A little test: who among you is familiar with situations in which formal power is distributed differently than the official rules say it is? For example, at a company or in a society in which some people are more powerful than purely according to what is on paper in statutes or job descriptions, while others have less power?
Who has not encountered it personally, but believes that this occurs?
I assume that 100% will answer “Yes, it happens”. Of course it happens. Formal rules are important, but there are always informal power structures and they often continue to exist even if the official rules are changed. Often for a very, very long time.
But if 100% agree to this statement, there is one thing I do not understand: in Austria women have had the right to vote for 100 years, we have discrimination prohibition and equal rights – on paper.
However, we have big pay differences, few women in leading positions, few women in positions of power. The data is on the table. How can there be doubts that injustices must be eliminated, even if everyone is equal before the law?
Further steps are therefore required. For example, one could create greater salary transparency so that informal but quite real discrimination is made more visible. Poverty traps in advanced years could be prevented. There should be a legal right to childcare. And, and, and.
All these demands also benefit men, by the way, if they are affected. This is more rarely the case, once again it is about the informal structures.
The women’s petition for a referendum 2.0 is therefore required, which is why men should also sign it. I have already been there. Have you?

Posted by Michel Reimon