29
Oct
09

On air: Is gender equality an impossible dream?

womanElina in Finland emailed me this morning suggesting that we discuss the latest World Economic Forum report on gender equality. She writes: ‘I live in one of the most successful countries in the survey, but I think this might capture people’s minds also in other parts of the world’. You’re not wrong Elina, the story’s being carried on news sites and blogs in most countries.

(If you’re wondering about this picture, it’s of a gender equality campaigner in Afghanistan – more here.)

I’ll let you look at the full news story, but the key points are that on pay and work status, the gap is closing far more than political representation. However, the gap remains in every area in almost every country which raises these (and many other) questions:

– Is gender equality a realistic goal? Are the societies we live able to support such a fundamental change in how we live?

– Is the idea that men and women can have equal opportunity in every part of their lives fundamentally flawed?


142 Responses to “On air: Is gender equality an impossible dream?”


  1. 1 Jennifer
    October 29, 2009 at 14:35

    Men and women are equally unique. We are different. We will never be equal for that reason.

  2. 2 Jennifer
    October 29, 2009 at 14:35

    P.S.

    What is unequal is women having to cover themselves (like the woman in the article photo).

    • 3 Linda from Italy
      October 29, 2009 at 14:44

      Jennifer,
      the “have to” says it all, if comeone is constrained to do something or prevented form doing something, purely becuase of their gender – that is inequality in a nut shell.
      Linda

    • 4 Nigel
      October 29, 2009 at 16:46

      Why is it impossible in your books that the lady in the picture may want to cover her hair as a committment to her beliefs.

      • 5 ANNE
        October 30, 2009 at 11:21

        A belief is based on upbringing and religious doctrine written in the past by men and controlled by men. So this woman is not exactly equal. Though I have nothing against her wearing a cover. I wear hats. But it is what it stands for. When people in a country become poor, it is religion that is used for comfort and women will once again be controlled by religion. With men insecure once more women will be supressed by forcing taboos on them. It is a way, to make them feel more secure. However it is on the subconscious level.

    • 6 Maxine
      November 2, 2009 at 05:01

      Sadly, Gender equality will never be in the Islamic world. In Sharia Law, the Koran says that it takes two women to have the same value as one man.

  3. 7 Jerry Cordaro Cleveland OH
    October 29, 2009 at 14:48

    Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of outcome.

  4. 10 Jamie in Ohio
    October 29, 2009 at 14:51

    You can be different and treated equally. Women and men both have uniques strengths that can be taken advantage of in different ways. Being a successful working individual, I still feel I am very much underpaid compared to my male counterparts. In addition, I work in a global business and know many European Female execs, specifically in the UK that are compensated on a more level playing field than here in the US.

  5. 11 Roy, Washington DC
    October 29, 2009 at 14:53

    The people that complain about equality should make sure that they don’t take any gender-restricted scholarships, don’t go to ladies night at the bar, and so on. Equal means equal at all times, not just when being “equal” benefits you.

    • 12 Nate, Portland OR
      October 29, 2009 at 19:04

      Don’t got to ladies night at the bar? Are you kidding? That night isn’t for women, its for men! It gets women to actually come to the bar so we can hit on them. It also gets them to hopefully have a few more so that our idiot come-ons sound clever and our beer-bellies less visible.

    • 13 Robert
      October 29, 2009 at 19:07

      Roy

      Women’s promotions in bars are not gender inequality. It is a marketing ploy. How many bars or clubs in general have promotions for students, OAPs, single parents, sports clubs, working in certain industries (like acting).

      Also, if your not a member of these groups, you can drink elsewhere at a competitive rate.

      When it comes to pay and job opportunities for women, there are no other options. That’s why drinks promotions are not inequality, whilst career issues are. .

  6. 14 steve
    October 29, 2009 at 14:55

    I think in a theocracy, there will never be any sort of gender equality. But even in the west, we don’t really. You have women claiming men get paid more, and you have in countries like the USA, men have to register for the military draft, but women don’t. So basically men are expected to give up their lives for their country, but women are not. That’s not equality.

    And also another example of non gender equality in the west would be an issue discussed a couple weeks ago on here I believe, should non mothers get maternal leave too? Up to six months? Notice how there was no suggetsion of giving men 6 months off as well?

  7. 15 Alby
    October 29, 2009 at 14:56

    with religions of the world putting codes in peoples’ heads all over, and all our languages embedded with words that put women down, how can this inequality change? Hierarchy like this is embedded in our language, and the patriarchy and male female hierarchy is elemental to our traditional cultures. It will take some will to replace that everywhere.

    • 16 Linda from Italy
      October 29, 2009 at 15:25

      On the linguistic front, changes have indeed been made, at least to the English language i.e. it is no longer accepatble to default to masculine pronouns/possessives when refering to people in general and “man” meaning all human beings is also dying a death – so it can be done.

  8. 17 Linda from Italy
    October 29, 2009 at 14:57

    Every person is unique and there are groups of people that share similar characteristics (skin colour, hair texture, general body proportions etc. as well as reproductive gear) but these days we do not (generally) assign them roles on the basis of those characteristics, although to our shame many people once did.
    I am fairly stereotypically female when it comes to intellectual/psychological stereotypes, I’m useless at sport, driving, maths and most things involving wielding a screwdriver, but I’m very good at communicating and building and fostering relationships. However, I know plenty of men like me and plenty of women with the opposite set of strengths and weaknesses, not to mention many who are somewhere in between.
    Equality of opportunity is absolutely not an impossible dream. Societies that have become less patriarchal (once the norm the world over – with a few exceptions) can call on the talents of all of their community, not just half, and they are bound to be more successful on that score alone. It is something to be striven for and the campaign must never cease!

  9. October 29, 2009 at 15:01

    Genuine equality is an altruistic notion. Humans have never once been proven to adequately be equal, and it’s my own experience that we want equality of CERTAIN things, but not everything. I was raised by a saint of a mother who always taught me the following:

    “Just because I want the right to vote and equal pay for equal work doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be treated like a lady.”

    Would your average heterosexual man open car doors for his male buddies, pull out their chairs for them at restaurants, or tell them how pretty they look? No, and that’s probably for the best.

  10. 19 Roberto
    October 29, 2009 at 15:13

    RE “” Is the idea that men and women can have equal opportunity in every part of their lives fundamentally flawed? “”
    ———————————————————————————————

    ——– What’s fundamentally real is that PEOPLE seldom have equal opportunity compared to other people. Some have more, and many others far less. The way it was, is, and always shall be.

    While some aspects of the equality reformers are to be admired and even perhaps adopted, people will never be born in equal circumstances with equal abilities and natural attributes.

    Much of the modern concepts of equality are just pie in the sky pipe dreams that deserves a place along side of cotton candy dreams and sugar plum faeries’ gingerbread houses for all.

  11. October 29, 2009 at 15:16

    my answer to the first question is that gender equality might seem a distant goal and an unrealistic one but that does not mean we stop fighting for it. many things are difficult but not impossible and this is one of them. I really admire the campaigners for gender equality and consider them as heros.

    In my country (Saudi Arabia) women are not given equal rights interms of work and dressing but i am strongly against this and I hope some change is brought about by the government. I have seen some liberalism as women in my city (Dammam) are not forced to cover their head.

    I am very obtimistic about the gender equality in this world as things seem to be moving in the right direction in many countries and change will occur. besides the only permanent thing in this world is change!

