What Can I Do about Gender Equity?

How gender roles and relations are constructed not only determines our life options as women and men; it also affects everything in a society — from families, education, and religion, to politics and economics. Partnership systems celebrate fluid gender roles with a high valuing of empathy, respect, caring, caregiving, and nonviolence in women and men, as well as in social and economic policy.

Four Essential Actions

After centuries of assumptions about male superiority and female inferiority, we must reclaim the value of women and the ”feminine,” re-vision manhood and masculinity, and leave behind the gendered system of values that underlies our political economy. This requires:

1. Dismantling Domination-Based Gender Norms
As parents, grandparents, teachers, and caring community members, we can support young women in rejecting the equation of ‘femininity’ with subservience, compliance, and sexualization. We can show young men that their human capacities for caring, creativity, and mutual respect are a key markers of “masculinity.”

Resources
Webinar: Behind Our Gender Masks: Empowering Young Women and Men to Express their Full Humanity
Webinar: Raising Caring Men: How Can #MeToo Bring a Revolution in Masculinities?
The Power of Partnership by Riane Eisler
The Caring and Connected Parenting Guide
Masculinity in America: After the Election by Jed Diamond
The New Compassionate Male and the Myth of Liminality by Clay Boykin

Jamia Wilson, executive director of the Feminist Press, shared her perspective on women's leadership in the CPS webinar Power With and Power Through – How Women Are Leading Differently. Photo by Aubrie Pick

2. Rethinking Gender and Leadership
Real representative democracy does not exist unless there are more women in positions of leadership. To build a more just and caring world, all genders learn to practice leadership in ways that cultivate partnership rather than domination. But what does it look like to “do power differently”? How do we support one another in implementing bold visions grounded in the life-giving values of care, mutuality, diversity, and creativity? Partnerism and the partnership system provides a framework that supports gender equity in family, economy, government, and our all our social and institutions.

Resources
Webinar: Power With and Power Through: How Women Are Leading Differently
The Real Wealth of Nations by Riane Eisler
Mindset Shift: We Can Change the Gendered System of Values in the Workplace by Riane Eisler, Business Insider
Finally Half the Sky at Bretton Woods—75 Years Later by Rickey Gard Diamond, Ms. Magazine
Gender Equity, Political Advocacy and Self-Care by Tanja Kovac

3. Working to End Violence Against Women
Violence against women is normalized in domination-based systems of power. To learn more about what CPS is doing to end violence against women, and how you can help, visit:

 

Violence Against Women

 

Resources
Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth, and the Politics of the Body by Riane Eisler

4. Redefining Human Rights to Include Women’s and Children’s Rights
Historically, the human rights movement did not include women’s rights, with disastrous consequences for women and children. Riane Eisler pioneered an integrated, action-oriented theory of human rights that includes the whole of humanity -- women, men, and children.

Resources
Human Rights: Toward an Integrated Theory For Action by Riane Eisler
Protecting the Majority of Humanity: Toward an Integrated Approach to Crimes against Present and Future Generations by Riane Eisler
Talking with Young Women and Men About Gender - interview with Brie Mathers

5. Showing that What’s Good for Women is Good for All
An essential strategy for moving the needs of women and children out of the margins to the center of policy-making is connecting the dots between raising the status of women and a high quality of life for everyone. Riane Eisler has made important contributions to this work, with original research studies, writings, and speeches.

Resources
Women, Men, and the Global Quality of Life by: Riane Eisler, David Loye, and Kari Norgaard. Originally released at the U.N. Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995, this CPS study of 89 countries dramatically reveals the connection between women's rights and a better quality of life for both men and women.

What’s Good For Women Is Good For The World
Download the transcript of Eisler’s 2013 speech at the U.S. Department of State on the occasion of Women’s History Month.

6. Revisioning the Economic Rules
Current economic rules are based on the assumption that women should do the work of caring for people and maintaining a habitable home environment for free in male-controlled households. Neither capitalist nor socialist theory consider the work of caring for people, starting in early childhood, and caring for our environment as “productive” work. Because the work of care giving is still largely done by women, this renders women’s economic contributions invisible, which is a major factor in the disproportionate poverty of women worldwide.

The Partnerism Movement is working to enact gender-equitable partnership systems, starting with an economy that rewards caring for one another, nature, and our collective future. Lean more about how you can help build the Partnerism Movement:

The Partnerism Movement