Gender equality: Brussels moralises at its own peril

15 November 2012 – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt)

How a country ensures equality is its own business. Brussels should not interfere. The meddling is hardly helping women, and Brussels is making itself even more unpopular by its moral interventionism, writes a German columnist.

Yes, it is still there: the famous glass ceiling that keeps women from being promoted to important positions. But ceilings are not destiny. There are people who decide on promotions, and there are people that determine the conditions and the environment that changes in the profession take place in. People? Most of them are men. They increasingly have to justify their existence – and for that reason alone, no one can claim that nothing is changing.

Promoting women to positions such as “deputy of the the deputy” (who is a man, of course) or sudden gushing professions of faith by elderly heads of departments in favour of a strict quota for women are but smoke and mirrors, all the same. If they’re to be believed, they should resign immediately. After all, no-one is irreplaceable, and we’re not short of qualified women – who would deny that?

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Translated from the German by Anton Baer

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