Magazine article The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs

The EU's Roadmap for Gender Equality: A Road to Hell: The EU's Gender Plan Is Not Merely an Academic Exercise in Brussels' "Eurospeak," but a Real Programme with Measures That Will Bring Detriment to Us All

Magazine article The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs

The EU's Roadmap for Gender Equality: A Road to Hell: The EU's Gender Plan Is Not Merely an Academic Exercise in Brussels' "Eurospeak," but a Real Programme with Measures That Will Bring Detriment to Us All

Article excerpt

The "Communication from the European Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: A Roadmap for Equality between Women and Men 2006-2010" might bring a smile to one's lips, if it was not meant to be taken seriously. On the other hand, it opens the floodgates to backwardness and mediocrity. Any rational individual should strongly protest against it.

SOCIALIST EGALITARIANISM

From 2006 to 2010, the plan has delineated six EU priorities in regards to gender equality issues: economic independence, reconciliation between private and professional life, equal representation in decision-making, the eradication of gender-based violence and trafficking, the elimination of societal gender stereotypes, and the promotion of gender equality in external developmental policies.

The EU gender plan is primarily misleading because it does not recognise the classical liberal-conservative distinction between "equality of rights" and "equality of results." The fact that citizens are equal in their rights (they stand at the same starting line before a race) does not mean that they will achieve the same results (that they will finish the race at the same moment). It is egalitarian and nonsensical to think that everyone should finish at the same time.

The following sentence from the "Roadmap's" preamble is peculiar: "Gender equality is a fundamental right, a common value of the EU, and a necessary condition for the achievement of the EU objectives of growth, employment and social cohesion." But an individual's equal right to freedom is the fundamental right of man, not gender equality. While freedom is a universal right for men and women, the two genders (or other social groups) are not guaranteed to achieve the same equality in their accomplishments.

The idea that men and women must achieve "equality of results" is just as absurd as the proposition that blondes and brunettes, Catholics and Protestants, university graduates and individuals of lower education, vegetarians and meat-eaters, people that are slim and overweight, and the disparate British and Czech economies must all achieve the same results simply because they are equal members of the European Union.

If the European Commission wants to achieve this notion of egalitarianism, it needs to redistribute all thinkable human abilities. The communists were very "successful" in this respect. Their results are well known. The communist system supported mediocrity and discouraged optimal individual performance and intiative. And in comparison with countries which did not ascribe to similar absurd egalitarian ambitions, this system led to a state of backwardness.

DO NOT FIGHT NATURE

The Commission's intention to raise female employment to 60 percent by 2010, (the current rate is around 55.7 percent) resembles socialist planning. When the European Commission found that women earn 15 percent less than men, it automatically assumed that the earnings gap resulted directly from gender discrimination and structural inequalities such as "segregation in sectors, occupations and work patterns." But this assumption ignores the fact that people are not forced into certain sectors of employment, but enter them voluntarily.

The EU's attempt to increase the number of entrepreneurial opportunities for women is almost comical. To do so, the Commission created the Entrepreneurship Action Plan which is supposed to increase their entrepreneurial opportunities by creating better access to finance and developing entrepreneurial networks. But from a market perspective, it is more important to ensure that businesses meet consumer demands, rather than ensure gender equality in positions of management.

The "Gender Plan" states that women and men are confronted with gender specific health-risks, diseases, problems, and practices which impact their health. …

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