We see it everyday. Unequal treatment of people on the basis of gender, origin, beliefs.
Discrimination or privilege.
Equal treatment? It’s a myth. In the patriarchal system “norms” are determined by a privileged group – men. So the answer is rather… fair treatment.
In 2021, Ofeminin launched the #nieczekam107lat (i don’t wait 107 years) social campaign, where, referring to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, it reminds us that we still live in a world of gender inequality. According to the report, women in Central and Eastern Europe will achieve equal economic, legal and social status and equal opportunities in 2128.
Fair treatment means equal opportunities for women in terms of access to education, the labor market, politics, access to medical services etc. It is also the awareness that domestic work, which today is mostly performed by women, must be fairly shared between women and men. When thinking about justice, we must not forget about sexual education, counteracting sexual violence and domestic violence. In all of these cases, most of the victims are women.
Enough of theory- let’s get practical!
- Women earn less than men and more frequently have part-time or temporary employment contracts
- Still lower percentage of women than men hold in management positions
- More men than women are employed in the technology sector
- Female students continue to be under-represented in scientific and technical studies
- Domestic work is still seen as “woman field” and is mostly performed by women
- Safety tests of seat belts are carried out with the usage of “male” mannequins (weight, proportions)
- Bulletproof vests are designed only for men, they do not fulfill their role when used by WOMEN,
- Protective clothing and accessories eg. glasses, masks for industrial work, are designed for men; women working in these industries are exposed to physical discomfort and more frequent injuries
- The size and proportions of smartphones are often adjusted to the size of an average male hand; this prevents women from using these devices comfortably and efficiently.
As the research shows, women are much more affected by road accident injury than men – the possibility of serious health injury is in nearly 50% higher in their cases,
while the risk of death increases by 17%. (according to „The Washington Post”). Why? Females are lighter, have smaller and finer bones with lower density than males.
In consequence, in the same circumstances, the risk of severe injuries is much greater for women.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AS IT REALLY IS:
every year in Poland violence affects up to 700,000 women
police statistics show that over 70% of victims of domestic violence are women,
police statistics are not accurate,
according to the Ombudsman, the state does not provide sufficient protection against violence or victims of violence,
- the level of education in this area leaves much to be desired,
- protection of women’s rights in Poland is dealt with mainly by non-governmental organizations.
What the Istanbul Convention is:
The Istanbul Convention or the Anti-Violence Convention is a Council of Europe document on preventing and combating violence (including domestic violence) against women,
The convention emphasizes that the way to prevent violence against women is equality between women and men, according to the document, states should not only take care of prevention, but also combat violence, apply a policy of equality to women and men, teach citizens what discrimination and gender inequality are, and what are the causes and effects of violence,
The Convention’s provisions define violence against women, as a specific type of violence, that is directly related to gender division and results from the belief in the inferior status of women.
The convention makes it clear that neither religious nor cultural considerations nor an uncritically cultivated tradition can justify violence against women.
It specifies legal and political measures to not only preventing violence, but also supporting victims and punishing perpetrators.
Gender discrimination has many faces. It can be related to the use of violence, creation of barriers or restrictions that limit the possibilities of personal development.
The glass ceiling is the social barrier preventing women from being promoted to top jobs in management. No matter how long and hard they work for their promotion the positions are given to men who do not always exceed their rivals in terms of qualifications.
We talk about sticky floor in relation to professions that are underrated e.g. nurse, secretary and professions for which high qualifications are not required. It is worth noting that these professions are strongly feminized. “Sticky floor” literally means the lack of a career path. A person working in such a position is stuck in one place and unable to go higher in the hierarchy.
IS GENDER IDEOLOGY? It is not. The term “gender” defines a set of personality traits, behaviors but also stereotypes and roles that have been assigned by the culture to each sex. Many of these roles are not directly related to biological predisposition. These are “male” or “female” cultural roles, imposed by people who rule a given society.
When for some reason people do not meet the established norms – they may face stigmatization, discrimination or social exclusion.
Women have the right to decide for themselves whether and when they become mothers. The decision to become a mother cannot be made under pressure and the refusal to have children cannot be a ground for discrimination.
Therefore, it is important that every woman not only has access to sex education but also to safe abortion.
Abortion arouses extreme emotions. First of all, it is worth remembering that in this case the law is not an order but a possibility to make a free choice.
A few facts about abortion in Poland:
From 80,000 to 200,000 abortions are performed in Poland annually (data from non-governmental organizations).
The anti-abortion law in force makes the abortion underground flourish, but it is difficult to verify both the qualifications of the people performing the procedures and the sanitary conditions in which the abortions are performed.
Safe procedures outside Poland are available to better-earned women, which is why grassroots groups supporting access to free of charge abortion are so important.
The laws in most countries where abortion is legal allow procedures to be performed up to the 12th or 24th week of pregnancy. The so-called late abortions account for less than 1% of all procedures.
In countries with good access to sex education and contraception, the number of abortions is constantly falling.
BETTER ACCESS TO SEXUAL EDUCATION MEANS LESS SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS AND HIV INFECTIONS.
IT ALSO RESULTS IN LESS SEXUAL CRIMES.
What do immigrant women go through?
They are exposed to cross (intersectional) discrimination eg. Romni migrant or non-heteronormative refugees women.
They experience bias motivated violence related to recognizable religious attributes, such as in the case of Muslim women.
- They often work several jobs to be able to provide for their families. In many cases they work well below their professional qualifications.
They are at risk of sexual violence and may become victims of human trafficking.
They often live separately from people who are closest to them.
Sources: Wikipedia.org, Europarl.europa.eu, Raport Europejskiego Instytutu ds. Równości Kobiet i Mężczyzn (EIGE) nt. równouprawnienia płci w Unii Europejskiej. na zlecenie Komisji europejskiej, Polskatimes.pl, Policja.pl, Oko.press, Centrum Praw Kobiet, Gazeta Prawna, Wysokie Obcasy, Codziennikfeministyczny.pl, Federacja na rzecz Kobiet i Planowania Rodziny, WHO, The Washington Post.