World Women's Day at Home
Inm observance of World Women's Day (yes, I did happily accept my red carnation at the grocery store), it's time to look behind the campaigns and band mottos and focus on what we all want: true equality between men and women. At this point I don't want to focus on the plight of women in Africa, South-East Asia, or the Middle East. We all know about the horrors of female genital mutilation (FGM), girls being married of to men decades their senior or women being locked in at home and denied the most basic freedoms such as holding jobs, driving a car, or leaving their homes without a male relative. We all have read or watched the recent reports of women being mutilated or killed for not obeying their husbands or demanding fundamental rights such as an education for themselves. These topics are in the focus, documentaries are being filmed and donations collected. While I definitely agree that all these issues have to be brought in the open and discussed by the public, we must not forget the home front. How can it be that in our society, women still earn less than their male counterparts for the same job. Why do women more often than not have to decide whether to have children or a career? Why are women, who actually manage to rise up the ranks, not accepted in this world of men, instead bullied, and harrassed? And how can it be that the public still justifies so-called jokes when a high-ranking politician responds to a female journalist's serious questions with "I bet you look good in a short skirt"? In Germany, a so-called female manager quota in large companies has been discussed by the government and the houses for quite a wihle. All large companies are supposed to be mandated to have 30% female high-ranking managers; otherwise, they might face penalties. But is this equality? Is that not another way to humiliate highly-qualified and successful women? Sad is that this quota might be necessary to allow women to be hired for these positions that they are qualified for but not wanted by men, who want to preserve their "gentlemen's clubs". Women, however, do not want to be hired for positions just because they are women. An "anonymous" hiring process is being discussed, where the applications arrive without any personal information such as gender, race, or marital status. This might help women or people from minorities scoring interviews, but once the face-to-face interview happens, the "natural selection" is going to happen. I do not believe that women should get advantages over men, but a world of true equality. A society that accepts female managers as well as stay-at-home Dads. A world where it doesn't matter if I am male or female, where everyone is compensated equally for the same work. Where the person who is best qualified for the job is hired. Where everyone's voice is equally heard.