8 Diverse Equality in Elisabeth Michielsens, Linda Clarke and Christine Wall
Europe: The Construction
INTRODUCTIONIn this chapter we examine the definition and nature of gender equality
cross-nationally and the obstacles to applying a common integrated
framework. It is based on research carried out under a NOW (New
Opportunities for Women) programme with partners in Britain, Denmark
and Spain, which focused on achieving equality in a highly male-dominated
sector — the construction industry. 'Equality' assumed different meanings in the different national contexts and equal opportunities policies
DIFFERENT CONCEPTS OF EQUALITYGender equality has long been on the European agenda: the principle
of equal treatment was established in the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and
since then the concept has been refined through legislation and action
programmes.But gender equality on a European scale is far from established and the European labour force remains highly gender-segregated.
A major problem confronting attempts at improvement is the lack of a
common understanding of 'equality'. Equality has been defined as:
|• ||Equal treatment. Originating from the liberal tradition, this is an individual, theoretical and legally-defined concept of equality assuming
that no gender discrimination should be made (Peters, 1996). Its weakness is a disregard for different individual starting positions in society.|
|• ||Equal opportunities goes beyond the equal treatment principle,
addressing the issue of equality from a more factual and collective
standpoint (Forbes, 1989). Unlike 'equal treatment', it has never |
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Equality, Diversity and Disadvantage in Employment.
Contributors: Mike Noon - Editor, Emmanuel Ogbonna - Editor.
Place of publication: Basingstoke, England.
Publication year: 2001.
Page number: 118.
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