The mission of The Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues of the State Department, headed by Ambassador Catherine M. Russell, seeks to ensure that women’s issues are completely integrated in structuring and conducting U.S. foreign policy. That office promotes stability, peace, and development by empowering women politically, socially, and economically around the world.
In the USA and other developed countries, gender discrimination is a concern when considering issues like reproductive rights and equality in employment and salary. While these are important, every one of us knows that they pale in comparison to the far more pressing issues being faced by women and girls around the world—including trafficking, lack of equal rights, appalling healthcare, absence of training and education for empowerment and economic equality, and domestic violence.
Clearly these many problems require many solutions, implemented by dedicated individuals, organizations, and other nations’ support or intervention. However, there is one solution, almost always overlooked, that would be a foundation for success of all other programs—the development of consciousness.
All problems arise from circumstances in our environment and from the way we perceive our challenges and act to resolve them. Because all action is preceded by thought and thought is only as powerful as the consciousness of the individual, the more we can strengthen our consciousness, the more we can clearly identify and resolve our problems. There is a simple natural approach through which women can independently and continually develop the full potential of their own consciousness once they have learned the technique to do so.
The Transcendental Meditation program enlivens the full potential of the brain and consciousness—this is one solution that underlies the resolution of all problems. What does ‘one solution to all problems’ mean?—an analogy explains: a child not understanding that a wilting plant cannot be healed by painting the leaves green or supporting the stems with sticks. The child will try to solve the problem at its surface, whereas a gardener understands that we have to nourish the root of the plant for the plant to flourish. In this same way, the TM technique enlivens the fundamental value or root of every woman so that she can display more of her full potential and handle the circumstance around her is a more profound and effective way. This technique takes the term ‘empowerment’ to its deepest meaning because it literally wakes up the power in every woman.
One scientific study helps to give objective verification of this empowerment. Published in 1991 in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 6, a statistical meta-analysis of 42 different studies indicated that the effect of the TM technique on increasing self-actualization is four times as great as other techniques of relaxation and self-development. Self-actualization covers a wide range of attributes. It refers to realizing more of one’s inner potential, expressed in every area of life: integration and stability of personality, self esteem, self-confidence, and adaptive response to challenges. NIMH senior researcher and psychiatrist Dr. Norman Rosenthal describes two other measures of self-actualization: time competence (being oriented in the present, rather than worrying about past or future) and inner directedness (a sense of being motivated from within oneself). Thus, we can say that increased self-actualization creates a situation for women to be all they can be.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation program, said that we must attack problems from all sides—but to have full success in these programs that seek to relieve suffering, both the program providers and participants need to use their full potential. Every woman facing obstacles and working for progress must have energy, intelligence, broad comprehension, moral reasoning, stamina, and resilience—all scientifically validated benefits of the TM technique. Each woman must have recourse to this safe haven within herself to give her the strength to continue to progress.
One great example of the power of unfolding more consciousness is shown clearly in this four-minute video interview of a woman whose life was ravaged in war-torn Uganda and subsequently relieved by learning Transcendental Meditation. “It has saved me,” she confides.