Women are actually a global secret weapon, and not just because without women, there would be less men.

I genuinely believe that women —- empowered women in particular — can be a game changer for a generation in any nation.

Given my work in the Middle East region, I am particularly interested in the future impact of women empowermentthere.

My friend Quincy Jonessays it takes 20 years to change a culture. I believe that women will prove transformational in the Middle East region, and the world over, in the next 20 years.

Just look at Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, orJanet Yellen, the new chairman of the US Federal Reserve, or Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. And then you have my friends Queen Rania of Jordan, andSecretary Hilary Clinton here in the U.S. just to name a notable few.

Most of the conversation around women, and the so-called ‘women’s role’ in the Middle East, is centered around the social, political, and religious aspects. I am not writing aboutany of those things here. No need to.

My argument for women’s empowerment in the Middle East is simple and straight forward. It’s even economic. You cannot win as a cutting-edge nation of the 21st century without empowering women, period. Respectfully, it’s the only rational approach.

Read, comment on and share the complete article here on LinkedIn Influencers. Let me know what you think.

We’re all in this together.

Let’s go.

John Hope Bryant is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and is the only 2010-2012 bestselling business author in America who is also African-American. Hisnewest book, due out May, 2014, is HOW THE POOR CAN SAVE CAPITALISM, and will be published byBerrett Koehler Publishing. Bryant is a Member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, and co-chair for Project 5117, which is a plan for the rebirth of underserved America.

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