SDG5 | Is it really about Gender Equality?

Gender Equality, is this a dreamy liberal agenda or a serious hardcore problem we need to face with?

Well, it is always hard to answer. If you ask a woman, we will instantly associate for all those inequalities we face in society even today.

An overused statistic of the measured societal bias against the female half of the population should stand here to showcase our instant shared reaction.

“Based on data between 2000 and 2016 from about 90 countries, women spend roughly three times as many hours in unpaid domestic and care work as men.”

source: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2018/Overview/

I am well aware this sounds like a broken record, but the fact is – unfortunately – still a fact today.

Also many can argue, as a woman, I naturally drown into sympathies more with issues of fellow woman.

To be honest with myself, after self-checking, yes that is true.

So first time in my life, I made myself look into this situation (as much as I can) as man. I am well aware of what is paining my folks on this side, so it is well time to place myself to the other’s shoes.

It didn’t occur to me till today, that the SDG 5 called, gender equality, has only targets regarding problems of woman to be reached by 2030.

We can argue, this is to eliminate specifical issues women face with to at least a less sickening level and bring back a little bit more balanced societal life to start with. Others can argue, this is an example how man are discriminated against. Yes, even at Gender Equality SDG’s targets.

Instead being short-sided, butthurt, or siding with males or females, I seek understanding.

Historically, woman were left out of politics, decision making on both societal or household level, education etc. This is all seemingly getting slowly better today. We can celebrate this.

Average person thinking of this gender issue is naturally accounting a balance between woman and man. If it is continuous this way, it is always going to be a zero-sum game, where the gain of one is the loss of the other.

“An allocation is not Pareto optimal if there is an alternative allocation where improvements can be made to at least one participant’s well-being without reducing any other participant’s well-being. If there is a transfer that satisfies this condition, the reallocation is called a »Pareto improvement». When no further Pareto improvements are possible, the allocation is a »Pareto optimum».

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_efficiency

If we take game-theory to support our analysis of Gender Equality, we can clearly see that Pareto optimum has not been reached yet and there are still points of improvements can be gained for woman AND for man. (1)

The only thing we need to do, is to focus our attention instead of one, or the other to the whole.

Being a huge advocate of SDGs, today’s paradigm switch made me realize an important thing: even though current SDG 5 targets are important to the whole and won’t reduce well-being of men, we do not look for “Pareto improvements” on the other side just yet.

And that is, actually, sending a very bad message.

If we assume men agree that letting women into education, politics, decision making/influencing etc. is not a loss for men’s well-being, we can agree that mainstream gender equality goals, and even on global level are one-sided which are a threat to men’s equality.

This second phenomenon is as hurtful as thinking that giving to women equality, is disadvantageous to men.

Not having taken into account men’s issues in the Gender Equality is actually pissing me off. I don’t wanna argue that women have way more issues against their gender, and it is way longer existing etc. Even if we assume it is true, what different we make today if we exclude problems from our goal list, which are targeting potentially the male half of the population.

Well, we can still say: ”men are less likely to be facing discrimination against based on gender, therefore first deal with more urging issues”. Sounds fair, right?

My argument here is exactly the same. It is not a zero-sum game.

Caring for men’s discriminating issues won’t increase inequalities for woman.

I mean we should pay attention to all issues, at least nearly as proportionately as it occurs in society.

Women can only gain if Gender Gap Index is expanded from mainly measuring woman issues, to include all gender issues. Perhaps male would stand behind it more. If it is not only measuring statistics which highlighting one part of the population, but giving a full picture.

Wouldn’t it be better to be backed up on our arguments that X  issue happens with Y probability to woman while Z issue happens with A probability to man? Therefore pay attention to both, but allocate resources accordingly..

Wouldn’t it be better to also deal with issues only men are facing for everyone such as higher suicide rate, homelessness, paternity fraud, etc.?

My opinion is, using the Marshall cross I learned as an economist, equilibrium is dynamic.

On the way to the point of balance, first we usually fall over the other side and then a bit closer back from this side,and closer and closer to balance..

I believe that man are sensing this overstepping and that is why some decide to not back woman to fight for their equality. Also I believe, some women, are overstepping way too far on the imaginary line of middle border.

source: https://core-econ.org/the-economy/book/text/08.html

So, in a nutshell, regarding normal (price-sensitive) goods, if you increase Price, people wanna buy less of the good (Quantity) and you will end up keeping your books on the shelves. As above seen, on original price of 8 dollar, 24 books were sold, a.k.a. all of what was supplied. But on a higher price, from books, it would be possible to produce more units, then on the lower one (36 books) but there would be only 17 books to be sold regarding current demand.

If there are more students and we are selling university books for example, the demand curve would change, which will allow the equilibrium for a higher one letting us buy and sell more books. Or, if demand is predicted to be the same, we need bookstore to buy less then was the original stock of 24, to find the equilibrium again at a higher price. More precisely only 17 is needed.

Therefore, as in Economics when measuring demand and supply on the market, in gender equality, I welcome new participants in the arguments from both sides. As according to the laws of Marshall cross, eventually they are all to help us get closer to the desired balanced state.

Our job is to keep extremist reactions, like violence (both physical and mental) out of the picture, and to work on to open up ourselves for all potential truth of both sides of the arguments.

  1. and even other spectrums of the gender

Call to action:

1.      Read more → www.sustainabledevelopment.un.org

2.      Discuss the following topic with your sympathizers: How could you be more open to listen to the other side? Do you agree it will help us get closer to equality? Do you see inequalities as a zero-sum game? Where it is perceived zero-sum and where not?

3.      Find a project and reach out to the host entity to support them with advice or funds to deliver it, especially West African entities. The reason is the urgent need to deliver SDG-related changes there.

4.      Sponsor and motivate someone in your world to take a global volunteer project with AIESEC → aiesec.org/global-volunteer. I suggest one in Benin → aiesec.org/opportunity/870351

Created&Photograps by: Kriszti@Whatareyoustillwaitingfor.Space
Illustrated by Oguz@Whatareyoustillwaitingfor.Space
Proofed&Edited by Greg@Whatareyoustillwaitingfor.Space
Supported by http://bit.ly/whatareyoustillwaitingfor

The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of AAI.

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