B. R. Ambedkar
Ursula von der Leyen
Equality does not mean that women and men will become the same but that women’s and men’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born female or male. Gendere quality implies that the interests, needs and priorities of both women and men are taken into consideration, thereby recognising the diversity of different groups of women and men. Gender equality is not a women’s issue but should concern and fully engage men as well as women. Equality between women and men is seen both as a human rights issue and as a precondition for, and indicator of, sustainable people-centred development.
Advancing gender equality in business is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Research shows investing in women and girls can lead to increases in productivity, organizational effectiveness, return on investment and higher consumer satisfaction. According to McKinsey, companies that have more gender diversity are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability.
Gender balance is commonly used in reference to human resources and equal participation of women and men in all areas of work, projects or programmes. In a scenario of gender equality, women and men are expected to participate proportionally to their shares in the population. In many areas, however, women participate less than what was expected based on the sex distribution in the population (underrepresentation of women) while men participate more than expected (overrepresentation of men).
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Diversity is not only a matter of fairness. It also drives growth and innovation. The business case for having more women in leadership is clear".
The empowerment of women and girls concerns their gaining power and control over their own lives. It involves awareness-raising, building self-confidence, expansion of choices, increased access to and control over resources and actions to transform the structures and institutions which reinforce and perpetuate gender discrimination and inequality. This implies that to be empowered they must not only have equal capabilities (such as education and health) and equal access to resources and opportunities (such as land and employment), but they must also have the agency to use these rights, capabilities, resources and opportunities to make strategic choices and decisions (such as is provided through leadership opportunities and participation in political institutions).
This concept indicates the absence of barriers to economic, political and social participation on ground of sex and gender and other characteristics. Such barriers are often indirect, difficult to discern and caused and maintained by structural phenomena and social representations that have proved particularly resistant to change. Equal opportunities as one of the gender equality objectives is founded on the rationale that a whole range of strategies, actions and measures are necessary to redress deep-rooted and persistent inequalities.
Language not only reflects the way we think; it also shapes the thinking of listeners or readers and influences their beliefs and behaviour. Gender-sensitive language relates to the use of the written and spoken language so that women and men are equally treated and considered. It requires avoiding talking in generic masculine terms, excluding women or reflecting stereotyped assumptions about gender roles. Being aware of the importance of gender-sensitive language could lead to the promotion of gender sensitivity, and also to a higher degree of precision.
Source: EIGE's Gender Equality Glossary
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