Are you a feminist?
… my husband asked me when we met about seven years ago. This came as suddenly as he had entered my life. Completely shocked at his statement – my heart was already wild with anger – and at the same time not aware of the actual definition of the word „feminism“ – I negated his assessment of my person. I did not want to be associated with the word *feminism* or any form of negative interpretation of an emancipated woman. Although I wanted to experience equality in my job, I also wanted to be perceived as a woman in my role.
At this time, I had just finished my studies successfully and got my first job as a scientific employee. I had not experienced an equality problem until this point. However with the introduction into my first job in the industry I gained more insight. I suddenly understood why individuals, institutions, politics and the economy are so intensively concerned with the issue of diversity and equality in specific terms. Today, after exchanging with many colleagues and friends, my attitude has changed. For today, I would consciously answer my husband’s question, „Yes, I am a feminist.“ And the beautiful thing is, my husband is now a feminist, too.
How is that possible? Contrary to the widespread myth of a devouring women’s rights fighter and male hater, a feminist is a person who stands up for the equality of women and men. Emma Watson, in her role as the ambassador of the UN campaign „HeforShe“ impressively describes the still ongoing gender discrimination of the female and the male sex and makes gender equality a matter of men’s issue („Genderequality is your issue, too!“). Women still suffer from the gender gap, still fewer women are in management positions, and men, especially young (becoming) fathers are still discriminated against if they want to take part in family life and take parental leave. Even though many companies have been aware of the issue several for many years now and have worked out gender diversity plans a study by the World Economic Forum states that it will take about 170 years until the gender gap is no longer existent worldwide. A number that seems as unattainable as world peace. Notwithstanding this, it is not the least steps which brings us closer to the goal of equality between men and women. Thus, the consistent implementation of the goals for achieving the women’s quota will bring a new impetus into the businesses up to 2019, leave a changed image of women in leadership and, above all, provide new female as well as male role models with which the younger generation can identify.
As a woman, mother and GenY member, I am re-exploring every day how I can reconcile my family life with mine and the professional goals of my husband. My way to happiness? My inner motivation for myself, as well as the attitude and support of my husband, my family and friends.
If you are also convinced that together we can find a faster way to allow women and men equal chances in their work, in family life, in politics and in health care, then comment this post with #CountMeIn and share your conviction with the people who care about you.