  12. 21 Linda from Italy
    October 29, 2009 at 15:19

    Don’t want to be rude, but did your mother actually have to be a saint perhaps because of her economic/social status?
    I’m a mother and absolutely no saint, just hope I’m a reasonable parent, just like my husband, who has always had “equality of parenting”.
    I am quite capable of opening a car door, hate driving the horrible thing, but can get in and out on my own, likewise I can manage to place my behind on a chair without help.
    If any of my friends/family, male or female, are looking nice – I tell them, that’s just being a pleasant member of the human race.

  13. 22 Ann
    October 29, 2009 at 15:41

    I think gender equality is a realistic goal and a goal well worth striving for – in every country in the world. Enormous changes have happened in my lifetime and I expect more change to come in the future.

    One thing that won’t change easily however, (and this is an area that makes equality quite difficult to achieve) is the financial and status disadvantage women face because of motherhood. Women have to take time off work in their pregnacies and still do the lions share of childcare. Until societies change their attitude to the social value of parenting, and support families properly, women will always be disadvantaged. It is no surprise that the Scandinavian countries that top the equality chart have state sponsered childcare facilities and work places are much more ‘family friendly’ to both men and women. They have higher taxation that anywhere else in the world (I think), but they also have a smaller gap between the rich and poor. They are also much happier societies as a result of these equalities.

    Equality for women benefits everyone and I feel we should not become complacent about aiming for such high standards.

  14. October 29, 2009 at 15:55

    Gender equality is possible! One hundred years ago, women did not have the vote in most countries in the world, women could not take certain jobs and were restricted from many spheres of public life. There are specific actions that can be taken to correct gender inequality but obviously many cultural and social barriers that prevent our countries from carrying them out. There are many stereotypes and mindsets that we need to overcome, among them, that inequality between men and women is the natural order of things. It’s not.

  15. 24 Anthony
    October 29, 2009 at 15:59

    Men and women never will be equal. The day we are equal is the day we become robots void of feelings and emotions.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    P.S. Did we just have a discussion on women these days becoming depressed… I think it’s because women are trying so hard to be “equal” to men.

  16. 25 Josiah Soap
    October 29, 2009 at 16:04

    We are not eqaul we are different because of millions of years of evolution have fitted us for distinct biological roles. But you are not supposed to mention this. Now in this PC world we have suddenly decided that we have reached some new utopian enlightenment and we must be equally represented and have absolute equality in all aspects of life, whether it is warranted or not. There are jobs that men are naturally better suited to and vice versa. This doesn’t mean its discriminatory or unequal, its just biology and common sense. Women are more than equal. There are far more sites for womens health, careers and issues compared with men as well as those stating how oppressed they still are. In US universities womens studies departments can spout garbage about all men being rapists without any evidence, but in the same institutions if men state scientifically proven facts of differences in math or engineering ability they can be fired. I would love to see equality, as a man I am fed up of being treated (and portrayed in the media) as some second class bumbling oaf.

    • 26 margaret
      October 29, 2009 at 18:24

      And not all women are “pro women’s rights”. I have had / know of more issues in my experience with women cutting each other down, as opposed to being put down or kept back by men! The difference is men are directly confrontational; and women go the lying, backstabbing, character assassination route. If we just followed the golden rule, life for all would be so much better.

      Margaret Tacoma, WA

  17. October 29, 2009 at 16:07

    If the world wants half a chance for good results against the myriad man-made and natural calamities at our doors and in our future, then equal opportunity of the sexes is the most critical adjustment of world societies. Discriminating religious, social and legal mentalities have stuck more than half of the world’s brain power and energy behind an apron or a hejab (sp?) which is no problem if the female chooses to wear it, just as it is no problem if the male elects to drop out of school and work at MacDonalds. The issue is CHOICE… when choice is denied (or made more financially difficult) it is an unnatural imposition of dominance… and our world is too needy to continue to support the domination (and hence restriction) of anyone’s talents.

  18. October 29, 2009 at 16:11

    Men and women are destined to be different from each other. Despite laws guaranteeing equality between the sexes, there continues to be a battle between them to assert themselves. As long as a person is defined by gender first before status, there remains the subconscious drive to put emphasis on gender.

    When it comes to equality, the pressure is more on men to accept this notion as in many societies men are brought up to be the bread winners and it is humiliating for them to be dependent on a woman or under her authority.

    As men and women are different in nature, they can have equal opportunities and status but as persons, they will continue to have different dreams about how to tackle things. It’s hard to think that people on earth will one day become unisex in every aspects of life.

  19. October 29, 2009 at 16:13

    As to whether true equality will ever be reached world-wide…
    1) Setting the goal is half-the battle. To quit the field because we can’t see the victory, means there is no chance for choice. Women fighting for equality from behind the hejab (sp?) are like adrenaline for the rest of us… and the more adrenaline pumped in, the more will be accomplished.
    2) There HAS BEEN progress (and even victory, as in Finland). As a student during the 60’s, there were practically no models of female success in any field outside of nursing and teaching. Today, in the US, there are models in every field… not necessarily paid equally or treated equally, but the models are the first and most important step, because concrete models encourage more and more women to follow their interests and talents… and sooner or later that number will hit critical mass to level the playing field of salary.
    3) Men are themselves more and more raising the ISSUE of and NEED for female equality. When the party pulling most of the strings believes the strings ought to be shared, then in another 50 years, I think the world will be as different then as it is now when compared with the 60’s.

  20. October 29, 2009 at 16:22

    Gender equality is an Utopian dream.Men and women have different functions as they have been endowed differently , both physically and mentally.
    Basic question is what is special about equality with men?To attempt something for which you are not meant for is foolish just as men can not have the unique status of motherhood.If by equality is meant equal opportunities with men in terms of profession,emoluments it is allright.But to demand equality in whatevr men do is self defeating.

    • 31 Linda from Italy
      October 29, 2009 at 17:08

      Does that then mean that women who can’t or don’t want to have babies aren’t women, and men who can’t or don’t want to fertilise and ovum aren’t men?
      We are much more than the sum of our reproductive parts and what issues form them?
      Sorry, these tried old biology arguments have had their day – may I refer you to Ann’s post.

  21. 32 John in Salem
    October 29, 2009 at 16:24

    It’s only impossible if everyone believes it is.
    While universal gender equality may still be a long way off I personally feel that it is enevitable because, like racial equality, it works to everyone’s advantage.
    We are no longer small bands of hunter-gatherers with our roles defined by the necessities of survival and although some may wish it were so, you cannot turn back the clock. This is one cat that is not going back in the bag.
    And if you try to tell my 6- and 9-year-old granddaughters they can’t do something because they’re girls – you’re on your own…

  22. 33 Jens
    October 29, 2009 at 16:40

    Ok unless we become hermophradiets we will never be absolutly equal. why have different sexes for them to be equal. Yes have equal rights, in terms of emplyment, pay, voted, education, chances etc, but leave women be women and men be men

  23. 34 steve
    October 29, 2009 at 16:44

    @ John

    Your granddaughters will never be able to bench press 300 lbs, evne if they took all the steroids on earth. There are physical differences that make people, well different. I was able to bench that much at one point, and I’m not remotely the strongest guy on earth, but there’s probably only a handful of women on earth who are stronger than I was, or can be if I try that again.

