Gender Equality (English: "Gender Equality" ) is the process of actual equality of sexes and gender identities in legal terms and in terms of their personal and professional development potential in a society ( equal opportunities ). Equality as an expression of social justice leads to equal participation in personal development opportunities. In this way, gender equality also creates the freedom and social space to realize individual life plans.
Instead of the older term equality between women and men , the more neutral expression gender equality has recently been preferred. This is to refer to the equal right to equality of men, women and people of different sexes .
- The concept of equality goes beyond that of equal treatment i. S. v. UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women . Equal treatment means avoiding direct or indirect discrimination against people in all areas of life. It implies that equal treatment is not enough to create equal opportunities for all; In addition, equality must be actively promoted.
- The concept of equality aims to ensure that people are legally treated equally. Here, too, the term falls short, since equal legal treatment does not automatically lead to de facto equal treatment, i.e. gender equality.
- For the general term of equality see the definition of terms under equality , which also refers to the forms of equality efforts in connection with other disadvantaged population groups.
Requirements for equality policy
Equality between men and women
Gender equality policy is legitimized
- through the commitment of the international community to the principle of equal rights for men and women
- through actual gender inequality
- by assuming that certain inequalities are not biological and therefore modifiable
- through the assumption that the free decision of the disadvantaged is not guaranteed even under conditions of legal equality (i.e. that de facto equality has not yet been achieved).
In particular, gender segregation in the labor market forms a basis on which inequalities arise and can persist.
Unequal situation between men and women
Gender equality policy assumes that the situation of women and men in society is unequal. For example, the Equal Opportunities Act of the State of Baden-Württemberg states:
The aim of the law is the professional advancement of women while preserving the priority of aptitude, ability and professional performance (Article 33, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law), in particular the improvement of access and advancement opportunities for women, a significant increase in the proportion of women in areas in which they are less represented than men and the elimination of existing disadvantages [...].
The unequal situation of men and women in many occupations is not always the result of direct discrimination. According to the OECD, the different education and career choices of women and men are significantly influenced by gender-specific stereotypes . The different proportions of women in the subjects are also an expression of different interests. According to the Federal Statistical Office, there were 12,690 male first-year students studying electrical engineering in the 2011/12 winter semester, while 1,357 women were enrolled. Conversely, 10,825 women and 3,009 men enrolled in German studies.
Institutionalized measures, which include a targeted granting of certain advantages to disadvantaged groups and thus aim at equality, are referred to as affirmative action or "positive discrimination".
Disadvantages for women
The inequality in terms of professional advancement, promotion conditions and participation rates is quantified, for example, in a document from the Equal Opportunities Office of the City of Basel as follows (compressed representation):
|Matura or higher education||Basel, 2000||36.4%||40.8%||-||-|
|Entry university||Switzerland, 2001||49.8%||50.2%||-||-|
|Entrance to a university of applied sciences||Switzerland, 2001||43.1%||56.9%||-||-|
|Activity rate||Basel, 2000||71.1%||82.6%||-||-|
|Full time job||Basel, 2001||49%||87%||-||-|
|Employees in company management||Basel, 2000||19.6%||80.4%||-||-|
|Wage difference in the private sector||Switzerland, 2000||−21%||-||-||-|
|Primary budgetary responsibility||Switzerland, 2000||87%||2%||10%||1 %|
|City Parliament||Basel 2004||32.3%||67.7%||-||-|
In Germany in 2014 there was an average difference in gross hourly earnings of 22% between men and women. However, this difference varies greatly depending on the economic sector, from 2% (sewage and waste disposal) to 33% (professional, scientific and technical services). The difference in earnings is largely, but not entirely, related to differences in the jobs or qualifications performed. Women are more represented than men in the lower performance groups; If men and women are compared with the same job and qualifications, the observable difference in earnings is reduced to 7%.
Another group of frequently cited, rather subliminal disadvantages of women can be seen in language and especially in grammar and lexicon. Most of the personal names that designate actors are masculine in their basic form, e.g. B. voters, teachers, doctors. By adding the feminine suffix - usually "in" - the female equivalents are formed: voter, teacher, doctor. In addition to the gender-specific designation of men, the masculine form also serves to designate both sexes and women alone as well as people whose gender is unknown. Women are subsumed under the generic masculine and should be “included”, so that, for example, 99 female and 1 student are collectively referred to as 100 students. In contrast, there is no such thing as a generic feminine. A number of studies show that generic masculine personal nouns are not understood gender-neutral but that in individuals References in the generic masculine cognitive over-representation of men and a lower mental involvement is observed by women than alternative forms of speech as the Beidnennung or the internal-I . The linguist Josef Klein had already stated in his study in 1988 that “the disadvantage of women through the generic masculine is not a feminist chimera, but a psycholinguistic reality”.
