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EQUALITY OR EQUITY: WHAT SHOULD WOMEN STRIVE FOR

Posted On: Tue 10 Mar 2020 By Kola Wole | OPINION

In celebrating International Women's Day, @Suzan Ade Coker of the famous #RantHq posted a question about whether women should strive for equity, equality or both.

 

You need to reads all the comments to appreciate the sensitivity of the conversation.

 

I have decided to write a post as a personal contribution to this discussion.

 

The subject of gender equity or equality has been in contention within the social justice circles for a long time, and have recently become a major headline on social media platforms.

 

What's all this furore about? More broadly, how's gender equity different than gender equality?

 

For your information gender #equality "does not mean that women and men will become the same, but that women's and men's rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female."

 

Gender #equity means fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs.

 

Why is this conversation very important? Well here are the current insights on how gender equality interplay with the economy and in particular, the work force.

 

  1. If there's only one woman in your job candidate pool, there's statistically no chance she'll get the job.
  2. Men are promoted at 30% higher rates than women during their early career stages.
  3. 90% of women leave the workforce because of other workplace problems (rather than having a child).
  4. In a study of 21,980 firms from 91 countries, just over 50% of firms didn't have any female executives (only 11% of firm had all female executives).
  5. 50% of women in STEM fields will eventually leave because of hostile work environment.

 

So why do we need gender equity?

 

Let's face the truth. In no country in the World are women in equal. In fact, the World Economic Forum projects it will take 170 years to reach gender equality globally. That means it will take five more generations for us to see gender equality.

 

How does equity leads to equality?

 

If gender equity is about fairness, then our conversation should be about making up for the gap between gender bias and reality. That is, how can we hack the system to give women an equitable access or shot?

 

In other words, on the path to gender equality we need gender equity. Which means that in order to have gender equity, there's a need for us to change the narrative and focus away from fixing women but rather, fixing the system. A system that has generated an imbalance ecosystem and suppressive economic opportunity at all levels.

 

So let's focus on fixing the system and not the women!

 

Happy International Women's Day.

 

With love to our women.

 

 

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