  24. 35 Colin Sundaram
    October 29, 2009 at 16:46

    29. 10. 09

    Dear Ros,

    In 25 years time the women in the Western Democracies and countries like Japan, Korea, China etc will be one hundred per cent equal to men without an iota of doubt. However, women in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Iran etc in a nutshell in the whole middle east will not be equal for another 100 years, that’s a century plus from now. If you or one is optimistic of the possibility of men and women riding neck to neck in all aspects of life except child bearing it will happen in less than two and half decades. And I believe it is the fundamental right of each female to be equal to men. Why on earth women who are equal to men in every respect other than physical to be inferior as stated in the HOLY QURAN! Women are not meant to be sexual slaves for men to sire.

  25. October 29, 2009 at 16:51

    We cannot explore gender equality without addressing stereotypes. Sensory mechanisms are used to predicate those differences and we instictively group people into categories to determine how each is treated.

    Our behaviors rule us on this decision, and because how we treat each other is subjective, the possibilities are endless. When we try to determine equality, taking into account countries of origin, culture, race and religion, it could feel a bit like rocket science. But knowledge is power and taking all these aspects into account, ‘respect’ is the basic tool to work with when assessing gender equality.

    Iceland has apparently implemented what was required to break down barriers.

  26. 37 Gary Paudler
    October 29, 2009 at 16:53

    Gender equality is every bit as impossible as the dream that the United States could ever elect a black president. I was about to write that if Obama does nothing else he has irreparably damaged the notion that one class of person is inferior to another, but he couldn’t have done that without the convictions held by more than half of Americans – makes me proud. Women, and virtually every other black man in America still lack true equality – and equality must be considered in social and political terms, not biological or theological – but it is not and must not be an impossible dream. Anybody who resists equality will be made the loser by history; I believe that it’s inevitable.

  27. 38 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    October 29, 2009 at 16:54

    I have been cauth offgaurd by this one but never mind, it is not a new one. I firmly believe that any individual man or woman can prove their worth in multiple ways rather than always resorting to activism which has at times been the bane of good relationship between sexes and harmony in societies.
    I need to tell this woman that she can exceed men if she has what it takes and making the right and decisions. It may not matter whether you live in Washington or Kabul. There are natural standards in life and challenges that one must overcome to attain success. It may not matter much whether you are man or woman or even a member of the royal family. So much craving for materialism has often left some of us with a pickled soul with misguided notions of happiness. Even money is not such an abstract item.

  28. October 29, 2009 at 16:59

    Gender equality is a reality. I have lived in a community seeing it work and function beautifully in New Zealand. I have also seen a big gap in India where I grew up. Now I am living in Saint Louis, U.S. and see the gender gap is much bigger than most developed countries. US is ranked 61st in political empowerment while India is ranked 24 which highlights the problems which we are facing here. We need to learn from Scandinavia and New Zealand to bring equality to women.

    Best Wishes,
    Ravi in St Louis, U.S.

  29. October 29, 2009 at 17:02

    Hold on, who said they should be equal?
    Man is man, woman is woman, who should be equal to who, and why? We are uniquely created, each bringing specialty and specialization. We should not waste our time arguing for equality, we should asked instead that all forms of gender based violence, discrimination, exploitation and all forms of gender injustices should be eradicated. When that is done, we will not have a woman who is equal to a man, or a man who is equal to a woman, but we will have men and women who are free to be the best they can be.
    I once read (Sociology of Development?) that women should not fight men, but join men to fight the issues that affect them. Guess that’s apt.

  30. 41 Tom K in Mpls
    October 29, 2009 at 17:03

    There are many facets to this. First, anything is possible. Regarding the picture, the question should be, can you make religious fundamentalists change their faith. If you get a yes on that, the end of the Taliban could be near. As for wages and salary, that is negotiated. Maybe hiring a pro could help. But with younger women there is the risk ( employers point of view ) of pregnancy. A production based system is fair and used in some jobs.

  31. October 29, 2009 at 17:08

    The real questions are: do woman have equal opportunity and are they compensated equally for the same work? Sadly, the answer to both questions is no. Western society is structured in ways that still funnel girls toward certain roles and careers. And women are still paid less for the same work that men do.

  32. 43 Luz Ma from Mexico
    October 29, 2009 at 17:09

    I dream of the day that men and women are given equal treatment in all aspects of their lives. I think it is possible, but there is the need of fundamental changes in how societies work.

    For instance, although in many countries women have more access to the labour market now than before, they still are doing the majority of the household and childrearing activities, so they end up working more hours, which delves in more stressed and tired lives. There is the need of change on societal patterns towards household and childrearing responsibilities among men and women living together.

    There are many examples in other aspects of society. In order to get equal treatment for men an women, the patriarchal system needs to end.

    • 44 Bert
      October 29, 2009 at 17:32

      Compelling women to work outside the home, as men have been compelled to do for time immemorial, is one great way to reduce the birth rate. This should definitely be a priority in the overpopulated nations.

  33. 45 Dennis Junior
    October 29, 2009 at 17:15

    [On air: Is gender equality an impossible dream?]

    No, it is not an impossible dream; It will take some time…

    ~Dennis Junior~

  34. 46 Momoh
    October 29, 2009 at 17:24

    here in Africa men and women are not equal, because of our mentality, why the western world are raising this kind of issue. on this earth we are not but in the present of almighty God we equal

  35. 47 Shannon in Ohio
    October 29, 2009 at 17:32

    It is depressing to see how many women around the world are still denied even the most basic rights, but I remain optimistic because I read and hear about brave women (and some men) literally risking life and limb to help eradicate those prehistoric attitudes that prevent little girls from learning to read and grown women from choosing whether or not they want to marry at all. It is sad to realize that the fight for gender equity will continue indefinitely–but it will continue–and that should give us all hope that a fairer world is at least possible.

  36. 48 lucky iyoha
    October 29, 2009 at 17:36

    women and men are supposed to be equal, but it is not just that men claims to be superior, women (mostly in Africa)accept inferiority.

  37. 49 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    October 29, 2009 at 17:49

    I think we should be aiming to reform the whole human society. We should however take note that some aspects of lives develop at slow pace but nevertheless there are subtle changes taking shape every now and then. In most societies it is all social groups that are disadvantaged by a few. Here at WHYS we have looked at some of these issues in the recent past. As long as education and health welfare ramain out of reach (corruption) for the majority of members of society, social inequalities and other disadvantages are going to be the norm and social welfare will remain a pipe dream.
    Do not forget that even in the so called primitive societies those who are well endowed do not refuse education to girls although this may apply in among the poor who end up being slaves of myths.

  38. 50 margaret
    October 29, 2009 at 18:01

    There are unavoidable gender differences, however, as equal as possible should be the norm. Same work, same pay for example. I doubt there will ever be complete equity–something simple like men making deals on the golf course will never change. It is shameful that in this day and age that so many women the world over are completely subjugated, denied basic rights, denied education, maltreated, etc. etc. even in “developed” countries for whatever reason. I think it is atrocious that female fetuses are selectively subjected to infanticide. I think a society is really hurting itself by devaluing half the population.

    Margaret Tacoma, WA

  39. 51 Dan
    October 29, 2009 at 18:03

    Women contribute to and support inequality by wearing a burlap sacks, or succumbing to wearing what someone else thinks is appropriate that day or what part of the bus they must sit in.
    When women are publicly punished or slaughtered for their protests and other women do not “en -masse” appear on the streets in protest they succumb and support inequality.
    Women have the power in gheir very hands to change their status but do not. Whose fault is that?

  40. 52 viola
    October 29, 2009 at 18:05

    Equal does not mean the same. Remember, 14 + 6=20. So does 10 + 10=20. Therefore, if men are accorded a larger number value based on nothing but power or prejudice, then in order for the sexes to become equal, you can do it either by changing attitudes to make sure the sexes start out with equal value or, if you cannot bring yourself to do that, you can do it by giving more value to the things women do.

