International Women's day - Still needed


Friday, 08/03/2019 (but also Saturday in some shops) was international women's day. Indeed, still an important day as long as women have fewer chances (in many countries around the world) and earn less for the same work. It is partially understandable that fewer women are at top positions because mainly men progressed in the past who don't want to sacrifice their own career in favour of women. However, the difference in wages is difficult to understand as one may assume that each company has at least guidelines what people earn in a certain position, certainly at the start of their career. But yes, in the private sector, men may ask quicker a (bigger) increase in wages or threaten to go to another company. If men are valued higher or are seen as more ambitious because they are more aggressive in their demand for higher wages, than indeed, companies will agree with higher wages for men than for women. But, as companies start to experience that women are equal and sometimes better than men, attitudes are changing to keep good employees.

Equality between men and women should be naturally although that doesn't necessarily mean men and women can do the same but at least the same possibility should exist so those who want to do something can go for it

Recently there was an interesting discussion about the history of women which is almost non-existent (a word says it all: his story). I agree with the initiative the women proposed: new street names should be named alternating after a man and a woman so that important historical people of both sexes become known and people will appreciate more the contribution women had throughout human history. Maybe temporarily even two women for each man. I think we should also rename places that are named after unpleasant men with the name of remarkable women. An example and certainly now that Brussels is renovating its tunnels, is to rename the "King Leopold II Avenue", also known as the Butcher of Congo, into for instance Queen Elisabeth if we remain in royalty as she helped soldiers during WWI.

The discussion also mentioned that quota for women in politics (at least for now) should be 50% men/women on election lists and I think alternating. Indeed, women can still vote for men such as many did during the latest US presidential election and the result is Mr Trump defeated Mrs Clinton (although she received slightly more votes) but at least women will be on the list and people can choose. Thus, as long as political parties exist (I'm in favour of movements), a quota will force parties to search actively for women and help them in their career. And if certain parties can't find sufficient numbers of women than those parties will have to question themselves why few women want to join them. The punishment should be that, if women are not prepared to join a party than this means shorter lists as 50% of candidates must be women and thus parties must actively search for women who are given a chance to become important or they will not join. Of course, in a system with only one remaining person per party in the final election round, it should be possible only candidates of the same sex remain to compete with each other but at least during previous rounds voters should have had the chance to vote for candidates of either sex in a 50% ratio. It is more difficult for presidential elections when persons may actively decide to run, and here I think movements are better so persons can rise above party politics (remember the movement of now President Macron).

Still, the difference with men: many men, if they can't get a good position on an election list or can't climb sufficiently the career ladder in a company, either they change party or work or they start their own party or company and surround themselves with people they can trust. Maybe women should complain less and do as those men: start their own party or company, have a good program and ideas and campaign hard to proof female candidates can be strong persons. Of course, a quorum will block only women parties.

Private sector versus public services
To become a more equal society is not easy. I think companies can employ who they want but, certainly when they are listed on stock exchanges, they should publish a list of their (top) managers so people can check whether the companies believes in equality and, if few women are in managerial positions than people can decide to buy from a more gender-neutral company. Still, societies may decide to set quota for managements so they must reflect society although that may result in lesser candidates.

However, in the administration of countries, i.e. civil services, I think that the top should reflect society and thus the management should be composed with about as many men as women but also people from other background so they reflect society. This does not apply for parliament and governments because here people choose candidates from lists that should be 50% men/women whereby ministers should first be elected for parliament and when they choose to form governments with only men than people can vote during a next election for candidates who are in favour of equality. But, it can be expected that civil servants in top position will demand that procedures to employ people are not biased towards either male or female although it is possible that certain jobs have fewer females when labour is heavy although nowadays equipment can lighten jobs. Of course, the best candidates need to be selected and thus for government administration, fair selections via exams should select the best candidates while I think it should be possible that good employees can progress in their career until a certain level when equal numbers of male and female should be present (although I know that certain jobs attract more women than men). Within these jobs, men and women should earn similar wages.

Still some way to go before everyone finds equality between men and women normal and quotas are no more needed. In the West, people start to find it not normal that men earn more than women for the same work (and often they earn the same) while in other parts of the world attitudes still need to start changing. And thus, when equality between men and women is reality in one society, women and men may still speak out in support of women who live in societies where this equality doesn't exist yet. But in those societies, the 50% rule is no longer needed. Because, the problem with this rule is that it may be possible that there are more persons of a certain sex interested in climbing the career ladder than the other sex, still, this rule is 50% and thus can cause problems. But, that may be a price to pay if this means more equality between men and women.

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