BOOK: "Attack of the 50-Foot Women"

BOOK: "Attack of the 50-Foot Women"

Postby Oscar » Thu May 04, 2017 9:56 am

Catherine Mayer offers gender equality road map in [b]'Attack of the 50 Foot Women' [/b]

[ ... eet-women/ ]

by Lauren La Rose, The Canadian Press April 28, 2017


In “Attack of the Fifty Foot Women: How Gender Equality Can Save the World!’ (HarperCollins) the author and journalist cites many of the same core objectives touted by the Women’s Equality Party, or WE, as a potential road map to achieving parity.

Pursuit in equality in education, pay, caregiving and bringing an end to violence against women are party tenets. They are also measures echoed in Mayer’s book as examples that will not only lead to the betterment for women but society overall.

Mayer paid a visit to Iceland, which has long been heralded for its progressive attitudes towards women. She spoke to many locals who gave their accounts of the Women’s Day Off as a key turning point in recognizing the vital role women played within the country. On Oct. 24, 1975, all women walked away from their jobs and unpaid caregiving duties, leading production in all spheres to come to a halt.

“For that one day, the men suddenly realized how much the women contribute,” said Mayer. “It didn’t turn it into a gender-equal country overnight, but it kickstarted the process.”

She writes of measures and social supports Iceland has instituted such as shared parental leave, and high-enough salaries to incentivize fathers to stay home with the kids, helping mothers to continue to participate in the labour force.

“They’re still nowhere near total equality. There’s still gender-based violence, there’s still a gender pay gap, there’s still segregation in the job market. But they are much further along,” said Mayer. “The way people interact is so noticeably different, and the confidence with which women present themselves; but also the ease with which men deal with manifestations of female power are completely different.

“The biggest thing of all is that men understand that it’s part of the same project. They see that they, too, benefit from everyone being more equal rather than assuming what men in many cultures do — that it will take away from them.”
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