Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Sexual Equality

Courtesy of The Economist. I'm a bit puzzled over why 7 is chosen as meaning equality between the sexes, but whatever, it's interesting to see where the U.S. seems to fall out on this. We tend to think of ourselves here as having a society where it's very equal for women, but out of 58 nations we're #17, not even in the first quintile. I shouldn't think that women in the sciences would be much surprised by this, though all Americans should wonder what it would take to get higher up on the list.


Blogger BotanicalGirl said...

I disagree that we think of our society as very equal to women. Maybe because I'm a woman. Sure, we're certainly not an Islamic country and we've made a lot of progress. The country as a whole is less likely to shun women for standing up for what they want. But women still make less money (73 cents for every dollar a man makes, last time I checked), they have to work twice as hard for the same promotions. How many female CEOs do you know of? Especially in science, we get punished for wanting to raise our kids.

There is a lot of work to be done. Even the #1 country on this chart doesn't rank a 7.

12:44 PM  
Blogger James said...

I would offer that were you to ask the average person off the street whether they thought the U.S. was the top, or at least in the top ten of countries that treat women with equality the answer you'd get is "Of course!" I may be wrong, but that's my sense of it, surely.

As to your other points, let me assure you, you're preaching to the choir. Unlike you my wife is from an Islamic country, and we have had many discussions regarding the treatment of women here and there; needless to say there are significant areas of difference, especially for her as a scientist. Now presidents of MIT, Princeton, and Brown aside, I well appreciate the difficulties women have to deal with in the sciences and in our society in general, and equity is far from being close in this country. But I don't believe the appreciation of this is nearly as pervasive as it should be, in particular with those who should be most aware of it, i.e. men.

As for your observation regarding the top ranked country, I was also a bit surprised that #1 still fell far afield of equality, and this raises many questions as to what we're getting wrong, not just here but everywhere, or so it seems.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Africanuck said...

Did anyone else notice that the top 5 countries are cold places? I wonder if there is a reason for that?

4:09 PM  

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