    If you don’t see any reason to try to reach an outcome where both men and women equal 20, therein lies the problem.

  41. 53 Jessica in NYC
    October 29, 2009 at 18:09

    The simple and fundamental question is are equal rights a right or not?

    We are not physically equal, because biologically men, women and hermaphrodites are created differently. However, these differences should not be used as a reason to discriminate against one generate. If women do the same job as a man, then women should get the equal compensation and benefits.

  42. 54 Christopher
    October 29, 2009 at 18:13

    I think the very phrase “equally important roles” is nothing more than a euphemism for exploitation through enforced roles. To use an extreme example, I could say that both the captain and the rowers of a galley serve “equally important roles,” how convenient for the captain that he’s not chained to a bench.

  43. 55 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    October 29, 2009 at 18:14

    It seems as if we have taken serious attitude towards domestic chores even when this is becoming more irrelevant thereby leaving me wondering whether this is the objective. Most men and women do not even want to cohabit anymore. Most men have proved that they can take care of themselves including bringing up kids single handedly.
    How will it serve the interests of women to be persuaded to see themselves as Joan of Arc or believe that someone is creating a pedestal for them. In my opinion, we are all in for it. Do not forget that some of those biases some men have have been instilled by the same women through bad upbringing because I would have expected those boys brought by single women to be better behaved. This is not necessarily the case.

  44. 56 Dan
    October 29, 2009 at 18:15

    Ros,
    Here in America women are paid less due to their not having any committment to a career but rather to children & family.
    When a child is sick or family issues intervene a woman GENERALLY will abandon a career and attend to family matters.
    A man is by his nature committed to a career and getting ahead.
    Sounds Sexist?….your damn right it is but business is not a social experiment. We are in business to make profit.

  45. 57 Kate M.
    October 29, 2009 at 18:15

    Is gender equality an impossible dream? Yes, because there are people who will always want to dominate others and girls/women are easy targets.

    To me things like equal pay or who is staying home with the children are trivial when girls are being denied an education, forced into slavery, beaten, raped, and worse for simply being female. Let’s get basic rights equalized, then move to equal pay and etc.

  46. 58 viola
    October 29, 2009 at 18:15

    Yes, Dan. Someone once supported that argument by telling me of a 13 year old girl who caught her father off guard and hit him hard over the head with a baseball bat and then proceeded to beat him thoroughly and after that he stopped beating her up. Are you suggesting that it is the responsibility of weak people to become strong by the force of their will? Children, cripples, etc.? What a great world you envision.

    Isn’t it better to have values that don’t accept such meanness in the first place?

  47. 59 Kael
    October 29, 2009 at 18:17

    I don’t think that, in the United States, at least, we will ever have anything remotely resembling gender equality. I’m a female to male transgendered person, so I’ve had first-hand experience on both sides of this here in the US. I get treated differently based on what gender people assign to me. For example, the people who see me as a woman think that I don’t smile enough, and are constantly annoyed that I don’t defer to men. The people who think I’m a man make no comment on those things. In college, when people saw me as a guy, they’d take my the answers to my homework at face value. Yet once they figured out that my anatomy didn’t match my gender presentation, they suddenly needed to double-check my work. Gender difference is so ingrained here in so many different ways, gender equality – making decisions to trust or not trust information from an individual based on gender – just isn’t going to happen.

    Additionally, even if we manage to sort out the man/woman thing, we’re still going to have the trans/not trans gender inequality. People who stick with what they were assigned at birth are afforded a whole host of rights and privileges – from adequate affordable health care to job discrimination to marriage – that transgendered people are not given.

  48. October 29, 2009 at 18:22

    Jessica,

    I agree with you completely. There is so much harmony in the community where you share the benefits regardless of gender. Living in St. Louis, we have a long way to go bring equality especially state side when you compare it to New Zealand or Norway. I feel most people stateside don’t realize that we have such wide compensation gaps and political gaps in the US.

    Gender equality is a reality. I have lived in a community seeing it work and function beautifully in New Zealand. I have also seen a big gap in India where I grew up. Now I am living in Saint Louis, U.S. and see the gender gap is much bigger than most developed countries. US is ranked 61st in political empowerment while India is ranked 24 which highlights the problems which we are facing here. We need to learn from Scandinavia and New Zealand to bring equality to women.

    Best Wishes,
    Ravi in St Louis, U.S.

  49. 61 Summer
    October 29, 2009 at 18:23

    Regarding “Pink Stinks”: yes, please do a show on that!

  50. 62 Anna
    October 29, 2009 at 18:27

    Can we make a correllation between western European countries’ larger social safety net and gender equality? If women have to stay home with children in the US because they have hospital bills for childbirth or the high cost of childcare, it seems to follow that there will not be equality of opportunity.

  51. October 29, 2009 at 18:28

    Although Baseball is viewed as an American sport, internationally, it is estimated that 500,000 girls and women are playing the sport across the world, as supported by the International Baseball Federation. But, in America, girls are not encouraged to play – in some places they are discouraged. Interesting, in some countries Baseball is supported equally – in others women are striving to make their way into the sport. Next month, the Pan-American Baseball organization in Venezuela is hosting the latest tournament with Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela are participating: sending National Teams. But all of these efforts are token because the societies tend not to view women as viable players of the sport, when they have great success playing among men and in all-women’s leagues and on teams from Japan, Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Korea. The most recent effort in India represents the struggle women are faced with – but also the hope as men are supporting the women to thrive. However, women continue to be banned from the sport by Major League Baseball while the corporation supports girls playing Softball: which is simply a different sport entirely.

  52. 64 Summer
    October 29, 2009 at 18:28

    Dan,

    I’m calling BS on your statement about women and business. I’m a woman, but I have no children (and never will); please explain to me why paying me less on the basis of my gender for doing the same job as a man would be justified?

    Also, who takes off time for work for what is immaterial. Men take time off for various things too, and there are plenty of people of both genders who almost NEVER take time off work. When a woman and a man are at work doing the same job they need to be paid the same amount: if the work itself is worth $20 an hour, then you pay the person doing it $20 per hour that they spend working. Gender does not enter into it.

  53. 65 Tom in Florida
    October 29, 2009 at 18:28

    Here is the US our current health insurance system charges many times more for women’s premiums than for men. Most of the working U.S gets their health care costs covered by their employer. So, fair or not, women receive a larger financial benefit from their employer’s health care just because of their gender.

  54. 66 Scot
    October 29, 2009 at 18:30

    Men and women equal? Absolutely! However, at our home in Northern Virginia, my wife is twice as equal as myself.

  55. 67 Terria from New York
    October 29, 2009 at 18:30

    Ros that “Pink Stink” issue should be taken up in aother discussion, Gender equity is inevitable however it is going to a few decades maybe by the end of my
    life time. before it can happen societies is have can thier idiology and thoughts about women and their roles in society…

  56. 68 David Cox
    October 29, 2009 at 18:31

    It seems to me that men and women approach problems in different ways. When I went to the university of Miami for architecture, half my class was made up of women. I found that the women consistantly designed better buildings and complexes and I feel it was due to the fact that they pay more attention to the details that help you appreciate the design better. We need both men and women to create a society that is balanced.

  57. 69 Joe in Portland
    October 29, 2009 at 18:33

    I was thinking about gender “equality” just the other day and started wondering what that would mean. The main difference between the genders that I can see is that men are physically stronger in general, so in a future, “equal” society would a larger percent of men be blue collar laborers and women naturally be a larger percent of white collar jobs?

