Public Talk


Anke Domscheit-Berg

Entrepreneur, Activist and Publicist (→ About)

Why Gender Equality Is Still Not A Reality – And How We Can Change That

It is about 100 years ago, that (white) women gained the right to vote, since then, we got so much further. In more and more countries, women make up for the majority of graduates. Women now work in all industries and professions. But we still are far away from gender equality. When babies are born, the gender marketing backlash makes sure they know their gender roles by age 3, with girls dreaming of becoming princesses and boys of becoming policemen or astronauts. T-shirts (only) for girls have „in Math I am just decoration“ printed on them. With many such messages in our society, the stereotype threat kicks in, influencing our performance when we are aware of a stereotype – such as „women are not good in math“. Lacking role models, stereotype based hiring, performance evaluations, and promotions, unconscious bias and the principle of homosocial reproduction (the principle of prefering similarity) lead to gender segregated professions, roles, industries and hierarchies. The result is fewer women in higher paid jobs and industries, and hierarchies and generally, lower pay per hour worked – even in comparable jobs. And, most absurdly, better career prospects for men in women dominated environments, where they enjoy glass lifts whereas women hit glass ceilings just about everywhere. At home, women face a second shift due to an uneven distribution of unpaid work – to the benefit of men. They also face a pandemic level of domestic violence. Every 3rd female murdered victim was killed by a (ex-)partner. Every 3 years, (ex-)partners kill about as many women in the US as the number of 9/11 victims. But no president ever fought a war against misogyny, with billions of budgets to spend for the safety of women. Maybe because women still have not acquired their fair share in politics. Even in Germany, women make up for only 36% Members of the Federal Parliament. It was, however, okay to vote for a misogynist president who cuts down on womens rights and fuels a new level of widespread sexism. A society of gender equality would look so much different. But how do we get there? We need nothing less than a cultural change in all aspects of society. This also means: everybody can contribute. And everybody should. Men included.