On 7 December 2022, TASC Platform and International Gender Champions (IGC) co-organised the film screening and discussion of “Fair Play: Gender Balance at Home and at Work" in partnership with the US Permanent Mission in Geneva and the Innovation Foundation. The event combined extracts from the FAIR PLAY documentary with a high-level panel discussion featuring Ambassador Jürg Lauber of Switzerland, Ambassador Julia Imene-Chanduru of Namibia, Cynthia Hansen, Managing Director of the Innovation Foundation, and Daniel de Torres, Director of the Small Arms Survey.
In her opening remarks, Ambassador Crocker reflected on the disproportionate burden of care work borne by women globally, and the impact on families, workplaces and society. This has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in underserved communities. Extracts from the documentary showed women and men sharing their personal experiences as well as the socio-political factors which see care work undervalued and largely invisible in the United States. During the panel discussion, Ambassador Imene-Chanduru highlighted how the film has cross-cultural relevance in Namibian society; traditional role models and the transition to an industrialised economy, particularly during colonialism, have left women carrying full loads inside and outside the home. She emphasised the necessity of overcoming patriarchal gender roles by, for instance, implementing social and labour protection measures to empower women, especially in rural areas.
Ambassador Lauber also shared how there has been progressing in Switzerland in the legal structures, but gaps still remain, particularly in implementation. He highlighted how the IGC creates a vehicle for those in leadership positions to promote more equal workspaces within their organisations. Cynthia Hansen outlined recent research conducted by the Innovation Foundation on why women who have fallen out of the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic are struggling to come back. She highlighted the intersectional reasons determining women’s access to previous and new jobs - such as race, gender, and socio-economic factors - and how a stronger focus on women’s choice and agency can encourage them to re-enter the workforce. Finally, the discussion concluded with Daniel de Torres questioning an economy in which two people need to work 60-80 hour weeks to support a family and make ends meet and cautioned against developing practices in the workplace that reinforce the gendered division of labour at home, such as parental leave that only favours mothers. Finally, he said: “it is important that the message be clear. Patriarchy is not a system created and maintained by men because it's so great for us. Men lose a lot because of the patriarchy. Let's talk about how much men and women are losing from the system and let's work together and make it different.”
You can watch the FAIR PLAY documentary until mid-January at the following link: https://vimeo.com/762395118 using the password GCSPxFairPlay.