As part of our recent trip to Prague, we went on a tour to learn more about what happened there during World War 11. After the Munich Agreement between France, Italy, Britain and Germany, Hitler lost no time in occupying Czechoslovakia.
Our young guide, Jacob, shared an expression that gave me pause for thought. He said, “When you are not invited to the table, it usually means you are on the menu.”
No one from Czechoslovakia was invited to that meeting, and the four powers in Europe determined the country’s fate when that agreement was signed. In other words, unbeknownst to the people of Czechoslovakia, they were on the menu, positioned to be devoured by Germany.
It seems to me that this is still the case today. Too often decisions are made without consulting the people most impacted. Frequently they are overlooked and not asked for their opinions or solutions to the problems they may face.
Take the youth in Hong Kong who recently protested about what is happening there. Or closer to home, the rights of indigenous people that have been overlooked for years.
In the US, it is the immigrant families that are suffering and even more horrifying the rights of women over their bodies, with a group of men are dictating the laws on abortion.
Clearly, and sadly, not much has changed since that 1938 meeting. We are still not involving everyone. We are still fighting for rights that were won and are now lost. And as women, we are still on the menu, especially on issues impacting us.
It has to stop. Our voices need to be heard. We have important messages to share and we need to ensure that we are at the table, because without our input, everyone loses out.
What do you think?
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.