Gender equality: an answer to crisis?

Report
GENDER EQUALITY:
AN ANSWER TO CRISIS?
Claudia Padovani
Lorenza Perini
SPGI, University of Padova
TABLE OF CONTENT
o Gender equality: concept construction
o Gender and crisis: challenges or opportunities?
o Case study 1: Gender and science
o Case study 2: Gender and media
o Concluding remarks
o Glossary
o Further resources
o Contacts
GENDER EQUALITY:
CONCEPT CONSTRUCTION
GENDER EQUALITY:
CONCEPT CONSTRUCTION
Gender equality is the measurable equal representation of women and
men.
Gender equality does not imply that women and men are the same, but
that they have equal value and should be accorded equal treatment.
The United Nations regards gender equality as a human right. It points
out that empowering women is also an indispensable tool for advancing
development and reducing poverty.
The importance of gender equality is highlighted by its inclusion as one
of the 8 Millennium Development Goals that serve as a framework for
halving poverty and improving lives as agreed upon by the international
community.
PERSISTING CULTURAL AND
SOCIAL BARRIERS?
Diversity in practice (with a smile...)
GENDER AND THE CRISIS:
CHALLENGES OR
OPPORTUNITIES?
‘Despite the growing debate over the causes of the
crisis, less attention is paid to its material impacts,
and very little to gender considerations’
(Vertova 2012: 123)
GENDER AND THE CRISIS
• Since 2008 the European industrial output has diminished of 10.8%, the
construction sector has shrank of 20%, private investments have gone
down of 14.5% between 2007 ad 2011
• Impact on the labour market: unemployment rate of 12.2% (ranging from
4.3% in Austria to 26.1% in Spain)
• The efforts made by MS to restore public finance have led to austerity
measures and cuts in crucial sectors like health, care and welfare
IMPACT ON WOMEN AND MEN
•
•
•
•
there has been a levelling down of gender gaps in
employment, unemployment, wages and poverty over
the crisis; but…
the labour market behaviour of women over the crisis
has been similar to that of men; buffer are now young
people
threat that fiscal consolidation may ultimately
reduce welfare provisions and related employment
with associated gender equality impacts
The European Economic Recovery Plan made no
mention of ‘gender’, ‘women’ or ‘equality’ …
RECOMMENDATIONS #1
• Gender mainstreaming and reconsidering the
formulation of gender equality indicators
• Integrating gender mainstreaming in anti-crisis packages
• Monitor the risk that fiscal consolidation may significantly
erode welfare provisions
• Boosting female entrepreneurship
• Increase surveillance and heighten public awareness of
cases of violations of maternity and women’s rights.
RECOMMENDATIONS #2
• Addressing sectorial segregation and stimulate
women’s vocation in sectors like ICTs,
transportation, science > case study 1
• Enhancing women’s participation in decision
making in policy design of anti-crisis measures
AND on company boards > case study 2
CASE STUDY 1:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
The underrepresentation of women in science and technology
Under 30% of the physcists, engineers and computer scientists in the
world's knowledge based economies are women. Only about 12% of
science-decision-making positions in universities and the private sector in
the world's knowledge-based economies are held by women
Why Europe needs more women in Science and Technology?
Women remain a minority in scientific research, accounting for 33% of
researchers in the EU in 2009 (2006: 30%). Although the proportion of
female researchers varies considerably between countries, there is a clear
pattern of female under- representation everywhere.
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
Legislation and documents
From the treaty of Rome to the EU strategy 2010-2015 a lot
of projects and researches have been made in order to
highlight the underrepresentation of women in almost every
field of science and technology…
Numbers
…Now we know a lot of things on this issue and most of all
we have numbers, we have data and we can compare
situations, countries and almost everything….
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
The importance of statistics and numbers
With statistics disaggregated by gender we can build
indicators and indexes, i.e. instrument of knowledge.
Thanks to numbers we have discovered gender pay gap, a
lot of gender discrimination in labor market, the
phenomenon of gender violence, especially domestic
violence.
So numbers count! But… problems still persist!
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
Despite growing recognition, problems still persist,
discrimination and underrepresentation of women in
science and research is a salient problem, not only in
EU but all over the world.
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
There is a general problem of wasting talent in global
recession: Europe cannot afford this anymore.
Europe in crisis needs to get the best out of its
research and innovation system
Promoting gender equality in research increases the
international competitiveness and the research
workforce in general.
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
Three steps of the European Union strategy
 Fixing the women: strategies to increase the number of women
choosing science as a field of study and in decision making.
Stressing on non neutrality of science can play a big role in finding
new strategies, new ideas, new interesting solutions.
 Fixing the institutions: make institutions aware of the importance of
considering gender a resource. Changing the structure of the
institutions in order to become women’s friendly (best practices)
 Fixing the knowledge: making people aware that gender is a positive
and useful social construction and doesn’t mean “for women” but is
“for all” because it enables every body to see things differently, from
another point of view.
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
• But knowing things is not enough!
• Is just 50% of the piece, the rest is
communicating what you have known!
• Even when YOU KNOW, communicate can be
the hardest part of the work
• And even the EU sometimes fails in indicating a
clear strategy….
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
