James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper 51 that justice is the quality of being impartial and fair. Since then, amongst other things, the nation has gradually evolved to abolish slavery and extend the right to vote to all adult citizens.

The Founders reached back to the ancient Greeks, where happiness was defined as the ability of free societies to establish how they governed themselves. For them, government should champion an economic system that supports growth of wealth and human achievement and helps to ameliorate poverty and misery.

The Declaration of Independence spells out the goals and the Constitution identifies the parameters by which policies and human objectives should be achieved. Governments must act within proper boundaries in order to play a proper role in human affairs. Unfortunately, too often governments at all levels have failed to achieve these objectives.

Generally, here in America we have gone through numerous dynamic democratic convulsions; and they have usually resulted in beneficial progressions. But now we have too many people everywhere, an economic system that provides huge rewards for a few and potential catastrophe for the majority and the health of the global climate may be at risk.

It would appear to be decidedly beneficial that more women are participating and providing leadership in government policies and operations. It is notable that the World Economic Forum called Iceland the best at closing gender gaps in economics, health, education and political representation.

Over the past decade, almost every region of the world has seen more women legislators and chief executives. Now the U.S. ranks just behind Sweden, South Africa, Cuba and the Netherlands, which have nearly 50 percent of the legislators — and 18 countries now have chief executives who are women.

What is encouraging is that around the world there is an increase of women in national politics. This has occurred since the United Nations held its Fourth World Conference on Women (originally proposed by Eleanor Roosevelt) in Beijing in 1995.

Nearly half a century ago this writer attended a luncheon where Eleanor Roosevelt and Claude Pepper discussed how women’s equal participation in the government process would benefit all of humanity.

It is significant to note that between 1975 and 1995 the global average of the proportion of women in national assembly’s only increased by 1 percent; however, during the past decade it increased to 20 percent. Latin America is well represented and Afghanistan and Iraq have about as many female representatives as does the U.S.

Throughout human history women have experienced different perceptions of child care, reproductive health and political priorities. Generally, women have lived a different set of life experiences, which should have an effect on making public policies.

It will be interesting to observe what is happening in Rwanda, in the center of Africa. It is the only country in the world with a female majority in Parliament; and they have established a national goal to eliminate corruption, while they concentrate on family stability, education and public health.

Worldwide, we are already experiencing global warming, food and shelter shortages and frustrating economic chaos. How do we cope? We must do what we always did in the past. Then a few got smarter and they and their heirs survived developing language, better technologies, abilities to plan ahead in order to survive to the demands of long periods of turbulence.

Now it appears that over the next few decades we will face hurdles that extend beyond the evolving climate crisis: the end of fossil fuels, shortages of food, greater population densities, potential health risks, and necessities to cope with radical technological potentials.

We are fortunate in that our brains are continually evolving to get smarter — all of us have the potential to become smarter and more intelligent.

It is reasonable to presume that over the next several decades, education systems everywhere should be able to enhance insight, improve capabilities of analysis and augment capabilities of assessing risks and benefits of alternatives.

The amount of information available to everyone, a hallmark of intelligence, will be almost unimaginable. It is essential to remember that agriculture, urbanization and trade were at one time great innovations.

It is essential to recognize that for some the future is already here; and unfortunately, it’s very unevenly distributed. Unfortunately, it seems that the rich and clever always appear to have access to knowledge before everyone else.

However, we know from history that a world of limited access will not last indefinitely. The bad news is that diverse cultures and educational standards that exist via divergent languages and beliefs tend to emphasize cultural differences.

The good news is this diversity of thought can be beneficial. Integrated coping problems and options will provide greater probable insight, creativity and innovation.

Our ability to build the future that we want (as enumerated by the Declaration of Independence) — not just a future we can survive — depends on our capacity to understand the complex relationships of the diversity of knowledge and experience our civilization embodies and we need to fully appreciate the implications of our choices.

Such ability is increasingly within our grasps. Eleanor Roosevelt would be pleased how much progress has been made toward her perspective — as well as progress that have been made to achieve political progress of women, worldwide.

Dr. Lloyd V. Stover is an environmental scientist and long-time student of the evolution of women’s efforts to improve democracy everywhere. He can be contacted via email at: ursine005@gmail.com.