  58. 70 patti in cape coral
    October 29, 2009 at 18:36

    Hi Arthur – I agree that change in attitudes start with mothers educating their sons to respect women as they do themselves, and teaching their daughters to respect themselves as they do men. Is this an impossible dream? Not impossible, but sadly, improbable, I think.

  59. 71 viola
    October 29, 2009 at 18:37

    Fair enough, Dan. Not only should women support other women. So should men, if they disapprove of the public slaughter or other severe punishment of their mothers and daughters and sisters by hardliners.

    A few months ago, women did stand up in Afghanistan. Did their men?

    In Iran, women stood up with the men in all the protests. Should they have?

  60. 72 John in Salem
    October 29, 2009 at 18:37

    Steve~
    It’s true my granddaughters will probably never be able to bench press 300 lbs. – the point is that they will never tolerate someone telling them they can’t try.

  61. 73 Jens
    October 29, 2009 at 18:39

    Dan,

    behind every strong man is a stronger woman…….yes while i make “the money”, a lot of other things at home would be much harder without my wife sharing a larger burden. she has more or less given up on her carrer, still wants to fish her associates and get a job, because we moved and moved, so she could not finsh her degree. of course i can say well you sit at home while i work for 10 hrs a day, but then i would get cage rage if i would do the things she does, like renovating our house, clean etc etc and lately even started to cook dinner

    nevertheless, a woman doing the same job deserves the same pay, period.

  62. 74 archibald
    October 29, 2009 at 18:40

    Dan,
    If you are in business to make a profit then stop having kids and you might not have to work so much. Using self created responsibilities (ie. kids), to justify sexism is quite baffling. Women are quite committed by nature, waiting patiently for their capitalist husbands to remember to put some time and commitment into them and their children. If they don’t stop working and take care of things at home who will? Certainly not the all important bread winning male and his lust for profit. There are things that money cannot buy, at any price.

  63. 75 anne
    October 29, 2009 at 18:40

    In the US we may feel guilt for not being home with them when they are young, but then later we will feel guilt if we haven’t saved enough for them to go to college because we were home.

  64. 76 Lestrum
    October 29, 2009 at 18:40

    Well, I’m all for as much equality in the work place as possible though total equality in life or the workplace is impossible.

    That said, are the same women all for equality in the dating world and willing to pay their share of the check on dates?

    I’m tired of being expected to pay for women who make more than I do every time I decide to take some one out somewhere nice.

  65. October 29, 2009 at 18:42

    I want to address the idea that women are afraid to “short-change” their children by working longer hours. The idea that a child is short-changed by not having access to their mother should apply to both parents equally. Both mom and dad (or both moms, or both dads- essentially the people responsible for raising the child) are important in the child’s life, equally so. It’s not one gender over another, it’s the social pressure that moms are responsible for kids that causes stress. If we expect both sexes to be present in the child’s life, then mom working extra hours isn’t an issue per se- because there’s another parent there. If dad is always working long hours, it becomes an issue because he is shirking his duties as a parent.

  66. 79 Kristen
    October 29, 2009 at 18:46

    Two points:

    1) In the US, we won’t have gender equality until men and women share family responsibilities equally. My career was going very well until I had a baby (I’m a single mom). After that, when I was no longer able to put in long hours and give my undivided attention to my work, my career faltered. I’ve worked with many men who are able to have children AND focus on their careers because their wives are the primary caregivers of the children (whether they work outside the home or not).

    2) Although I have an undergrad degree in engineering and an MBA from one of the highest-ranked business schools in the world, I’ve been unemployed for the last year. In only one case out of the more than 50 applications I’ve made was the hiring manager a woman. Those who are in a position to hire tend to hire people like them, whether consciously or subconsciously. A female candidate is still limited by the fact that the workplace “culture” is predominantly male. If we’re willing and able to assimilate, speak the language, etc., we might get the job, but the odds are still against us.

  67. October 29, 2009 at 18:50

    And to the guest addressing Gen Y dads and Gen X moms, have you contemplated the possibility that the moms don’t have as much time to spend with the kids, because she still has to take care of house work, school/volunteer responsibilities, job responsibilities, and all the mundanities of family life that seem to fall on moms shoulders. Yes, I’m a Gen X mom, and my husband definitely spends more time with our son than I do- I’m busy working (I happen to be the primary bread winner), cleaning, going to parent meetings, and dealing with things like the car, any contractors, doctor appointments, etc. The problem of the second shift is still alive and well.

  68. 81 Tania
    October 29, 2009 at 18:52

    Gender equality is a dream today. But we need a little time to soak in the feminist revolution: we’re only talking about forty years of serious change since second-wave feminism really got on its feet. That’s one tiny generation.

    Many Gen X women like myself are confused and unhappy. In the U.S., men like to think they’re enlightened and that women are already equal. They’re often defensive if it’s suggested that they themselves promulgate sexist attitudes. Most of us here are inundated by sexist and racist media, and daily attitudes. Of course we have underlying sexist and racist issues to deal with!

    Getting out of DENIAL about this would be a good start.

  69. 82 Donna Prince
    October 29, 2009 at 18:57

    The problems with changing societal attitudes is demonstrated in the responses
    from the man who talked about the statistics of women’s opinions of being happy. He stated that women have equality and just don’t appreciate the choices we have.
    The women told him that it is not about the choices but the application of those choices. He told them that no, that is not the problem, but it was as he said it was. This demonstrates the problem with men qualifying women’s problems and the
    attitude that they don’t understand their own problems.

  70. 83 Kate M.
    October 29, 2009 at 18:58

    Gender roles are deeply engrained. Men are supposed to dominate and women are subservient. I think it’s an attitude that will never be totally changed. As much as I wish it could be changed, I don’t think it will.

  71. 84 Dan
    October 29, 2009 at 19:00

    @ viola
    Sadly EVERYONE has had to fight to be free. That is the way of the world. I might also add that no one has any right what so ever to beat a girl. They are monsters.
    Women have to stand up “en-masse” if they are ever to be free and equal.

    @ archibald
    I have older women who are through with raising families and they do well and get paid equally. Their committment is to a career.

  72. October 29, 2009 at 19:15

    @elina Why don’t Finnish women serve in the military like men for between 11months to 2 years like men,and then for 2 weeks every year until 50?they get a headstart in education while the men are freezing on the Russian border.
    Until a society can respect their mothers,sisters &daughters enough to give them equal rights under the law as well as in reality, lower class, gay,ethnic minority&disabled people and animals can not expect fair treatment.

    • 86 Elina, Finland
      October 30, 2009 at 08:29

      @Vijay, I think I got your point, but it seems the information you’ve got isn’t quite correct, so perhaps I can try and give an update here, although we now go off the original topic. In Finland, the mandatory military service for men is from 6 to 12 months, depending on the assigned position; women have been able to volunteer for military service since 1995. Reservists can be called to refresher exercises for a total of 40-100 days until they are about 50 years old; those exercises are held about every 3-7 years, though there is a great number of reservists who won’t be called there at all. Perhaps the advantage girls might get in education isn’t that evident, after all, and many girls also like to have a year or two off after finishing school and before they go on with their studies for example in the universities. Also, women’s career advancement later in their life is often “slowed down” due e.g. to maternity leave(s).

