Monthly Archives: January 2014

Gender gap, Communism and Capitalism. ✓ ✕

Where do women enjoy equality, greater freedom and empowerment- under capitalism or communism?

Answer is, under communism.

It has been studied, concluded over and again. This can be proven before anyone with a basic understanding of sociology, economics and politics.

Several people come up with up with  questions like  “ 20% of US Senators are women, while Chinese Polit Bureau has none. What does that prove?” Well, it doesn’t prove anything, except that they understand very little about  gender gap.

Let’s   start  from the basics to answer this question.

What makes the gender gap?

A combination of society  along with its derivative- the government and economy. When a child is born, the society expects him or her to play certain roles. People, including the parents of the child  raises the child in conformity with the general expectation and if that expectation has a gender gap, the sex of that child  will have beneficial or detrimental effect on him/her. People make society, society makes people.

Since early days, most of the societies had been male dominated and gender gap was inevitable. It had been only some decades since the narrowing has started. The narrowing, which is a clear indicator of equality had to be studied with respect to the state of the society, where it was, where it is and where it is going to be. We cannot take out the society and make every country completely comparable in mere numbers.  Comparisons however can be done  between countries that have cultural, economic and social similarities.

“20% of Senators… What does it prove?

Nothing, except that some data is collected, missed out some and misinterpreted whatever at hand.

Let’s analyze it. 20% of  US senators are women. Virtually there was no women representation in US Senate until 1992, says Wikipedia. It’s a good change.

Whats the point in comparing that with a culturally &  economically different China (first of all this representation of China as the only Communist society itself is wrong)? China should be compared to a country similar to it in some aspect and same applies for USA. How about comparing US and Cuba, then? They are  geographically close and have some sort of cultural similarity.

There are 299 women in 612 strong Cuban National Assembly newly elected in 2013.  By percentage, it is 48.2% . The trend is good too, in the previous CNA it was  43.2%  [Ref 1] . Unlike USA, it has a very long history of a large number of women in power with ministerial ranks. [Ref 2]

That should take care of the 20% mania. Now,  Why China is different? It had a society that regarded women as far inferior, much like in  other Asian countries.  One of the first thing Mao did after the revolution was to revoke the complete ban of women holding any position of power, that existed for a very long time. It takes time before women are socially accepted as leaders. Leaders need to be elected. That doesn’t mean women are out of picture there now. They had at least 4 or 5 Women Governors for provinces. There is a strong contestant women leader who would probably make it in the next PB Elections.

Why China, Cuba or even former USSR did not have a woman premiere, then?

Some countries had women premiers and some did not. US had a near miss once, meaning it is possible for them. With the current number of members, it is possible for Cuba too. China will have a long way to go. However, having a woman premier doesn’t, by itself, mean anything. In the gender gap analysis of leadership, India and Bangladesh are in top ranks, outsmarting most of the  countries of the world, just because of one single reason,  family rule! We had two females from Nehru family, Indira and Sonia at the top because of their birth in  a “ruling” family. On the other extreme, we have Philippines, a  truly non-male centric society by culture for long, which will naturally have women premiers, regardless of the form of Government.

The overall representation in Government  is what truly counts, according to world’s best  experts. This is the real reason why Global Gap Index Report 2013 published by World Economic Forum ranks Cuba as #1  in the world on this aspect,  while Germany, despite having a woman premiere is ranked 24th. (Incidentally the capitalist’s ideal world USA is ranked 76, while China is in  ranked 51, Vietnam is 44 and UK is  ranked 54) [Ref 3]

Well, political representation is not the only thing. What about roles in the society, like women’s jobs and  roles. Isn’t  women in capitalist countries  doing better than those in communist nations?

Of course not, says the facts and figures.   When it comes to male-female ratio of professionals and technical staff, Cuba is ranked 17 and  US is at 35.  China is slightly behind at position 46 and Vietnam is at  57. But  it is to be noted that  both of these outrank UK ( Rank 70) and  Japan (Rank 79) [Ref 4]

By this time, you would have got the capitalist heaven for women myth burst. You may though tend to ask “what about the successful business women story  I see on channels every day?” Well, they report the exceptions very well and without fail. In fact women occupy only 1.6% of executive positions in Japan  and it is just  16%  in USA’s fortune 500 companies (only 3% of these companies’ CEOs are women) [Ref 5]. China shines best – a whopping 51%  of  executives are women! [Ref 6]  There was also some report stating that  Roughly 20% of them are CEOs – you may ignore this particular statement since I couldn’t find a ready reference.

In one sentence,  is there a single, researched, documented, analyzed, interpreted indicator?

Yes. In  overall global gender gap, Cuba is above USA and UK –15th position,  while UK is at 18th  respectively.  China ranks in place 69, it is the best among countries that have a culture of viewing female children inferior and resorts to sex based abortions – Romania, India, Italy etc. To  compare apple with apples – Japan is ranked at 105!  [Ref 7]

Can this be by just chance or coincidence?

Of course not. Women’s empowerment does  not happen by chance, in a male dominated society.  It had been  documented  at theoretical level, planned at governmental level, implemented  comprehensively and monitored regularly.   If you look at the historical trend, you will see a steady and persistent increase in women’s empowerment in every communist country, former ones, during their period of existence .

Still not convinced?

Well, you have an irrational belief that is contradictory to  facts, figures and logic. No problem with that!  Let’s  enjoy this old Bulgarian joke :

A woman tells her friend; “ Last night, I had a terrible nightmare. It was like – I have a job, my medical bills were taken care of and when I return after work, the refrigerator was full.”

“How can that be a nightmare?” exclaimed her friend.

“You idiot, didn’t you get it? That means communism is back!”

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References

  1. http://www.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/2079_E.htm

  2. http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/Cuba-Heads.htm

  3. Global Gender Gap Report 2013, World Economic Forum, Page 60.

  4. Global Gender Gap Report 2013, World Economic Forum, Page 53.

  5. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/why-so-few-women-reach-the-executive-rank/?_r=0

  6. http://www.wearewatermark.org/blog/entry/china-leads-the-world-51-percent-of-senior-executives-are-women

  7. Global Gender Gap Report 2013, World Economic Forum, Page 7.