There are big differences in the media representation of women and men. In film and television, men usually have a higher professional status than women. For example, women are more often portrayed as caregivers (e.g. nurses) in television series, while men are portrayed as doctors. The women depicted also define themselves primarily through their private role - the role definition that is decisive for action is that of a friend, mother, daughter or wife - while men define themselves much more through their profession. As a study by the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles showed for the 100 most profitable films from 2007 to 2017, 2.3 times as many men as women had speaking roles. According to the study's authors, women's roles are still highly sexualized. This is due to the small number of women directors: of the 1,223 people who directed, only 43 were women.
Erving Goffman dealt with gender stereotypes in advertising in “Gender and Advertising” (1981). He found that advertising conveys an androcentric view of the world and that women and men are often positioned in such a way that men are associated with a higher status: They sit elevated, grip women from above or look down at them, and male images are relatively larger than images by women. In addition, men are portrayed as knowledge carriers and shown performing skills-demanding tasks. A common role constellation is a reading man and a woman who watches the man. Studies that appeared in German-speaking countries in the 1980s and 1990s found negative female clichés and rigid beauty norms in advertising, as well as the persistent portrayal of women in submissive, passive postures. A study published in 2002 found that the representation of women in advertising had changed little in 2002 from the 1980s. Accordingly, product advertising uses sexual innuendos and cynical jokes at the expense of women, depicts women as sexual objects and equates them with the products (e.g. cars) and associates them with household chores. In the field of radio advertising, Helga Kotthoff came to the conclusion that z. For example, in cross-gender dialogues, women often appear as the questioners and men as the answerers, and that technical or expensive products of male, household or everyday objects are advertised by female voices. Kotthoff comes to the conclusion: "Through dialogue roles, voices and intonations, the man is assigned authority, competence and objectivity and the woman emotional, helplessness and instability." In 2007 a meeting of the Council of Europe passed a resolution entitled "Image of Women in Advertising" (Eng. "Image of women in advertising" ), which recommended the Council of Europe member states to strengthen the ethical standards and self-regulatory mechanisms of the advertising industry in order to reduce representations that can be seen as inciting direct discrimination against women.
Especially in the context of feminism and the women's movement , equality for women is a central and controversial issue in its implementation. Questions about the specific goals and means, including in the context of social and economic crises, are particularly important.
In large parts of the Islamic world there is often a general disadvantage of women, both on a cultural, economic, legal and / or political level. In Saudi Arabia, for example, women were not allowed to drive a car until June 2018, and in Iran a woman's testimony is only half as effective as that of a man.
Disadvantages against men
According to a study by Bernd Raffelhüschen and Jasmin Häcker from 2008, men benefit less from the social system than women. As a result of the aging of society, for men born in 1970 the “interest rate” on pension contributions forecast according to the study will be around 0.2%. Women of the same age would get 1.5%. Raffelhüschen emphasizes that the return calculation is only a limited approach. He told the daily newspaper Die Welt : “From a purely fiscal point of view, women benefit from social security. However, one must also see that it is the women who take care of their relatives and in the end usually have no one to take care of them ”. He is well aware that the statement that women are the profit winners in social insurance is " politically incorrect ".
Boys with a migrant background show less favorable educational trajectories than other boys due to more frequent sitting , lower qualifications and lower skills . Underperformance to the detriment of boys and the greatest dissatisfaction with school are primarily found in grammar schools, the type of school where most teachers are male. An expertise from the Federal Ministry of Education from 2011 came to the conclusion that stereotypical images of masculinity represent a blockage in the realization of learning success in boys and girls. Michael Meuser stated in 2012: “There is no general educational disadvantage for boys”. Nonetheless, “today, on average, young women entered the professional world with better educational qualifications [...] than young men. So far, however, this educational capital has not been converted into corresponding advantages for professional careers. ”And he draws the conclusion:“ Belonging to one or the other sex is still associated with different opportunities for participation in various areas of society. As the developments in the education system show, these are no longer consistently distributed at the expense of women. In working life and in the family, on the other hand, [...] traditional structures are reproduced to a high degree. "
In the course of the debates in the run-up to the referendum on compulsory military service in Austria in 2013 , the Austrian constitutional lawyer Heinz Mayer said that if military service (which so far only applies to men) is to be retained, it would also have to apply to women in an equal society in the future, since it is compulsory military service only for men as discrimination on the basis of sex is incompatible with Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights .
Equal opportunities for different population groups require appropriate political participation .
Methodology of equality
Implementation of law and autonomy of action
Political equality efforts are based on the assumption that equality (legal equality) is not sufficient to achieve de facto equality. This could be caused by various factors:
On the one hand, the constitution and laws would only be implemented with a delay, only or unilaterally or not at all. The reason is often sought in the allegedly already existing inequality of political decision-makers (e.g. parliaments and ministries with a low proportion of women).