  73. 87 Alan in Arizona
    October 29, 2009 at 19:17

    I was raised by strong parents who instilled in me the value of women as equals. After my father died my mother was still as strong and if it wasn’t for her my life would be so different. As for equality, I’ve always gravitated to strong, intelligent women in relationships. My wife is as intelligent as I am and more so in many ways. We compliment each other as equals and strive to show our sons that everyone is equal, no matter what their sex, color or religion. Anything less is a dishonor to ourselves and those we deal with.

    Now we just need to get a woman as President of the USA and we’ll get things running right!

  74. October 29, 2009 at 19:18

    Hey Hillary Clinton&Barack Obama what happened to the ERA(Equal Rights Amendment) to the constitution.
    The USA is hampered by its constitution,it can not change quickly enough to meet modern needs

  75. 89 Liew Kevin
    October 29, 2009 at 19:18

    True, we want to work towards gender equality.
    However, it is almost impossible to be equal in all aspects.

    If all things are equal, should men get maternity leave when their wives give birth?
    Or should women be expected to take a husband’s place in a marriage?

    In advertising, we’ve seen women scantily clad, promoting items such as cars.
    Do you expect men to do this as well?

  76. 90 steve
    October 29, 2009 at 19:19

    Come on, you’re going into the gender gap myth again. The reason why the average man earns mor ethan the average woman, is because women tend to work fewer hours and go into lower paying fields like education and social work. If anything, studies show that women get paid more than men up to age 30 (when they start either quitting, or switching to part time). A woman working 15 hours a week as a substitute teacher is NOT going to make as much as a male lawyer who works 100 hours a week. You cannot just take averages of all wages like these myths do.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0334472920070803

  77. 91 steve
    October 29, 2009 at 19:20

    @ Vijay

    The ERA ultimately failed because it would mean that men and women would have to be treated equally in divorce courts, and women would have to register for the draft. Those results were not wanted.

  78. 92 Dan
    October 29, 2009 at 19:21

    @Vijay
    America is PROTECTED by our Constitution

  79. 93 steve
    October 29, 2009 at 19:22

    Your guest is talking about equal rights, but not equal responsibilies. Some of the responsibilities suck. I had to register for the draft. Women aren’t required to do that. How is that equality? It’s a requirement, a responsibility for me to do this, to potentially be drafted and be subject to losing my life for my country. Until women insist on this same responsibility, they will not be equal.

  80. 94 Neil
    October 29, 2009 at 19:24

    Can someone define in a very objective manner what is meant by gender quality?

  81. October 29, 2009 at 19:24

    I wonder why we are so reluctant to say that the women’s movement has not been as successful as we hoped. Women are less happy than they were forty years ago–perhaps because the women’s movement HAS benefited men more than women. Sex is free for men, but women still become ensnared if there is any fallout (i.e. a pregnancy, and having more access to abortion doesn’t free us from that fallout.). Motherhood has been relegated to another (often less dignified) lifestyle choice among many, when it is, in fact, a latent quality of our womanhood. If we choose to embrace that quality and stay home to raise our own children, we face isolation and disdain. If we leave our children to go to work, we do so at considerable cost to our consciences. There is conflict with any decision we might make.

    From a Master’s educated, Gen X, stay-at-home mother of five.

  82. 96 Elina, Finland
    October 29, 2009 at 19:24

    “Is gender equality an impossible dream?”

    My answer would be a cautious “No”. From my point of view it’s not an impossible dream. I have to admit though, that I don’t have to think about the issue that much; in my country it’s almost kind of a self evident fact; men and women are largely equal when it comes to e.g. education and work opportunities, political careers etc (women were granted full equal voting rights as early as in 1906). However, there are many aspects to this issue, and there is still work to be done. I’d think that somehow men are still regarded as having higher status in society, despite of the formal equality. Labour market is still highly gender-segregated; there are women’s professions and men’s professions, and the earnings of women are appr. 80% of those of men — the difference has been there for decades and it seems to be extremely hard to remove it! Also, I’d say that in many families the division of work, or responsibilities, is rather traditional, but this, of course, is not necessarily an issue of gender equality.

  83. October 29, 2009 at 19:25

    Gender equality is an absolute must in this day and age. Women are just as intelligent as men and their contributions to the home, the country and society are enormous. Of course there are inherent differences but these are complementary.Equality of opportunity is vital if we are to evolve to a higher state. We should not allow men to subjugate women in any way.

  84. 98 Emmanuel in New Jersey
    October 29, 2009 at 19:25

    Gender inequity is a tool used by men to suppress there female counterparts there is no justification. Carrier wise

  85. 99 Manoj(US)
    October 29, 2009 at 19:26

    Gender equality in modern conscious world is truely possible…but the key to is not competing on each others strong points but rather put them together to built a better world. we cannot gauge women inequality in term of a certiain position in society which either man or the concerned woman could be the best choice. Unless men and women respects each other instead of conflicting in Ideas gender equality cannot be obtained even when we have reached the pinnacle of social alertness in a modern world.

  86. 100 Jens
    October 29, 2009 at 19:28

    steve,

    that is one of the issues, equal rights entail equal responsibilities. HOWEVER, this goes both ways.

  87. 101 steve
    October 29, 2009 at 19:28

    What does that single mother want? She said she’s a single mother, so there’s no man even involved here. Is she wanting to get paid for staying home from work? How is it unequal that her career went downhill when she had a child? That’s what happens, you have a kid to take care of, especially when you’re doing this as a single mother. I don’t know what you even want? Your same pay as if you were working full time, yet you not working? YOu want the state to pay for your day care? What is it? And why if you want the state to deal with this, is it my responsibility to pay for your children?

    Virtually every married couple I know, the guy works, and works a lot, the woman doesn’t work much if at all, and insists on doing only 50% of the housework if even that. In many cases, they have a maid doing the housework. YOu don’t work, and yet you get a maid?

  88. 102 Charlotte in Houston
    October 29, 2009 at 19:35

    As a new mother I feel I am fighting for equality against men but also against other young women who do not have spouses or families. I cannot put in extra hours. Nor do I want to. I know this goes against me in my managers’ eyes.

  89. 103 steve
    October 29, 2009 at 19:36

    @ Jens

    I would much rather have to do more than my fair share of housework (the worst complaint here) than get killed in some far off land, against my will, being paid peanuts.

    Do you know that if a male doesn’t sign up for the draft, not only could he get arrested, but he will also be denied student loans, meaning if he’s not independently wealthy, he is denied a college education. Not a single woman in the USA is subjected to this.

  90. October 29, 2009 at 19:37

    Equality between men and women depend on new notions that should obliterate the archaic views that men and women each have a place that neither should leave. Equality should start at home and school where girls and boys receive equal treatment and are given the same chances to achieve.

    As long as many girls are deprived of education, they will remain their whole lives deprived of achieving any great success and thus subject to inequality they have no skill to fight.

  91. 105 Peter in jamaica
    October 29, 2009 at 19:42

    A woman can be just as good as a man but it’s impossible because women want to be treated equal but once they are treated as equal they start to complain that they are girls/women and should not be treated that way. Women want it both ways and its not possible. Sorry ladies.

