A collection of extracts on what’s being said about gender equality in our world.
How Iceland’s reaction to the 2008 crash made it the best place in the world to be a woman
Joanne Lipman, Business Insider UK, Feb. 8, 2018
Among financial journalists, the gallows-humor joke was that there wouldn’t have been a crisis if we had “Lehman Sisters” instead of Lehman Brothers. And it’s true, as writer Michael Lewis noted in his book Boomerang, that the U.S. and Iceland had that in common: women had virtually nothing to do with the disastrous financial bets in either country.
What’s more notable, though, is how each country responded. In the U.S., the men who crashed the economy remained at their posts. In Iceland, the men were sent to jail. Women replaced them. Two of Iceland’s three banks named women as their new presidents. The entire Icelandic government resigned, right up to the prime minister, the swashbuckling cheerleader of the business Vikings. He too was replaced by a woman, Jóhanna Sigurdarծottir, the first openly lesbian leader of any country in history.
The head of Iceland’s Chamber of Commerce, also a woman, spoke for many when she derided the “man-made” crisis as a “penis competition” among bankers.
It was an extraordinary phenomenon. It’s as if an entire population rose up, unified, with a single objective: to flush the testosterone out of its system. It flew in the face of thousands of years of history, turning upside down a culture that had always celebrated its bloodthirsty Viking heritage.
Shorter Work Week May Also Help Gender Equality In Iceland
Paul Fontaine, Grapevine, Feb. 8, 2018
A lawyer for the government employees union contends that amongst the positive effects of a shortened work week would be greater gender equality. Localised experiments with a shortened work week in Iceland have already shown positive results.
Sonja Ýr Þorbergsdóttir, a lawyer for the Confederation of State and Municipal Employees of Iceland, explained for RÚV that about a third of women in Iceland only work part time, the main reason being that they are traditionally tasked with caring for the family. If the full time work week was shortened, she contends, then men and women could more evenly share family duties.
“We know that this increased responsibility that women shoulder, especially in so-called ‘unpaid labour’, in household and family care, results in lower pay and a decrease in employment possibilities,” she said.
These are not just speculations on her part, either. Sonja points out that studies conducted in France and Switzerland have shown that a decreased full time work week has a positive effect on the participation of women in the work market.
Most recently, the City of Reykjavík conducted a year-long experiment with a shortened work week for some of its employees. Despite the work week in these places being up to five hours shorter, productivity and costs remained the same. At the same time, employees reported greater work satisfaction, fewer sick days, and a greater level of well-being in general.
The new face of gender equality
Vitit Muntarbhorn, Bangkok Post, Feb. 9, 2018
A few days ago, Malaysia’s highest court, the Federal Court, passed a judgement in favour of a Hindu woman whose husband had changed his religion to Islam, without her knowledge, and whose husband then changed the religion of the children to Islam, without the mother’s consent.
The court underlined that consent on the part of both parents was needed to change the religion of the children.
The case in Malaysia is significant for at least two reasons.
Firstly, it was a civil court in the form of the Federal Court which confirmed that civil jurisdiction prevails over religious jurisdiction; the matter at hand was/is one to be decided by the civil court rather than the religious court.
Second, the case vindicated women’s rights in family matters on the basis of gender equality. It was inspired by a gendersensitive understanding of the Federal Constitution itself as well as the fact that Malaysia (like all Asean countries) is a member of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
Vote 100: Three generations on how far UK has come and work still to be done for gender equality
ITV Report, Feb. 5, 2018
Britain still has “a long way to go” to achieve true gender equality almost 100 years on from women winning the right to vote.
Three generations of women told ITV News “significant” strides had been made but more needs to be done, a day ahead of the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act
Gender pay gaps and pregnancy discrimination still exist much like they did a century ago.
But they told ITV News that the legacy of prominent Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst lives on and continues to inspire many people.
Plans for statues of Pankhurst and Millicent Fawcett are in place for Manchester and Westminster later this year.
Birmingham women address gender equality in the Magic City
Stephanie Rebman, Birmingham Business Journal, Feb 7, 2018
Forty-one Birmingham women will join a national effort next week to provide guidance and insight to fellow women in the metro area for Mentoring Monday.
Today’s installment leading up to next week’s event asks the mentors: “What needs to happen for there to be more gender equality in Birmingham?”
Tuesday we asked mentors if having a mentor is necessary. See their answers here.
Monday we asked mentors what their top piece of advice is for other women in the Magic City. See their answers here.
For more information on the Feb. 12 Mentoring Monday event and to see the full lineup of mentors, click here.
Let’s hope this isn’t mere propaganda and window-dressing.
The IOC takes historic step forward to advance gender equality following Executive Board approval of bold recommendations
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is forging a bold new path in advancing gender equality in the sporting arena and beyond, as the IOC Session received today an update from the Gender Equality Review Project. Following the IOC Executive Board approval of 25 bold and challenging recommendations, the IOC is leading the way in raising awareness of the importance of gender equality on and off the field of play.
From governance to human resources, to funding, sport and portrayal, the IOC is focusing on achieving tangible results to strengthen gender equality across the entire Olympic Movement through these action-oriented recommendations. The ultimate goal is to assist in removing barriers preventing women and girls from participating in sport at all levels.
Chair of the IOC Gender Equality Review Project Marisol Casado said: “While recent years have seen improvements in gender equality in sport, we need more, and we need to do it quickly. These 25 recommendations aim to make substantial change and swiftly. The IOC is in a prime position to lead the way in bringing parity in gender equality, and today’s decision is a giant step forward toward achieving our objective.”
There are 25 recommendations: 8 in areas in which the IOC has already made significant progress; 8 of which the IOC will lead with an implementation plan currently under development; and 9 of which are for International Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to lead. The next step is to publish the full report and develop an approach to undertake gender equality assessments within the broader Olympic Movement and beyond.
The Gender Equality Working Group was led by Casado, an IOC Member and President of the International Triathlon Union. She was joined by IOC Members, NOCs, and Summer and Winter IF representatives who had been selected for the leadership of gender equality efforts within their own organisations.
These 25 recommendations aim to make substantial change and swiftly. The IOC is in a prime position to lead the way in bringing parity in gender equality.Marisol Casado
Until it is substantiated in a court of law, the Golden Age of Gaia does not share the unfavorable view of the Obamas put forth in the mainstream or alternative press.
Former first lady Michelle Obama talks education, gender equality in Montreal
Months after her husband delivered a speech to a sold-out crowd, it was her turn to take the stage.
Obama took part in an hour-long question-and-answer session in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 10,000 people at the city’s convention centre.
Obama highlighted the importance of education for youth to reach their full potential, regardless of the colour of their skin.
But, she added, adults had a role to play by setting examples and providing confidence — in particular for little girls who see few women in positions of power.
“I say that to all the fathers, brothers and husbands in this room,” Obama said. “If you are not making space for women in your offices, just think about what that’s doing to the girls that you think you love.
Canada makes national anthem gender neutral
Malay Mail Online, Feb. 3, 2018
OTTAWA, Feb 3 — Canadians will soon be singing a new tune after parliament passed a bill to change the lyrics of the national anthem to make it gender neutral.
Only one line in O Canada was amended, from “True patriot love in all thy sons command” to “True patriot love in all of us command.”
But it has caused quite a stir.
“It’s about two words,” Senator Frances Lankin told reporters. “But it’s huge in terms of one of our major national symbols, the anthem we sing with pride about our country.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the move “another positive step towards gender equality,” while feminist author Margaret Atwood, who has been pressing for this since the 1980s, tweeted her thanks to lawmakers.