In a recent interview with British journalist Cathy Newman, the Dalai Lama said he would be pleased if his successor was a female.
“Now we are 21st century…female have more potential so should take more active role regarding promotion of human compassion," he told Newman. His Holiness went on to say he believes females have more potential in actively promoting love and affection than men.
But before we can count a win for the sisterhood, it must be noted the Dalai Lama doesn’t get to choose his heir/heiress. The high lamas wait for the current Dalai Lama to pass before using a number of mysterious methods to find his successor. These methods can include visions, dreams or some kind of indication of which direction to search. When a suitable candidate is found, the boy-- or girl-- is put through a number of tests to prove that they are the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama.
Though he has no say in who will follow his footsteps, it is heartening to know the Dalai Lama is a proud feminist, and hopefully it'll even influence the high lamas’ decision. Last year at a Buddhist center in Belgium, His Holiness said that in “education, intelligence, and reason...Women and men are equal.”
Let’s hope the rest of the world’s leaders take a leaf out of the Dalai Lama's book.
Images courtesy of The Telegraph and asiancorrespondant.com.