[REPORT] Is it more difficult for women? Facts about the social position of women and men

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We are publishing this report on March 8, Women’s Day. It was an excellent opportunity to look at an issue that usually raises strong and polarizing emotions in the public debate: women’s rights and societal position. Talking about this issue usually divides people into “left” and “right,” which completely obscures the issue’s essence.

The inability to assess the actual differences in rights, status, or achievements between men and women results in harmful political ideas. Is it so wrong with women’s salaries and opportunities for career advancement that quotas are necessary? After all, some differences are overestimated, and to achieve the desired results, measures would be much less intrusive regarding the functioning of companies and institutions. Feminism does not have to exclude common sense and quarrel with classical economic liberalism. “Doesn’t have to” is an understatement. Feminism is liberalism.

As Dr. Katarzyna Szumlewicz, the report’s author, explains, it’s about the feminism of the first two waves, which was only about allowing women to function with the same rights as men and to remove harmful stereotypes about them. Not so the third- and fourth-wave feminism, which makes women victims who need constant help. It is these types of feminism that are the subsoil for harmful ideas about affirmative policies toward women. By forcing what should come naturally, such policies will only lead to injustice and conflict.

Ideological disputes determine where societies and countries go. In every field that WEI deals with – whether it is issues of economic regulation or demographic policies – they choose the adopted solutions, and more often than not, they prevent reasonable solutions from being adopted. From this point of view, Dr. Szumlewicz’s work, aided by a public opinion survey commissioned from Maison&Partners, is precious: it juxtaposes socio-economic facts about women and men with social perceptions about them. The overall conclusion is positive: society is more accurate in assessing the differences between men and women than many experts.


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