Today was all about women and getting bigger
…. but not in the way you might think at first, I was not commenting on the size of women in the EU Parliament (most of them are thinner than me anyway), no – today was about the Gender Equality Index and about the plans for the EU enlargement.
Let’s start, however, with something different – Climate Change. In my stay here so far I’ve read quite a bit about Climate change and about the need for ending our reliance on fossil fuels, and today I attended a conference on this topic. What didn’t surprise me at all in that conference was that it was almost an “empty” conference. All that the people said (while I was there) was “we need to find new sources of clean energy”, “we need a long term strategy”, ” we need more investment in renewable energy sources”, “renewable energy sources can help increase energy efficiency” … and all I thought to all this was “duh!” I mean, I’ve been hearing and reading the same statements since I was 12 and that was some time ago! So, I don’t really put much hope in anything happening with all of this talk now, but, who knows, I might be surprised! (fingers crossed that happens).
Now, onto gender inequalityindex – this new statistical tool that the The European Institute for Gender Equality measures the index of gender equality in all EU countries (they are even slowly starting to factor in Croatia’s data) ranking from 1 as the lowest to 100 as the highest equality, and it does this in 6 major groups: money (economic independence, pay), time (distribution of time between work, care and leisure time), health (access to institutions), power (political, economic and other forms of power), work (gender equality withing the same achievement groups), and knowledge (enrollment, attendance). There are also two sub-groups: intersecting inequalities (how other elements factor in) and gender violence (the most difficult one, and there are no results here because there is no harmonized definition of what constitutes violence!)
The statistics show that in some of the groups EU27 are doing so-so (around 50 or 60), in health they are doing great (90), but in power the overall (!) index is 38! When all groups are put together the index for EU27 is around 50. This might at first seem as good, but you have to have in mind that EU countries have had gender policies (attempt to equalize the position of genders) for the last 50 years and we’re only half way to equality! This is something that really needs to be looked at.
I don’t want to sound like a crazy feminist, but DAMN! Just look at the tenured professors at universities, look at CEOs, look at MPs and MEPs! Look at presidents and prime ministers! Look at surgeons! Look at conductors (music ones, not tram ones, but on that point look at tram conductors as well!)!
And it is clear to me that this route we’re on is not very productive. If a company started enforcing a rule that people are not allowed to slap their colleagues when they were saying stupid things and after 50 years only one half of it’s employees were following that rule and those not following it would not be punished would this be an effective rule? Would this be a trustworthy and consistent company? I don’t think so, either! I’ll let you think about that for a second.
To take a short break here is another chocolate shop window in Brussels (they’re everywhere! chocolate shops, not owls)
Now, the enlargement thing – towards the end of the office hours (for me at least) I was looking into the EU commission report on the enlargement policy. This report looked at the situations in Croatia’s neighboring countries: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo and FYRMacedonia. Some countries were congratulated on efforts and changes (Serbia) while others were criticized for limited improvement (BiH). This makes me really sad, reading about the trouble in BiH today. A large number of my relatives on my mother’s side live in BiH, my mom is from there, and it my heart breaks when I see how much trouble they are still in and how the current political system there is not really working. But, like with the climate change, this statement has been repeated countless times over the years, and the solution is still not in sights. I honestly don’t know what is going to happen there. Two years ago there was even some whispers of another civil war there. If that happens, I don’t think my family could take it, not another war so soon…
So, this post ended on a bit of a sad note… but just to lift my spirits, the atmosphere in the office today was very busy but fun 🙂
That’s all folks 😉
P.S. My roommate just came home 🙂 from Oktoberfest 🙂