Equality and Sameness; Yes There Is a Differences

617 Words3 Pages
These days there’s a lot of confusion around what gender equality really means. Will we have reached gender equality when half of all CEOs are women? Or will we have reached gender equality when women and men are exactly the same except for their reproductive organs? Unfortunately both of these criteria seem to be prevalent when judging whether the sexes are equal or not, and policy makers - at least in Sweden and many other countries - tend to think that the sexes will remain unequal until half the CEOs are women and both sexes behave in the exact same way. Since we haven’t reached that point, affirmative action for women is seen as more or less acceptable. However, these “sameness criteria” have nothing to do with authentic gender equality, and instead introduce an element of confusion when discussing this subject. Assuming that equality means sameness is inherently problematic since if you want men and women to make exactly the same career choices, family choices and lifestyles choices, then you are basically trying to fit individuals into your own preconceived notion of reality. A Better Definition Equality between the sexes simply means that men and women have equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. According to this definition we need to remove all legal discrimination as well as break down stereotypes that prevent people from leading the lives that they want. Everyone should have equal access to education, the labor market, government grants, and so on. However, achieving this kind of gender equality need not mean that men and women become the same! Men and women may very well continue to make different choices when it comes to work, family and hobbies - while still being perfectly equal. In fact, it is irrelevant to gender equality whether men and women make the same choices, as long as each man and each woman is truly free to
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