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VOICES OF RGHF MEMBERS
 

Back in 1965, before I started to be a scholar at Veterinary School, I visited an orientation day at the Utrecht University. I was interested to become a member of a fraternity. In those days we had one-gender and two-gender  associations. The men’s society tried to interest me boasting about their old boys mentality. Reason for me to choose for a two-gender club after 18 months of compulsory military service.  

When I was installed as a club member in Rotary in 1982, it still was a one-gender organization. I think we, Rotarians, should regret that we needed an outside force to embrace female membership.  And even now, some two decades later, we are not relaxed about the issue. I envy our Lions friends. There I see two-gender, male and female clubs all around. With them it is not an issue at all. And we Rotarians? Clubs amongst themselves blame each other ‘still’ being one-gender or having a low percentage of female members. And it goes on and on... The more we are self oriented the less energy we spend on the outside world.  

In my own district in The Netherlands the vast majority of clubs is two-gender. And wherever a one-gender club is located, there is a two-gender club in the vicinity. And now, in 2012, we are happy to welcome our second all-female club. Why not? Why only diversity within clubs and not between clubs? We have breakfast clubs, lunch clubs, late evening clubs, e-clubs. We have old members, young members, members in professions, retired members, male members, female members . And all over the place Rotarians group happily together in formations they prefer to concentrate on their contribution to Rotary's strategy. That’s my cup of tea…!     

 
RID 11/13 Paul C. Knyff is the RGHF zone 14 board member and liaison to Rotary officers, posted 2 January 2012 by Jack M. B. Selway
 

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