Boycotting all-male panel discussions

A group of renowned economists and academics from Spain have signed a document promising not to appear as a speaker at any academic event or round-table discussion if there are no women experts present as well.

 Maria R. Sahuquillo
Maria R. Sahuquillo EL PAÍS, Spain
Source: EL PAÍS
Boycotting all-male panel discussions

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Economic Forum, WikiCommons

Why this story matters:

The wave of feminism sweeping through Spain has reached the world of academia. Growing numbers of men have become aware of gender inequality and the social injustice that it represents, and they have joined the fight against this imbalance. Now, a significant number of academics and economics experts -- many of them in positions of great authority -- have signed an open document called No Sin Mujeres (or Not Without Women.) In it, they pledge not to participate in events, conferences or panel discussions of more than two people where there isn’t at least one woman speaking as an expert.

As a result, the numerous events at which all the speakers are male will become an exception in Spain, instead of the norm.

And this will happen not just because growing numbers of men are feeling encouraged by this trend that is shaking up gender relations. It is also having a deterrent effect on organizers, who will stop creating events where women, who make up over 50% of society, continue to be under-represented.

What’s required now is for the 2007 Equality Law to be truly implemented. The law says that there must be gender parity (at least 40% of women or men) in senior government positions and academic tribunals. It is through increased visibility that we can contribute to the fight against inequality, discrimination and harmful stereotypes.

Details from the story:

  • Over 600 economic experts and scholars have signed the No Sin Mujeres document. In it, they pledge not to participate in roundtable discussions, events or conferences which do not have female speakers.
  • For now, the document has been signed by experts and analysts from several Spanish universities (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Complutense, Universitat de València and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, among others).
  • Other signatory parties include the Bank of Spain, the Royal Elcano Institute, the scientific research council CSIC, the economic think tank Fedea, and Spanish academics at foreign education centers such as York University and Griffith University.
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