Thursday, June 23, 2016

Both left- and right-wing parties must pay attention 2/6

It is extremely important that both left- and right-wing parties pay attention to gender equality. I have noticed a big change in public attitudes towards this issue. Those who previously regarded work on gender equality as unnecessary and pointless now see the importance of making it a priority. So my plea to all those working on this issue is to do whatever you can to make conservative parties ‘pick up the ball’. If only left-wing parties focus on this issue, we lose half of the population in Europe; rightwing parties must also engage in gender-equality issues and be active in debates. 

What disturbs me most is the portrayal of women as victims! I believe that it is essential for women to take responsibility for their own lives: we need to see ourselves as strong and resourceful people who can and will make a difference. It is a mistake to see women as weaker members of society, as people who have to be helped and looked after. Instead of angry voices talking about “poor” women, activists should focus on facts, use all the good role models we have and show them to the world. If young people never find female role models, how on earth can they believe that it is normal for women to hold leading positions in business, in board rooms, in the workforce or in politics. For me, it is important to use all our resources to the full, which means that women also must contribute. 

To do this, it is important to evaluate the current degree of equality in all countries and municipalities. Only by focusing on facts can we show how important it is for societies to give everyone equal opportunities.

By Janne Fardal Kristoffersen

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