Progressive gender equality measures worldwide
We are used to regarding Germany and Europe as centres of societal and legal progress. That also applies to gender equality issues. We have shown in the past few months that this perception does not fully reflect the reality and that, on the contrary, here in Germany, too, there is room for improvement in the area of equality.
Now, however, the year is drawing to a close and we don’t always want to focus on the shortcomings. So this month we’ll make ourselves comfortable for a change and take a look at positive examples from all over the world. With our selection we neither want to give the impression that everything is rosy in some places, nor do we claim to provide a complete picture. We regard gender equality as a global process characterised by obstacles and setbacks, but also by opportunities and rays of hope. In this month’s contribution we want to concentrate on the rays of hope.
is introducing a higher quota of women onto the boards of stock-listed companies
In 2018, California was the first US state to legally require stock-listed companies to have at least one woman on their board of directors. From the end of 2021, there must be at least two female board members if the board is made up of five people, and three women on a board of six members. The tech giants Apple, Google and Facebook are also affected by the law.
grants women and their partners paid leave following a miscarriage
New Zealand grants women and their partners paid leave in the case of a miscarriage or stillbirth. The regulation entered into force in March 2021. The only other country that grants women paid leave following a miscarriage is India.
has a higher proportion of women in parliament than the German Bundestag
The parliament in Mozambique clearly outstrips the Bundestag, which has a female proportion of 34.7 percent, when it comes to the political representation of women. Out of 250 members, 106 are women, a proportion of 42.4 percent. Mozambique is therefore in 19th place in global rankings according to UN Women.
grants women six months’ leave on full pay after giving birth
In Viet Nam women work right up to the birth, but afterwards receive six months’ leave on full pay. However, this only applies to mothers with an official contract, which accounts for only around 30 percent of all female workers.
obliges companies to provide equal pay for equal work
In 2018, Iceland was the first country in the world to adopt a law guaranteeing equal pay for equal work regardless of gender. Companies with more than 25 employees must be able to prove that they do not discriminate against women with regard to pay. If a company cannot demonstrate that it pays gender-equitable wages, it may be heavily fined.
regards parenthood as an advantage for leadership positions
In the context of the Swedish initiative Parentsmart Employers, gender equality and the ability to combine work and family life are marketed as factors in competitiveness: here, parenthood is regarded as an advantage for leadership positions. Staff with experience from time taken to care for children are accredited with skills that make them particularly qualified for leadership positions – e.g. time management, flexibility and effectiveness, patience, clear communication, mediation and motivation skills, empathy, responsibility and resilience.
equates unpaid care work with paid work
Kenya’s Supreme Court has decided that childcare and household management should be regarded as a full-time job. In one case, which set a precedent for subsequent cases, a man laid claim to all the assets following a divorce as the woman had contributed nothing in financial terms. The court argued that since it was only the care work performed by the wife that made it possible for the man to perform his full-time job, it should be regarded as a full-time job in itself, and awarded the woman half of the assets.
has a gender-neutral taxation system
The taxation system in Finland can basically be described as gender-neutral. Individualised assessment dates back to 1935, although between the 1940s and 1976 a system of combined assessment entered into force, which was designed to help increase the birth rate. In 1976, individual assessment was reintroduced, but with the retention of certain tax concessions that could be transferred between spouses.