Gender equality is reverse discrimination

Discrimination against men at work has many aspects around the world

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In Germany there is a women's representative and a quota for women. But no men’s representative. Is it time we talked about discrimination against men at work in the context of equality? Some of our alumni report on their experiences.

Between 2000 and 2004, the Council adopted the four directives on equal treatment, which also called for equality between men and women in employment. Equality means, for example, achieving a higher quota of women in management positions. This is based on the idea that women are underrepresented there, but it also harbors the risk of turning into the opposite at some point and leading to discrimination against men. And indeed men in Germany are increasingly losing their career opportunities.

German men fear losing their top jobs

Even among the under 25s, the gender difference on the German labor market is striking: almost two thirds of the young unemployed are male. There are now 12.3 million women and only 9.7 million men among the employees. Fifty years ago the relationship was still balanced. So why is equality for women still such a big issue in Germany? Because it is the other way around for executives: In 2012, the proportion of women in management positions in companies with 500 or more employees was only 8.7 percent.

But: In the past six years, the number of female top executives has grown by 1.8 percent annually and that of men only by 0.3 percent. The reason is the quota for women. This upsets some male colleagues in business because they fear that men will be discriminated against at work. Is this fear justified? And is equality a German or a global problem? We asked our alumni what observations they made in their home countries.

From machismo to discrimination against men

The Argentine Daniel Fernández Arnau works in Brazil and was just discussing the issue of male discrimination with a Colombian colleague: “We agree with the theory of discrimination against men in the workplace. Sometimes women have the opportunity to assume a dominant role and use it to their own advantage. In doing so, they pretend to act against machos, but ultimately they are only interested in personal power. "

Hamid Boukheraz also observes that men are discriminated against in Moroccan professional life: “Although we are considered a male society, almost all Moroccan women are employed, including many unmarried women. Many single Moroccan men, on the other hand, are unemployed, which makes it impossible for them to raise a family. Because in Morocco it is completely unthinkable that the woman earns money and the man stays at home and takes care of the children and the household. ”Hamid reports that many Moroccan women are hired because they receive less wages - the high wage gap between men and women is a global problem and is also criticized as unjust in Germany.

Discrimination against men in women's professions

Dilip Kumbham states for India: "I believe that there is high discrimination against men in certain occupations, for example in call centers or hotel services, since these jobs are traditionally occupied by women." Diane Liu, currently living in Canada, even observes, that men who work in typical women's professions - for example in nursing or in the fashion industry - are often labeled as homosexual.

Equality debates are mostly about promoting women. But our alumni have addressed various aspects that show that some men now also feel professionally oppressed.

Benefits of equality for men

The gender portal of Bielefeld University addresses the fact that men can also benefit from equality measures: To promote the compatibility of work and family, parental and part-time work was introduced as a measure to promote women. These are increasingly being used by men who want to spend more time with their children.

May 2014