressive and stimulating:
In healthcare, providing help, assisting research.
With children and young adults.
With care for safety of women & men.
And a lot, lot more ….

In other words, there are no boundaries. But on the other hand! In Australia only 34% of our members are female.

The percentage decreases when it comes to vacancies in leadership positions:
Zone and region chairperson / Global Action team leaders / District Governor / Council Chairperson 0% / International Director 0%.

Why is that? What is the reason? Do we underestimate ourselves? Did nobody ask us, see us, hear us?

Think of Helen Keller, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Wangari Maathai & Malala Yousafzai. It was not easy to them. But these women saw the necessity to do something. They cared about others.

Lions International is a diverse organisation with women & men equally serving the Community, equally taking on Leadership roles and equally participating on Lions projects.

That must be the ultimate goal for recruiting members.

The power lies in diversity. Not women in the background but together. Leading together. Men and women. Young and old. Inexperienced and experienced.

A quote from Oprah Winfrey – “Step out of the history that is holding you back Step into the new story you are willing to create”.

By PDG Pat Mills MD 201 New Voices Speaker