A wrong way of saying things: lets watch this EU video
promoting women in science:
The European Commission's video Science It's a Girl Thing!
was an unfortunate, although well meaning, marketing
blunder which takes away from the commission's excellent
website to attract women to science.
Taken down almost as soon as it was put up, the response to this video
shows that topic of women in science is still attracting a high level of
interest (good) although in this case for all the wrong reasons. Selling
science with sex only feeds into the continuing media focused hypersexualization of our society - and especially of our young women something we really don't need any more.
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
A good way of conveying the message:
L’Oreal in collaboration with Unesco: video promoting
women’s careers in Science
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
The Grand Challenges of the EU 2020 Strategy (i.e. energy,
climate change, aging, health) have a strong gender dimension,
which, if ignored, can result in missed opportunities for innovation
in research and in development of markets.
Not including gender perspectives in addressing the core
EU2020 themes means that chances for increasing the broad
acceptance of new technologies within Europe will be lost.
Without strengthening the inclusion of women and integrating the
gender dimension within the Innovation Union, its aims to deliver
higher levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion,
and to strengthen Europe’s knowledge base, are simply not
achievable.
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
There is a strong research evidence that shows how the
integration of gender analysis in research processes can
lead to Innovation.
Ignoring how sex and gender bias limit creativity and
diminish excellence in research will create barriers to the full
realization of the benefits that society expects from its
investment in science and engineering.
Thirty years of research have revealed that sex and gender
bias can be socially harmful and expensive …
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
Crisis as an opportunity: The example of Gendered Innovation
Project
Innovation, education and research are key components of the
Europe 2020 strategy which aims to boost the EU economy over the
next decade. In a changing world, the EU aims to become a smart,
sustainable and inclusive. Among the milestones set out in the meta
European Research Area ERA, shows the following:
“We Will Know That ERA is a shared responsibility
[between science, policy and society] When We see
in 2030 [...] half of all scientists and research policy
makers, across all Disciplines and Science at all
levels of the system, are women (Preparing Europe
for a new Renaissance” [ERAB 2009], pg.18).
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND SCIENCE
Among the innovations in the field of gender, the project
mention for example the case of the pregnant mannequin,
computer-simulated for testing of motor vehicle accidents,
which provides the information needed to create a model for
the effects of impact at high speed on the fetus and design
adequate safety belts. An example of application of a
technology that introduces the gender dimension in a
scientific prototype.
CASE STUDY 2:
GENDER AND MEDIA
CASE STUDY:
GENDER AND MEDIA
In relation to all forms of inequality and sex-based
discrimination in employment in the media sector, media
enterprises should, as any other employer, participate
actively in positive action programs on gender equality at
work as well as adopt various strategies and implement best
practice…within the scope of such a positive action plan,
women should be actively promoted into senior positions in
media companies….
European Commission Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men
(2010), Opinion on “Breaking gender stereotypes in the media”, Brussels.
GENDER AND MEDIA IN EUROPE
EIGE (EIGE/2012/OPER/07) Study on Area J of the Beijing
Platform for Action: Women and the Media in European Union
and Final Report: Advancing gender equality in decision-making
in media organizations
28 countries, 99 media organizations, focus on:
o women in leadership positions
o mediapolicies and mechanisms in place at national level
o examples of good practices
WOMEN IN MEDIA INDUSTRIES
Policy/Provision
Public/Mixed
Private
Total
Equality opportunities/diversity policy
9
10
19
Gender Equality policy/code of conduct
10
4
14
Code Of conduct (mentions gender)
6
5
11
External code of conduct (general)
3
2
5
policy
9
6
15
Equality/Diversity Officer
9
4
13
Equality/Diversity Department
6
3
9
Implementation and monitoring mechanisms
Committee responsible for (monitoring) equality
GENDER EQUALITY POLICIES
(99 media organizations in 28 European countries)
Practical measures
Public/Mixed
Private
Total
Policy on sexual harassment
12
11
23
Dignity at work policy
10
9
19
Policy on maternity leave
10
7
17
Policy on paternity leave
9
6
15
Harassment Advisors
3
2
5
Policy on parental leave
1
0
1
Equality awareness training for staff
6
3
9
Leadership/management training for women
4
2
6
Trainee positions for women
3
0
3
GENDER EQUALITY
MEASURES
TO SUM UP
 horizontal and vertical segregation, glass ceiling effects, constrains to
carrier improvement
 male culture and domination and lack of family friendly environment
 structural inequalities still persist and cultural norms continue to exert
considerable influence on recruitment and promotion practices
 rarely the normative standards formalized by the international community
and the EU are translated into national and organizational provisions
 there are variations within the region, so that the situation for some women
in some countries is more positive (Eastern European and Nordic
countries) and still problematic in other countries (Malta, Italy, Ireland)
 the use of different languages remains a problem, particularly to
networking and sharing of good practices
 in spite of existing connections, there is still not enough dialogue amongst
the different stakeholders: media professional organizations, media outlets
and federations, academics and institutions
CONCLUDING REMARKS:
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DO
NOTHING?

