#MoreWomen: Opportunities for positive change

I like to think I’ve got a handle on what people are talking about on Twitter. I mean, I’m not one of those social media types who has multiple devices in order to keep obsessive tabs on everyone and everything — but I do spend a lot of time on Twitter. So I usually, at the very least, know what is trending on the site and why.

Last week, however, I all but missed an interesting meme that was making the Twitter rounds thanks to Elle UK. Maybe it’s because my brain has been filled to the brim with wedding details and logistics (four days until #HawkinslyEverAfter), but really, until Franciscan Sr. Jan Cebula brought up #MoreWomen, I had barely paid any attention to it. (And Sr. Jan is contentedly Twitter-account free!)

If you, like me, were preoccupied last week, here’s the gist of the #MoreWomen: Photos of world leaders meeting together are edited to remove all the men. But even if you get the idea that women are underrepresented in politics, the photos are startling. All of a sudden, huge halls look like ghost towns. It’s truly wild.

I like this Elle UK campaign for two reasons: first, I think it’s important that we drive home how poorly the world is really doing in electing female leaders. Second, I kind of love that a women’s magazine — a much-maligned subset of journalism — is doing it. Get it, ladies.

We live in an exciting time — a time in which the Internet allows many voices previously ignored by the Powers That Be to be amplified. A time in which clever photo editing can be used to make good points go viral.

I can’t help but to think these new opportunities will eventually lead to positive change. After all, that women are more than capable leaders is irrefutable. Just take a look around Global Sisters Report and you’ll find example after example of women taking on some of the biggest challenges of our times — everything from human trafficking to the Syrian refugee crisis. So it’s not that we need to be convinced (at least in most cases) that women are capable leaders. Rather, we need to open our eyes to see exactly where centuries of discrimination have gotten us. And then we need to fix it.

I think #MoreWomen helps to do that for the political arena. I hope Global Sisters Report does that for the church.

On a related and somewhat comical note, should you come by to visit the Global Sisters Report office later this week, you might be afraid that we’ve been #MoreWomen’d on account of all the empty desks. But you should rest assured that 1) our Kansas City staff is entire female, so if even if one were to zap up all the men, we’d be fine and 2) we’re just all on vacation. So send some love to Tracy and Sr. Jan. They’ll be here all alone!

[Dawn Cherie Araujo is Global Sisters Report staff writer, based in Kansas City, Missouri. Follow her on Twitter @dawn_cherie]

Celebrating Award-Winning Content: GSR recently earned seven awards for editorial excellence from the Associated Church Press.