Women in the Changing World of Work – Planet 50-50 by 2030: What does this mean?

The United Nations global Sustainable Development Goals agenda is a pulpit that aims to meet the greatest trials of the 21st century, with an admirable mention of gender equality by 2030.  However, since social   progress is also evaluated   by the way society treats women, then, it is evident that the many    blockades to women’s participation in economic, social, and political life yearn to be understood in a global environment, where the language of    gender   equality   easily dissolves into ideology and objectivity.

Whereas confirmed reports indicate that “$28 trillion could be added to the global GDP by 2025 if women, who make up half of the world’s work-age population were to achieve their economic potential;” gender work parity remains the crowned monster that prevents women’s active participation in the workforce.    Statistics further show that in the United States, women working full time in 2015 were paid just 77 percent of what men were paid.   This vividly shows that women are robbed of 23% of their pay.  Compounded with the   threat of violence against women, sexual harassment, the   disparaging effects of climate change, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) confirmation   that women and girls comprise 71 per cent of human trafficking victims; the interpretation of a coarse   language continues to encapsulate the   culture of women into a wave of   negativity, thus limiting their opportunities, and   swapping away   the   realities of history.

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Yet, despite this economic and historical dilemma, the empowerment of women and girls is one of   the most profound sentiment that stirs the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to glory.

Regardless  of  Secretary  General   Guterres’ critical role and his  purpose  of  tenacity  and  assurance  for a new  chronicle in realizing gender parity  at the  United  Nations;  research   indicates  that  “the General Assembly, the highest policy making body at the United Nations, and the Security Council, the most powerful veto-wielding body in the Organization, continue to prodigiously opt for men over women during its   71-year presence in terms  of  employment  and  other   socio  – economic  advantages.

More to the point, investigations   further confirms that   the   UN  15-member Security Council’s record of accomplishment continue to elect men as UN Secretary-Generals, and that the two highest ranking political positions at the UN are   identified   as the ‘intellectual birth right’ of men.   Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, co-founder and Executive Director of International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) concludes, that “in a world with an increasing number of women in tertiary education and in the workplace, it seems inconceivable that the UN has not, or cannot reach parity between women and men in all levels across the system.”

From this it can be affirmed, that   it is the United Nation’s   grand   proselytization of gender empowerment to women   globally that   further   leads to problems by   excluding   women from the status quo, thus confining them to the private and   subjective   role of society.    The United Nation’s deteriorating conditions of practicing   inequality from within   is masked   in an institutional   androcentric program that is also leading to a negation of    cultural relativism. It is one where   generalizations are interpreted as truth and reinstated into the political, thereby making it difficult for women to understand who they are, and what they represent in a   political climate swallowed in misogynous gains and androcentric ambitions.

Even though the UN deserves much credit   for listing Goal 5 of its Sustainable Development agenda as a bulwark of achieving   gender equality and empowerment   for   women and girls; on the   other   hand, the   UN   clearly accentuates ideals   of   social and economic injustice in the lives of women globally.

To what ends are we seeking liberation and gender parity if the   UN Sustainable Development Goal on   gender equality comprises of words that   contain judgement?

It must also be remembered that if   language is the cultural part of society, then, it is evident that language will reflect   attitudes and thoughts in the construction of who and what    a woman is or represent because meaning cannot be understood without language.  Women cannot attain legitimization outside of the discourse of power that subjects them, because “the loss of meaning is created out of a meaning which seeks to prevent women from recognizing the destructive contradictions which comprises reality.”

Elaborating further, if   the   illusions of   psychological autonomy, religion and philosophy continue to be the defining   datum   that crafts the   social, economic, and political life of women, then, it creates a method   for male   dominance and a   reason for   repression and alienation for women universally.  The philosophical works of   Aristotle, Freud   et al, coupled with the   Christianity dogma of St. Paul should not be the prevailing evidence to   further the   plight   of sexism and discrimination   among    UN policy makers.  Indeed, the male   is  ruler and the  female  is  subject,  but  if it is in   the spirit of the times (Zeitgeist)  that  the   cultural  matrix  is   to be  understood,  then,  it is  plain to  see   how the UN’s   reasoning eliminates the concept of ‘personhood’  and restrict  all   aspects of   human experience, hence,  branding women as victims of a tragic misogyny and a catastrophic sexism that knows no bounds.

Notwithstanding   the   fact that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a soft law agreement, and   governments are not legally required to deliver on the commitments, it must be seen that we now live in a world where   technology    substitutes   humanity.  Within this bearing, if United Nation policy makers refuse   to indorse pioneering technologies   and practices to generate   innocuous working environments for women, then it becomes impossible for the onus to coerce a more   structural focus   on gender   equality for women and girls   globally.  Moreover, in the great    marriage of   globalisation, and technological advancement, the   adoption of women must also be considered in the great narrative of women in the changing world of work.  If these decisions are ignored, then, women will continue to face colossal   eccentricities   in building sustainable and productive livelihoods.  Gender   parity 50-50 by 2030 will be nothing but   a ‘fleeting illusion to be pursued   but   never   attained.’

Still, one thing is certain.   Women cannot continue to be socialized by the internalization of administrative concepts   and paradigms while their struggles for self determination are eroded in the   grinding wheel of   capitalist consumption and thirst of androcentric   power.  It is good that Goal 5 of the UN   Sustainable Development Goal enables   women   to make choices, but it is also   easy to see how this   choice   is conducive to a given end in control and domination by this very bureaucratic institution.

And for women, this   double day is now   a standard impasse.

It   follows that in a world divided   along class and racial lines, it is impossible for   women to struggle for transcendence in the concept of Goal 5 of the United Nation Sustainable Development because this   notion is the product of denial and erasure.  Gender equality is an essential human right.   It is not only   dividing things into binary categories to understand gender parity and women in the changing world of work, but the inclusion of other voices which are not of the dominant construct also need to be heard.

The pluralistic prospect of Goal 5 the United Nations sustainable development agenda must also seek to dissuade the   social forms of categorization, negative stereotyping, and over representation that   stifles the concerted efforts of women, and thwarts transformational changes towards women in the changing world of work.

Consequently, navigating the progression of gender equality   to a sustainable future demands a change to   institutional language and   the prevailing ‘androcentricism’ that   continues to bring        untold   connotations to the scope of human thinking.  Women and girls need “access to education, health care, decent work and representation in political and economic decision-making processes to fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.”

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