On the other hand, it is argued that people of the disadvantaged sex have difficulties in exploiting the possibilities of legal equality for psychological, anti-social, structural or other reasons. Criticism arises from this area from both sexes: People of the (presumably) disadvantaged sex perceive the assigned role of victim as an expression of a lack of seriousness and as a further curtailment of their freedom of action if the attribution occurs as a victim from outside. Persons of the (presumably) favored sex, in turn, assume in the argument that the behavior of all persons is subject to free choice within the framework of applicable law, which cannot or should not be enforced by measures.
Those interested in political equality efforts counter that even legal equality of opportunity cannot lead to de facto equality if - as they assume - the perception of opportunities through gender-related socialization is unequally possible.
Gender mainstreaming paradigm
Modern equality policy works according to the gender mainstreaming approach . This is understood to mean the top-down approach, in which state institutions (or even supranational institutions) carry the activities, and not private groups that might direct their activities against those of the state. Equal opportunities for women and men is viewed as a cross-cutting task and taken into account in every political concept, in every government measure and in every development step.
From a feminist perspective, it is criticized that de facto gender mainstreaming often leads to a reduction in measures, projects and policies that promote women when the concrete structural disadvantage of women is lost sight of. As a concept, it is relatively watery, and the statutory definition of gender mainstreaming rarely results in concrete and effective positive measures. Furthermore, gender mainstreaming does not succeed in positively influencing the social, political and economic inequality that manifests itself in all areas of life through the socially ascribed gender role , i.e. in a neutralizing manner in the sense of a deconstructivist approach.
The organization Männer.ch criticizes the fact that almost only women and only 3 men work in the equality offices in Switzerland . In addition, there is no body in the entire federal administration that specifically deals with male-related issues and disadvantages . It is also criticized that men are only included post-conceptually in gender equality work. In contrast, it is argued that this imbalance is justified because of the greater inequalities to the detriment of women, and that the way to active men's politics is also open to men.
History and Outlook
Insofar as equality policy is basically based on equality (see definition), the beginning of its history can also be equated, for example, with women's suffrage (D: 1918, A: 1919, CH: 1971, FL: 1984). From this perspective, gender equality policy is a topic of the 20th and 21st centuries.
In its first phase, gender equality policy is initially the history of the women's movement , which with the feminism of the 1960s went beyond the original goal of legal equality for the first time. Equality policy at this time is a policy of promoting women, not so much a policy of equality for both sexes in the true sense of the word.
Equality policy institutions and initiatives have existed since the 1990s that aim to achieve equality in areas of perceived disadvantages by men.
A real synthesis of the two lobbies is still pending, but is currently intended or in part underway.
Individual demands of equality policy have been implemented in the meantime. For example, the gender balance is achieved when entering the university (at least in the above case). The employment rate is also z. B. in Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft between 2010 and 2015, if one extrapolates the development from 1970 to 2000.
State and supranational legal situation and organizations
1980's Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women ( Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women entered into force / CEDAW), the date (2006) 184 countries in the world have signed. It is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. It defines the term discrimination against women , expressly condemns it, and creates framework conditions and measures to eliminate it. It is the legally binding legal basis for all signatory states for national and bilateral legislation and case law.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women ( Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women / CEDAW) of the United Nations is the body that monitors its compliance. The implementation of the CEDAW is, however, quite protracted, and the convention itself is also not undisputed and was only accepted by many states with numerous reservations.
Equality between women and men is anchored in Treaty on European Union (TEU) (“Maastricht Treaty”) in connection with the definition of the fundamental values of the European Union . Basis of equality policy of the European Union , the Equal Treatment Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council implementing the principle of equal treatment for men and women , as was written in 1976, in the form of is valid . It is based on Article 6 of Fundamental Rights in the Treaty on European Union.the
The Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities ( Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities Directorate-General DG EMPL) of the European Commission in Brussels offers a Community framework strategy to promote equality between men and women and visible within a Program of Action financial support of European networks of Women's associations that have made it their business to promote gender equality.
There are two units within the Directorate-General:
- The Unit Equal Opportunities for Women and Men: Strategy and Program ( Unit Equal Opportunities for Women and Men: Strategy and Program ): It "coordinates the gender mainstreaming policy and is supporting other Commission services in applying the mainstreaming strategy in its policies . ”It also prepares“ the future roadmap for equality policy ”and coordinates the Commission's action program.
- The Unit equal treatment of men and women: legal matters ( Legal Questions Unit Equality of treatment between Women and Men "brings monitors the implementation and enforcement of Community legislation and, if necessary, new proposals on").