  92. 106 Sheel
    October 29, 2009 at 19:45

    Gender Equality seems an impossible dream in those backward and orthodox societies which have assigned the traditional role as a submissive tolerant and respectful towards man. But Gender Equality is an ambitious and good role after all it provides equal opportunities to men and women in all fields. It do allows women to excel in those fields which they were bared form before, And According to a survey conducted recently women are much capable than men of managing a company. Thus Both Men and women are unique in there respect, And each of the two sexes must respect each other and this all the basis of Gender Equality which is really not much of a difficult task if it overcomes personal insecurity and religious and orthodoxy privileges in some states. In the society in which I live, I guess there is no concept like Gender Equality, Every working women feels insecure in her working place with her male co workers, but when you see the broader picture of my society Gender Equality is frozen and is not discussed due to religious obligations and personal insecure.
    (I live in Kuwait)

  93. 107 Jens
    October 29, 2009 at 19:45

    steve,

    the entire thing reciprocal, eg. in switzerland women can retire at age 63 and men have to work 65. we both know which sex dies younger than the other, should it be not be at least equal?

  94. October 29, 2009 at 19:46

    Well you have to consider the ratio between how many women vs men are actually opting for a job with a majority of women choosing to stay home and be the homemaker. If you put a monetary figure on this, the gap should come down a bit. This does put a lower number of women in the job market less. There is a very large number of men working than women here because of this. Next it’s the kind of jobs that are seen as women’s jobs, like receptionists and secretaries to name a few. These jobs are of course less paying and this brings down the average index. Of course I’m talking about my own city experience. Over here I have not found that there actually is a difference between salaries between the genders, so when I hear that a man and a woman are paid differently for the same job is kind of strange for me. Sometimes though, it gets easier to get a big job if you are a man, especially with vacancy advertisements saying that women and people of ‘lower-caste’ or noted down as ‘indigenous’-ethnicity will be given preference. That is not equality. Personally I think I would have had a better job if I had been a woman than a man right now. Of course a lot of women in the less urban and villages here go through a repressed and don’t have any opportunity and much needs to be done in that region.

    Talking about the policy of offices and political tickets putting aside a number of seats that the rules says they HAVE to set aside, I think this is like saying women are weaker so if they these seats weren’t set aside there would be no way they would be able to hold them.

  95. 109 steve
    October 29, 2009 at 19:47

    @ Jens

    Is true equality really even sought after?

  96. 110 Francoise, Berlin
    October 29, 2009 at 19:48

    Countries like Iceland, Sweden and Finland lead the way. Until there is legislation that pushes equality, for example: enabling men to take paternity leave, and making daycare more available, thus allowing women the choice to return to work after having children, there is no equality.
    Two more things already exist in these countries that will further increase gender equality: 1. quotas for executive positions, as in Sweden and 2. laws prohibiting sexual exploitation of women in advertising, thus changing gender stereotypes and setting healthier role models for future generations.

  97. 111 Will
    October 29, 2009 at 19:50

    Greetings,
    To be honest with you, I think that in the years to come gender equality will be realized, but we (the entire world) need to work on it at the present. I think that one thing that we could do collectively to help the gender equality would be to with strain ourselves with regards to producing offspring. We need to convince the masses that fewer offspring would be beneficial not only to gender equality but for the carrying capacity of the planet itself. We need to temper our egos long enough to realize that if we don’t slack off producing offspring, we will outreach the planet’s carrying capacity and then mother nature will weed some of out for us. With fewer babies to be reared them there would be less conflict as to who should spend the time rearing them. We can “kill two birds with one stone” here people.

  98. October 29, 2009 at 19:51

    I also feel that the world EQUAL is not right. No two people are equal. No two people will be looked at by anyone in the same way.

  99. 113 steve
    October 29, 2009 at 19:53

    There should never be any “shoulds” involved with elected officials. People vote for who they want to, they should NEVER be told who to vote for. If people want to vote for a woman for president, they will, but there should not be a requirement that a President be female.

    If people want one, they will vote for one.

  100. 114 Raymond Mwanza
    October 29, 2009 at 19:54

    This is an argument of theory vs fact. Thinking that genders will ever be equal is the same as assuming that the races will someday be equal. There will always be differences. The best way forward would be to allow women all the same opportunities as men and let each individual make up their mind as to where they want to fall.

    Zambia

  101. 115 CJ McAuley
    October 29, 2009 at 19:55

    I am a 51 year-old man who believes that, fundamentally, men are asses. For although we are usually larger and stronger physically; we are also usually very feeble emotionally. I believe it boils down to what we call “ego”; and the “ego” of most men is more fragile than that of a woman. In fact, most of us never pass beyond the mentality of a teenager!

    • 116 STEPHEN /PORTLAND
      October 29, 2009 at 21:36

      You know I totally agree with you. I think Woman is way smarter and more capable than men. But they have terrible battles with personality changes due to hormones, which is not there fault its just genetics.

  102. 117 Jens
    October 29, 2009 at 19:59

    steve,

    the aim for equality is a noble one. the reality is that there are simply differences and barriers that cannot be broken down, due to evolutionary development. HOWEVER, we should strive for the best and simple steps like equal pay (still a major issue, I know about it because I had to push for my female techs to get the same as my male techs) etc etc are simple right one cannot discuss away.

  103. 118 Listener
    October 29, 2009 at 20:05

    It is all failure that man doesn’t want to be a man and woman doesn’t want to be a woman.

  104. October 29, 2009 at 20:12

    Steve, Thomas and several others talk about how women shouldn’t expect totally equal treatment until they are willing to step up and join the military. Have they considered that many women perhaps have other views on how the country should be run and defended? Women should not need to conform to the violent patriarchic structure of war to be able to contribute and be compensated in our societies.

  105. October 29, 2009 at 20:13

    Steve, Thomas and several others talk about how women shouldn’t expect totally equal treatment until they are willing to step up and join the military. Have they considered that many women perhaps have other views on how the country should be run and defended? Women should not need to conform to the violent patriarchic structure of war to be able to contribute and be compensated fairly in our societies.

  106. 121 kwame
    October 29, 2009 at 20:27

    Hello,
    Gender equality militates against peaceful marriages and must not be encouraged in any sense.
    Gravity reversed will always be awkward. Two kings cannot rule in one territory. One must always submit for the sake of peaceful co-existence, if not the extreme case will be for both parties to pull punches to back their interest. And in the end, who will loose. Women.
    Naturally, their makeup is their enemy. Neglect of their natural role of housekeeping for breadwinning has produce all the manner deviant children in society.
    The sad thing is men are helping them to fight for equality. If not were will be their strength.
    Unfortunately,the fight is man+women against men but if it has been men to women, they would have long surrendered. Women will always be woman but not men. Thanks

  107. 122 kwame
    October 29, 2009 at 20:49

    If it is indeed a fight for equality, then let each gender defend their causes.
    When men loose their sense of direction and responsibility they relinquish their role to women.
    If men will indeed be men, the struggle by women will cease.
    Shame to all men advocating equality with women.They are indeed women, because it is only women who will advocate for women.
    If women should rule then men should be pregnant. Women should metamorphous into men to help save their breath. That will be real equality

  108. 123 Miriam in SLC, UT
    October 29, 2009 at 21:53

    There are differences between men and women, and there are certain things that will never produce equality…having babies, for example.

    However, with equal access, their is no reason that men and women can’t get the same education, jobs, parents (and the same time off for a sick child), and even buy cars.

    The problem is that people don’t want to give up their notions of what women are allowed to do and where they should be. In the 21st century, it amazes me that in (so-called) first-world, civilized countries, there is still this enormous amount of bias, bigotry and prejudice against women, people of color, people with disabilities and more. I’m not at all surprised that America has fallen back. Look at who is trying to run our country – even though they were roundly voted out.

    I have no problem if people CHOOSE to wear traditional, religious garb or follow dietary laws.

    The issue is, can they CHOOSE, and what may happen to someone who CHOOSES not to?

