opinion

Pom in Oz: Equality of opportunity, not outcome, should be the focus

Derek GoforthMidwest Times
When we talk about equality between the sexes, do we mean equality of outcome or equality of opportunity?
Camera IconWhen we talk about equality between the sexes, do we mean equality of outcome or equality of opportunity? Credit: Toby Wilkinson/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Is there equality between the sexes? If so, what is the actual definition of equality? What do we mean? Equality of outcome? Equality of opportunity?

When we talk about equality between the sexes a lot of subjects come to the forefront — pay gaps, gender in politics, achievement in schools to name but a few.

Some companies have certain quotas that need to be filled to ensure that an equal amount of male and females are employed. In politics, Labor (but not the Liberals) have quotas to ensure they have a fair gender representation among their chosen candidates vying for office.

Are these quotas a good thing or just an example of discrimination? After all it could easily present the situation where a man is not employed even though they have better experience and qualifications — simply because there is a shortage of females employed or elected. Surely this isn’t fair? There has to be a better system?

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I honestly believe equality of outcome is not only unrealistic, it’s also damaging and simply won’t work. There needs to be a simple focus of equality of opportunity. There should be an effort to ensure everyone, regardless of sex is given the opportunity to achieve.

Rather than measuring people in the job, we should measure the playing field first.

I honestly believe equality of outcome is not only unrealistic, it’s also damaging and simply won’t work. There needs to be a simple focus of equality of opportunity.

As a society we get caught up in the blame game. I am not where I want to be because of him or her or this or that. But nothing will, or should be, handed to us on a plate. As a society we should endeavour to allow everyone the same opportunity to succeed or to fail. But to insist we need representation purely based on gender is utter nonsense.

The best person for the job, gender is irrelevant. But this only works when we remove any stumbling blocks that exist.

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