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A picture of earth from space

Amidst the recent news of #Ferguson and #TrayvonMartin perhaps we need to take time to reflect on what it means to be a human being.

I wish we would talk about the reasons why Blacks kill each other. However, for this conversation to be fruitful it must be Global, not a monologue. One day perhaps?

Until then here are my thoughts on the topic of human race conflicts as it relates to Blacks or any race for that matter.

First, it amuses me that every time a Black man is wrongly killed by the police, some people hurry to quote statistics of how many times Blacks kill each other. Although I find truly unfortunate the killing that happens within the Black community (or any community for that matter), understanding the root of the problem is usually the first right step in solving it.

It’s utterly convenient to say “Oh look at how much those Black people kill each other” but understanding the question “Why do so many Blacks kill each other” would point to a series of events for which as a global society we’ve yet to reconcile ourselves.

These are not small problems to fix, they took centuries to create and although passing the blame gets us nowhere, responsibilities must be taken. Unless we’re serious about addressing the issues then we shouldn’t pretend taking the consequences seriously. That’s hypocrisy, which even in its mildest nature only creates or fosters havoc.

The difference between human beings regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation or whatever characteristics is incredibly small. I therefore find it ridiculous that as an evolved race (like we so proudly call ourselves) we still find reasons to kill each other.

Earth is so beautiful from outer space (I’ve attached a pic). Each one of us carries that beauty. I’d hope we focus on it rather than the infinitely small percentage of our genome that differentiates us.

But again, I won’t hold my breadth.

Stay beautiful.

Photo credit: Wallpaperswide.com

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To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.

– Bessie Anderson Stanley, More Heart Throbs Volume Two in Prose and Verse Dear to the American People And by them

diverse women

I came across a post on Forbes.com entitled “The Top 20 Best Countries for Women“, which I found to be very interesting and quite frankly intriguing as well. It is part of The World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 6th annual ranking on gender equality in 2011 and lists what they consider to be the top 20 (out of 135) countries favorable to women.The report measures and ranks women’s economic participation and opportunity, access to education, health and survival rates and political empowerment.

Here are my observations, both expected and unexpected, as I browsed through the list.

1. The top of the list is dominated by Scandinavian countries (EXPECTED)

2. The Philippines ranks highest of all Asian countries. (UNEXPECTED)

3. The Philippines is the only Asian country on the list. (UNEXPECTED)

4. The Philippines ranks higher than the United States. (SOMEWHAT UNEXPECTED)

5. My ignorance about the Philippines is greater than I anticipated. (OK. EXPECTED)

6. Lesotho ranks higher than Switzerland and Germany. (UNEXPECTED)

7. The US ranks number 17. (NOT EXPECTED BUT NOT SURPRISED)

8. Two African countries made it to the list. (UNEXPECTED + PLEASED)

I actually went a step further and looked at the GDP of the countries and the gender ratio of Female-to-Male (ages 15 to 64) for each of those countries. The objective was to try to identify any correlation between the WEFGGR score, the GDP, and the ratio of women vs. men. In other words, were countries with a greater female-to-male ratio within the working age range of 15 to 64 more productive, therefore offering more visibility and better working and living conditions to women?

Other metrics that I could have considered include: the employment or unemployment rate of women vs. men, the literacy rate of women vs. men, the number of women occupying high ranking positions in the private and public sector, certainly religious views, and the list goes on. For simplicity purposes, I decided to focus this analysis on GDP and Gender ratio.

Note: For GDPs, I used 2011 data from the list by the World Bank. Information from the gender ratio for each country was pulled from the CIA World Factbook; a “+” means there were more women than men in the 15 to 64 age group and a “-” means there were more men.

The Top 20 Best Countries For Women as ranked by the World Economic Forum

1. Iceland – Score: 85.3%   GDP:  $14.06 Billion  Ratio of Women vs. Men: +

2. Norway – Score: 84%    GDP: $485.8 Billion  Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

3. Finland – Score: 83.8%    GDP: $266.07 Billion   Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

4. Sweden – Score: 80.4%    GDP: $538.13 Billion  Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

5. Ireland – Score: 78.3%    GDP:  $217.28 Billion   Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

6. New Zealand – Score: 78.1%    GDP: $142 Billion  Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

7. Denmark – Score: 77.8%    GDP:  $332.68 Billion   Ratio of Women vs. Men: +

8. Philippines – Score: 76.9%    GDP: $224.75 Billion   Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

9. Lesotho – Score: 76.7%    GDP: $2.43 Billion   Ratio of Women vs. Men: +

10. Switzerland – Score: 76.3%    GDP: $635.65 Billion   Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

11. Germany – Score: 75.9%    GDP:  $3.57 Trillion  Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

12. Spain – Score: 75.8%    GDP:  $1.49 Trillion  Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

13. Belgium – Score: 75.3%    GDP: $511.53 Billion   Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

14. South Africa – Score: 74.8%    GDP:  $408.24 Billion  Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

15. Netherlands – Score: 74.7%    GDP: $836.26 Billion   Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

16. United Kingdom – Score: 74.6%    GDP: $2.43 Trillion  Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

17. United States – Score: 74.1%    GDP: $15.09 Trillion   Ratio of Women vs. Men: +

18. Canada – Score: 74.1%    GDP: $1.74 Trillion   Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

19. Latvia – Score: 74%    GDP:  $28.25 Billion  Ratio of Women vs. Men: +

20. Cuba – Score: 73.9%    GDP:  $60.81 Billion Ratio of Women vs. Men: –

Results:

There does not appear to exist a direct correlation between the World Economic Forum score and gender. Only 25% of the listed countries below had a greater ratio of female-to-male for the 15-to-64 age group. GDP on the other hand was a bit more interesting. Although, the size of the GDP did not seem to play a direct role in the scoring, 55% of the countries that made it on the list had GDPs under $500 billion dollars, including 4 of the top 5. Only 25% of the listed countries had a GDP exceeding a trillion dollars, and the highest ranking they achieved was at number 11 (Germany). This could very well challenge the view that the greater the GDP of a country the better the opportunities for all it’s people, especially women. Not many people would be able to place Lesotho on a map, yet as a woman you’d enjoy better living conditions there than in the United States.

That said, I don’t foresee many American women moving to Lesotho.

p.s. In case you’re wondering, no I didn’t find a “Top 20 Best Countries for Men” – I’m sure they are doing OK.

Forbes-Top-20-Best-Countries-for-Women

Forbes-Top-20-Best-Countries-for-Women

The Law of Diffusion of Innovation, first studied by French sociologist Gabriel Tarde and popularized by Professor Everett Rogers in his 1962 book Diffusion of Innovationsstates that 2.5% of the population are Innovators, 13.5% are Early Adopters, 34% are Early Majority, 34% are Late Majority, 16% are Laggards.

Which one best fits you? Be honest.

Personally, I tend to fall in between the two extremes depending on the subject matter.

 

Chart: The Law of Diffusion of Innovation

Chart: The Law of Diffusion of Innovation

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