Embrace your feminine power

March 8, 2016


What if I told you that masculine power cannot exist without feminine power?
What if I told you that part of your existence is feminine and the other one is masculine?

I rest my point with the famous Yin-Yang symbol which represents opposite chi-energies that can’t exist without each other. The black curve, with its white dot, stands for femininity, cold, night, softness and passivity while the white curve represents masculinity, spirit, heat, day, hardness and activity.

As we March further into 2016, during Women’s History Month, take the opportunity to embrace your feminine power. Significant achievements of women (dominant feminine power) throughout history are many. The triumph of feminine power is more than the sum of its exceptional lieutenants: Rosa Parker, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jhansi Ki Rani, Kalpana Chawla, Malala et. al. Like other parts of history, women’s history is more than a mere collection of headlines.

At a micro-level, it’s about the women who serve as an inspiration to their family members, colleagues and all those that they encounter through their persistent and patient daily attempts at making this world a better one to live in. Yet, being a woman has not always been a calm journey. These women do not just prevail; they excel despite the threat of personal, economic, political, and racial obstacles.

It’s high time to awaken common consciousness on this subject matter of utmost importance. The winds of change are slowly blowing. Now it’s your turn to make a choice: “Will you be part of the movement for recognition of feminine power, for inclusive advancement?”

JCI believes “Peace is Possible” and that together we can provide development opportunities to facilitate such inclusive growth. Recognising the complementary nature of men and women can go a long way towards peace. As an organization, JCI members are proud of the strength of women’s membership in local chapters, and the leadership roles that women play at all levels of our group.

But it hasn’t always been this way. Did you know that JCI were a men-only organization until 1984? Previously, there were separate groups for men and women. We are extremely pleased that 2016 marks the 32th anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision in Roberts vs. United States Jaycees, when it was held that refusal to admit women into the organization was both a violation of First Amendment rights, and unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. You can read more about the Supreme Court’s decision here. Shortly after the Court’s ruling, JCI members voted to open membership to all young individuals, ushering in a new era of progress and successes.

It doesn’t take much research to realize just how much JCI members have benefited from this change. From the first President of JCI Mauritius, Senator Danielle Wong in 1985, in the wake of the US Supreme Court ruling, the representation of Mauritian women in JCI leadership has been distinguished. In our 32 years of history, we have had 9 women as Past National Presidents and this year we have 4 female Local Presidents from our 5 Local Organizations supporting our 2016 National President.

The strong presence of women on local, national and international boards is testimony that JCI firmly believes in the potential of feminine power towards achieving the mission of the organization which is to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.

Through our partnerships, we aim to harness the collective potential of those working towards empowerment of women. In May 2006, JCI Mauritius and JCI Curepipe along with 4 other organisations namely Soroptimist International Ipsae – Rose Hill, Soroptimist International – Port-Louis, the Association Mauricienne des Femmes Chefs d’Entreprise and the United Nations Development Programme of Mauritius formed WIN Ltd (Women In Networking). We signed an MOU for 3 years to form a network with the prime objective of empowering women in Mauritius, inspired by article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. Further in 2009, our collaboration with WIN Ltd developed further with the advent of MAV (Men Against Violence). With the support of the Ministry of Gender Equality and the British High Commission, we were now in a position to launch a campaign against gender violence.


©Women In Networking

10 years on, our partnership with WIN Ltd and MAV is still going strong; as evidenced by JCI Curepipe being still part of the WIN Ltd board and contributing actively towards the continued empowerment of women in our society.

Furthermore, as part of our flagship project Health Campaign, JCI Curepipe has been partnering with Link To Life since 2013 to play our part in the fight against breast and cervical cancer. We have had the privilege to organize various screening tests, talks and fundraising activities with Link To Life since and we have positively affected the lives of 250+ people over the years.

Our sister organisations namely JCI Beau-Bassin Rose Hill, JCI City-Plus, JCI Quatre-Bornes and JCI Port-Louis are also working hard towards empowering women in Mauritius. With its Zen Activ project in Cité Barkly, JCI BBRH has helped the women there to showcase their talents and thus earn a better living. Through its Poverty Alleviation Program in Bois-Marchand, JCI Port-Louis has improved the lives of women through IT literacy and thus improved access to information. Furthermore, our friends from JCI Quatre-Bornes have helped budding female entrepreneurs to start and/or build on their existing businesses through their frequent business networking events. Last but not the least, there is the impactful “Aret Tapé” campaign by our JCI City Plus colleagues.

As the premier leadership organization empowering young people to be active, JCI has understood that the way forward is to stop comparing men and women but work towards collaboration between the two worlds. 32 years post the US Supreme Court ruling; the windfall gains on JCI are no secret. The introduction of women into the organization brought its own lot of new ideas, more diverse culture and a more open perspective towards the state of the world and to work towards its betterment in a more efficient manner. We are now endowed with the necessary resources and expertise to make a difference within ourselves and the wider community.

JCI reiterates its belief in peace through gender equity. Peace is possible and that begins with you. Be it men or women, as from now take pride in your feminine side. Embrace it. Let it shine in communion with your masculine side. Back to the famous Yin-Yang, masculinity cannot exist without femininity. Opt for equity for there is no weaker sex. Will you answer the call for more self-awareness and hence more mutual understanding towards inclusive advancement?

We’d like to hear from you. Do you know JCI? If yes, how has your experience with JCI been? How have the networking, leadership development, projects, and trainings helped you grow as an individual? Share your thoughts through social media on our Facebook page. We can all be proud of our combined contributions and look forward to making exciting new history – for all individuals.

Veerendra Kooshna
(2016 JCI Curepipe Local Secretary)