For the EU there are legal regulations against gender discrimination that are far-reaching and binding. Nonetheless, equal participation of women and men in material prosperity as well as equal participation in politics and society is unmatched, which can be explained primarily by the inadequate implementation of EU directives in national politics, but also by conceptual and deep-seated inadequacies explain social, political and cultural structures.
The Gender Equality Index (Gender Equality Index) is a measuring instrument that can be determined with the aid of how close the EU and its Member States on the implementation of a gender-neutral are society. It is determined by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), an agency of the European Union.
In Germany, gender equality policy is part of the work of the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth . The Federal Government publishes an equality report of the Federal Government once per legislative period to present the general equality situation between men and women. The first report was published in summer 2011. The Federal Government's second gender equality report was published in July 2017. In addition to the analysis of the gender equality situation in Germany, it contains a number of recommendations in a total of fourteen subject areas.
Numerous initiatives by women in the Roman Catholic Church in Germany demand - also within the framework of Aktion Maria 2.0 - “equality between men and women in the Catholic Church. [...] The three initiators of the Lauchring church strike [...] have collected around 5,000 signatures since their initiative began in May. [...] On Monday [23. September 2019] the three women traveled to Fulda in Hesse , where the German Bishops 'Conference is meeting. "They handed over" a folder with the signatures to Cardinal Reinhard Marx , the chairman of the Bishops' Conference. "
See also: General Equal Treatment Act of the Federal Republic of Germany.
In Austria, the equal treatment of women and men in working life is regulated in the Federal Act on Equal Treatment (GlBG) , which expresses a requirement of equal treatment , a requirement for gender-neutral job advertisements and a ban on discrimination , clarifies sexual harassment as well as general gender-specific harassment, and defines remuneration criteria. It pays particular attention to the working world in agriculture and forestry in a separate section of the law .
The Equality of the Federation (as an employer) governs federal Equal Treatment Act (B-GlBG), in addition to general employment law aspects of a women's advancement bid pronounce to the required quota for women to reach 50%, and special affirmative action plans demands. Equal treatment officers , contact women and working groups for questions of equal treatment are established as institutions of equal treatment .
A marriage law equality was achieved in 1999 with the half-half campaign.
At the federal level, Senate I of the Federal Equal Treatment Commission at the Federal Chancellery under Minister for Women Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek is responsible (until 2007 in the Federal Ministry for Health and Women ).
In Switzerland there is a central equal opportunities office in Bern, as well as 17 cantonal and 5 municipal equal opportunities offices. The offices are financed by public funds. The principle of equal rights for men and women was enshrined in the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation on June 14, 1981 .
Only in 1992 was the equality of men and women expressly anchored in the Liechtenstein constitution with the new Art. 31 Para. 2 LV. This constitutional revision was the trigger for a number of legislative amendments, in particular with regard to civil rights, tax treatment of married couples, contributions and benefits from men and women in social security. In the Principality of Liechtenstein , the Office for Equal Opportunities (SCG) coordinated all equality measures based on the Equal Opportunities Act of 1999 until 2016. On January 1, 2017, the Office for Social Services was entrusted with promoting equality between women and men in all areas of life. At the same time, the newly founded Association for Human Rights (VMR), as an independent national human rights institution in Liechtenstein, took over the ombudsman functions previously exercised by the Office for Equal Opportunities.
In 2003, Norway was the first country in the world to introduce a gender quota for supervisory boards. Since the beginning of 2006, all state-owned companies have had to fill at least 40% of their supervisory board seats with women. In January 2008 the quota for women was extended to all listed Norwegian public companies.
Since 2009 women have also been obliged to be examined , but military service remains voluntary. In 2015, general conscription is also to be introduced for women.
In Turkey there are 2 political parties that are very committed to the political equality of men and women. At the BDP and the HDP, all management positions are held by a man and a woman together. The party leadership of both parties is exercised by a man and a woman together. The party offices in the respective districts are also headed by a man and a woman. The BDP has won positions of mayor in 97 cities and 2 metropolises with double candidatures for mayor offices of one man and one woman each. The offices of mayor were then each exercised by two co-mayors. The Interior Minister of Turkey, Süleyman Soylu, said in 2016 that the double occupation of the mayor's offices by one man and one woman, as practiced by the parties HDP and BDP in Kurdish towns, is a criminal offense.
In Syria, the Kurdish-dominated PYD party also practices political equality between men and women. At PYD, all management positions are headed by one man and one woman. The local councils are also headed by a man and a woman together. And there is a 40% gender quota in the councils. But equality between men and women runs through all institutions, so the university and its various faculties, as well as the various ministries, are each brought together by a man and a woman. The military, the police and the prisons are also headed together by a man and a woman.
- Equal Treatment Directive of the European Union
- Gender inequality index
- Gender budgeting
- Female participation index
- Global Gender Gap Report
- Gender politics
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