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What is Gender Equality?

Gender equality is achieved when women and men enjoy the same rights and opportunities
across all sectors of society, including economic participation and decision-making, and when the
different behaviours, aspirations and needs of women and men are equally valued and favoured.
How Do We Measure Gender Equality?
Gender equality is measured by looking at the representation of men and of women in a range of
The Central Statistics Office regularly publishes "Women and Men in Ireland", a compendium
of key statistics which enable us to map progress achieved towards de facto gender equality in
The European Union statistical office, Eurostat, publishes an overview
of gender statistics for the European Unionfrom fields such as education, the labour market,
earnings and health, important for showing differences in the situations of women and men.
A number of international comparative gender equality indices also exist which offer a way to
compare Ireland’s achievements with those of other countries. Each index looks at a distinct list
of parameters and the choice of parameters affects the outcome for each country.
World Economic Forum Global Gender Pay Gap Index
The Global Gender Gap Index, introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006, is another
framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities which benchmarks
national gender gaps on economic, political, education and health criteria. This Index looks at
economic participation and opportunity deviation; educational attainment deviation; health and
survival deviation and political empowerment deviation.
Using this Index, Ireland ranks in 5th place for 2015, and 3rd among EU Member States. This
achievement is linked to the importance placed under this index to the presence of a woman as
Head of State over the past 50 years – a measure under which Ireland scores particularly
well. It also shows that such indices can be misleading unless they are interpreted carefully.
Social Watch Gender Equity Index
Social Watch is a network comprised by national coalitions of civil society organizations and it too
prepares an index. The Social Watch gender equality index is based on the gap between women
and men in education, the economy and political empowerment.
After thousands of years of male dominance, we now stand at the
beginning of the feminine era, when women will rise to their appropriate
prominence, and the entire world will recognize the harmony between
man and woman. — The Rebbe
A couple who was having communication problems came to see the
Rebbe. The woman said that her husband was consumed with his work,
and that when he finally found time to speak with her, he criticized her
and ordered her around. The husband said that his wife had no respect
for him and didn’t listen to any of his suggestions.
“Why do you think your wife should listen to you?” the Rebbe
asked. “Because a woman must listen to her husband,” he replied.
“But why should a woman listen to her husband?” the Rebbe
asked. “Because the man is the master of the house.”
“No,” said the Rebbe. “The first thing that you as a man must follow is
the edict that ‘a man should honor his wife more than he does himself.’
And then the righteous woman will have a husband she can respect and
love. If the man does not fulfill his role, then it is the woman who must
respectfully bring it to his attention.”
What are the differences between men and
Man and woman represent two forms of divine energy; they are the male and female
elements of a single soul.
G-d is neither masculine nor feminine, but has two forms of emanation: the masculine form,
which is more aggressive, and the feminine form, which is more subtle. For a human being
to lead a total life, he or she must have both forms of energy: the power of strength and the
power of subtlety; the power of giving and the power of receiving. Ideally, these energies
are merged seamlessly.
Men are physically stronger. By nature, they are usually more aggressive and externally
oriented. In contrast, a woman usually embodies the ideal of inner dignity. Some people
confuse such subtlety with weakness; in truth, it is stronger than the most aggressive
physical force imaginable. True human dignity does not shout; it is a strong, steady voice
that speaks from within. The nature of a woman, while subtle, is not weak. And the nature of
a man, while aggressive, is not brutish. For man and woman to be complete, they must
each possess both energies.
The answer is not for men and women to try to be alike. All men and women must
be themselves, realizing that G-d has given each of us unique abilities with which to pursue
our goals, and that our primary responsibility is to take full advantage of those abilities.

What is true liberation for both sexes?

Though feminism rightfully calls for the end of male domination and abuse, and for equal
rights for women, it is vital to get to the root of the distortion — that our focus in life, as
man or woman, must not be simply to satisfy our own ego or needs, but to serve G-d. True
women’s liberation does not mean merely seeking equality within a masculine world, but
liberating the divine feminine aspects of a woman’s personality and using them for the
benefit of humankind.
After so many years of male dominance, we are standing at the threshold of a true feminine
era. It is time now for the woman to rise to her true prominence, when the subtle power of
the feminine energy is truly allowed to nourish the overt power of the masculine energy. We
have already proven that we can use our strength to slay the demons around us; let us now
learn to nurture the G-dliness within.