    • 124 Ronald Almeida
      November 1, 2009 at 02:09

      In a canton in Switzerland the women refused the vote, because they said they had better things to do. I agree with them it’s for those who have the vote to see that all are treated equal. After all democracy does not allow every ones opinion only of the majority. why should every one waste their time with duplicating the effort?

  109. 125 vijay pillai
    October 29, 2009 at 21:53

    Men and women are different and it is foolish political correctness to claim they are equal.I find it annoying that in order to appear equal women dress like men for almost a decade and the beauty i used to admire lost their shine. Look at the beauty of famous singers and stars now more of muscle men than woman. I hope some realise that femininity is like admiring the poetic beauty of virgin rainforest like amazon. Now look at the vanishing rainforest,all look like it has lost its beauty.I find some rural women are more beautifull than city women full of make up and look more like men indeed.

  110. 126 T
    October 30, 2009 at 01:10

    Yes. Because men still have the power. And many will literally fight you to the death to keep it.

  111. October 30, 2009 at 04:07

    Impossible? There shouldn’t be such words in anybody’s dictionary if he or she wants to achieve something.
    I think women should realize they are entitled to their right of equality & need not wait for others to give it. They should refuse to become second class citizens. They should feel they are equal to men in every sphere & take it from the societies they live in. This change should come from within. First feel it, fight for it & then get it.
    Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa

  112. 128 Audrius Kviliunas
    October 30, 2009 at 10:01

    Absolutely equal man and woman can be only in Human Rights.In developed countries this is little problem.More acute this problem is in Islam countries,India,China.If in theese parts of Earth in families is very acute question who will be born girl or boy and borning of girl create problems-there are big gender unequality.Only when borning child in Islam countries,India and China create happines,undependebly of what gender this child is,only then we can speak about big step in equalness of genders on the Earth.

    • 129 joyce apo
      October 30, 2009 at 19:02

      i do agree with with your assertion. the fact that being born a male or female should not be the issue, the crust of the matter lies in the DISCRIMINATION between the sexes by the society at large.

  113. October 30, 2009 at 10:50

    I think gender equality a realistic goal with time and hard work. In the past centuries, I do not think countries were even ranked in terms of gender equality. However, over time and with hard work women suffrage was obtained and today the struggle continues to make it better for all in other works of life. We should not give up, but carry out more sensitazations in places were women are heavily marginalized.

    I live and study in Japan, but do not know which place/rank have they in terms of gender issues. However there is a good sign of improvement. I belive with time the world will overcome this issue.
    In Japanese we say “頑張りましょう”。

  114. 131 fmog
    October 30, 2009 at 11:39

    There can never be true equality between the sexes. We are too fundamentally different, mentaly, physically and in our instincts. Unless we evolve into an androgenous species there is no chance, even then there would be the dominant and the passive just as now.

  115. 132 Josiah Soap
    October 30, 2009 at 11:50

    @Steve – its the same in many aspects of life. With all the complaining about how unequal women are I would agree in addition to your points there are (these apply to developed countries)
    – special educational grants for women only
    – career training grants for women only
    – divorce courts rule in favor of women, esp. when kids are involved
    – health care/health awareness is 40X more than men despite men suffering more illnesses and dying younger
    – reverse discrimination in employment, jobs given preferentially to women whether they are better quailifed or not
    – Womens studies departments in almost every university (there are no mens studies departments)
    – Womens shelters, no mens shelters despite men reporting to be victims of domestic violence as well
    – Many womens only facilities in gyms/clubs
    – Women can make statements about men, but in reverse it results in prosecution
    -A lot of false sexual harrassment claims are made, and even if discovered, few are prosecuted
    The list goes on, equality doesn’t mean just getting the good bits!

  116. 133 scmehta
    October 30, 2009 at 14:06

    Yes, the idea about complete equality is untenable and fundamentally flawed; but of course, the inequality should be based upon discretion, born out of universal qualitative judgment, and it should in no way lead to any unjust discrimination. There are certain natural compulsions, which will always resist gender equality; the compulsions about certain exclusiveness or limitations of the female gender, like those of modesty, physical strength, pregnancy etc.

  117. 134 clarence mcmullen
    October 30, 2009 at 14:51

    In the ecnomic and politial sense gender euality is a must and a prerequisite for a just and civilised society. But biologically it is not possible. Women have certain biological traits which are superior to men and visa versa.

  118. 135 David
    October 30, 2009 at 16:08

    I do not understand what you mean by equality. Equality of what. Until we define what we mean by women/men equality, I personally do not see sense of this debate.

    Are we debating the equality of human rights, the right of belonging, the right of equal pay. If so Yes we are equal. But otherwise we are very different. Women get pregnant and give birth to babies without which the world would have no people. Women and men use separate toiletls why? Women use dresses but en don’t why? And many more differences.

    So please narrow or properlly define the definition of men/women equality.

  119. 136 Ronald Almeida
    October 30, 2009 at 16:12

    Of course women must be equal as rights go. But should not mistake rights for similarity. A women cannot desire to be a man and vice versa.The modern woman is often confused about this. Not that men are not.

  120. 137 Gerard Westhoff
    October 30, 2009 at 18:33

    Correction: It should read:

    “Is equality among races or cultures an impossible dream? ”

    If I phrase a question like this, a lot of people get very nervous and angry and will emphatically answer “NO”!!

  121. 138 joyce apo
    October 30, 2009 at 18:49

    i will look at gender equality from the feminist perspective-it’s not realistic! our decisions made in Ghana are skewed towards the male perspective in parliament , while the few female parliamentarians smile and say ‘aye’ to every bill that is passed in to law. our Ghanaian society does not make room for the equality of the sexes but for the domination of men. the notion of the sexes enjoying equal opportunities in every sphere of life in Ghana is like looking into heaven whiles your feet are burning in hell!

  122. 139 JanB
    October 31, 2009 at 02:25

    – Is the idea that men and women can have equal opportunity in every part of their lives fundamentally flawed?

    No, and I believe most developed nations, as well as some communist states are already there.

    – Is gender equality a realistic goal? Are the societies we live able to support such a fundamental change in how we live?

    Yes, and no. In aforementioned nations women can rise to high positions and even become head of state (and they have), but that means they can only spend little time with their children and a lot of women simply don’t want that, so they work less hours, consequently get paid less and reach high positions less often.
    Of course for centuries men at high positions have had the exact same problem, not being able to see their children very often, so this doesn’t make for gender-inequality, but women themselves often see this differently, even though men and the law do not.
    So 50/50 representation in executive boards and politics is impossible, not because of discrimination by men or the law, but because of the maternal instinct of women.

  123. 140 brassbanjo
    October 31, 2009 at 11:25

    This is of course a meaningless question until “equality” is defined.
    Is an apple equal to an orange?

    If you define it in terms of men and women being represented
    in equal numbers in all professions, and receiving equal pay,
    then it is clear the only way anything like this will ever happen
    is in some kind of global command economy.

    However any government big enough and powerful enough
    to hold such a system together would be a dictatorship.
    Men and women would then be equal – equal slaves.

  124. October 31, 2009 at 15:33

    There’s a lot of toffee talked outside WHYS on this subject. The lowest common denominator is equal rights which 80%+ of women in the world do not have. When that is achieved, a sophisticated discussion can be advanced.

  125. October 31, 2009 at 17:09

    Equality ?

    To make men and women “equal” we need “organ donors” twice as much !

    I mean the love organs!

    Anyone there ?


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