Barry J. Palmer 2013-08-13 11:28:00
Usher in A New Era for Lions It’s easy to be awed by athletes and entertainers, but the most impressive people I know are the women who have been part of my life. My dear mum, now 97, was loving and caring and a great role model as well, volunteering at church and school and for Scouts. As a Realtor, I hired and counted on women. I quickly learned they were particularly determined to grow their skills and be successful. As a Lion, I’ve been amazed by the generosity and gifts of women. As just one example, Australian Lion Pauline Henebery has run the remarkable Education Builds Bridges, enabling Lions to help disadvantaged children in Indonesia. Perhaps the greatest move ever made by Lions Clubs International was to admit women. Probably the second-best initiative would be to swell our ranks with them. We’re lagging behind in this regard. Fifty-two percent of the world population is female, yet only 24.5 percent of Lions are women. My dream is to increase female membership by 5.5 percent this Lions year to bring us up to 30 percent and then to achieve a 50/50 ratio by our centennial year in 2017. We don’t want more women so we can puff out our chests and boast of membership equality. We need the gifts and talents of women. They bring a different perspective, a different skill set and a new bundle of can-do energy and enthusiasm. They set goals, take on tasks and accomplish objectives in a way that men can’t, don’t or won’t. I don’t want to stir up trouble by saying women are our better half, but they certainly are half of humanity and carry the same talents and capabilities. Be sure to make your club welcoming to women. Seek them out and invite them in. Barry J. Palmer Your Lions Clubs International President
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