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Gender parity: game changer or gamble?

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The Graduate Institute’s Programme on Gender and Global Change and the Geneva Gender Champions organized the inaugural Geneva Gender Debate on 8 March 2016.

Moderator Scott Weber, Director-General of Interpeace, began by remarking that whilst all panel members agreed on the goal of gender equality, the debate centered on whether gender parity is the game-changing means to achieving that goal. 

Proposing the motion “this house believes betting on gender parity as the game changer is a risky gamble”, Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR, and Stuart Halford of the Sexual Rights Initiative, argued that parity focusses our attention on metrics at the expense of facing the qualitative nature of gendered power relations head-on. "That's why it's called equality, not equantity", argued Kate Gilmore.

Opposing the motion was Professor Elisabeth Prügl, Director of the Graduate Institute’s Programme on Gender and Global Change, and Arancha González, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre.

“The goal is gender equality”, said Arancha González. “We must change laws, mind-sets, traditions and attitudes. Gender parity gives us more diversity, which is essential in order to make sure everyone’s views, perspectives and approaches can be embedded in the long road we have to walk together – men and women – towards gender equality.”

“Is it sufficient to just have 50% women and 50% men in everything? Is that going to change the world?” asked Elisabeth Prügl. “Even if you have equal amounts of women and men in a parliament or an institution, does that change the way the institution works? Will you affect structures of inequality? It’s a complex issue.” Click here for more information.

Source: The Graduate Institute of Geneva

Gender parity: Game changer or gamble?

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