Danger of flawed research or diminished relevance of
results as well as less diversity in media and
communication

Missing innovation and market opportunities

Unfulfilled use of human capital (women scientists
and women communicators) in a competitive global
R&I economy

Increased societal distrust of, and reduced support
for, science and its institutions as well as media
systems
The crisis may well be an opportunity
but clear gendered visions must emerge and
policies and programmes must be designed and
implemented
based on existing evidence and informed by the
voices and perspectives of the many
stakeholders involved in gender-aware social
transformations
GLOSSARY
• Gender: Gender refers to the social construction of
women and men, of femininity and masculinity, which
varies in time and place, and between cultures. The
notion of gender appeared in the seventies and was put
forward by feminist theorists who challenged the
secondary position of women in society. It departs from
the notion of sex to signal that biology or anatomy is not
a destiny. It is important to distinguish clearly between
gender and sex. These terms are often used
interchangeably while they are conceptually distinctive.
GLOSSARY
• Equal opportunity indicates the absence of barriers to
economic, political and social participation on the grounds of
sex. Such barriers are often indirect, difficult to discern and
caused by structural phenomena and social representations
that have proved particularly resistant to change.
• Gender mainstreaming is the systematic integration
of the respective situations, priorities and needs of women
and men in all mainstream policies with a view to promoting
equality between women and men.
FURTHER RESOURCES
o
Gender and the economic crisis: challenges or opportunities?
o European Parliament Library briefing Feb 2013
o European Commission Synthesis Report Dec 2012
o EWL and Oxfam An Invisible Crisis? March 2010
o
Case study: Gender and Science
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http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/structural-changes-final-report_en.pdf
www.gendertime.org
http://www.the-twist-project.eu/media/dyn/TWIST.GuidelinesReport.pdf
[Erab 2009] Preparing europe for a new renaissance. A Strategic View of the European Research Area. First
Report of the European Research Area Board – 2009.
[Fox Keller, 1985] E. Fox Keller. Reflections on gender and science. Yale University Press, New Haven and
London, 1985.
[She Figures 2012] She Figures.Statistics and indicators on Gender Equality in Science, EU2012.
[Schiebinger, 1999] L .Scienbinger Has feminism changed science? Harvard University Press. Cambridge,
1999.
[Schiebinger, 2008] Londa Schiebinger (Ed). Gendered Innovations in Science and Engineering. Stanford
University Press, 2008.
http://ec.europa.eu/research/sciencesociety/document_library/pdf_06/2012.4808_Gendered%20Innovations_web2.pdf
Case study Gender and media
o Final EIGE Report on Advancing gender equality in the media
o European Council Council conclusions - "Advancing Women’s Roles as Decision-makers in the
Media”
o EIGE summary fact sheet and indicators
Claudia Padovani – [email protected]
Lorenza Perini – [email protected]
CIRSG
Women and Media in Europe
Next Generation Global Studies
Department of Law, Politics and International Studies
University of Padova

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