Mandatory program, Tuesday dec 5th.
Today, Tuesday december 5th, I visited school to participate in the international week program. After a brief welcome the day was kicked off by two guest speakers. One on food and politics, the other on globalization. After this we all watched a documentary on racial privilege. In the afternoon there were several workshops to attend, of wich I chose “Cultural diversity and the global gendre gap” by Hans de Hoog.
The lecture on food and politics seemed a bit strange at first. I never really thought about food in this way before. After hearing about how some aspects of global history revolve around tea I was quite surprised. Also I had no idea that the Russian economy relies on vodka sales as much as it does.
The second speaker talked about how migration is of all times. The difference between migrations in the past and now is that the numbers have increased. Too many people are migration to a relatively small area, wich causes problems. I think that’s a pretty accurate statement. Migration is a problem that needs solving and I don’t think it will be solved any time soon because of its complexity. The main reason for people to migrate is to find a better life. As much as I would like everyone to live a happy life, I don’t think marching en masse to a place where people have it better is the way to achieve this. As for the documentary, I thought it was a bit one-sided. I also felt like there was little evidence apart from personal stories and social media posts.
Last but not least was the workshop by Hans de Hoog. His workshop was on the differences between men and women in politics, educational opportunities, etc. Every year the WEF (World Economic Forum) releases a list of the countries of the world, ranked by there succes in closing the gendre gap.
A highlight in this list is that the Netherlands score significantly lower than on most other global rankings while Rwanda scored significantly higher.
I decided not to jump into conclusions straight away. I figured there was likely a reason or a certain way of measurement that made this curiosity possible. As it turns out I was right. The fact that more Dutch women have parttime jobs than most countries caused a decline in the global ranking. The reason Rwanda scored so high is because of the countries recent history. After a series of massacres across the country the women decided men weren’t up for the task of leading a country. Female occupation in politics causes a rise through the ranks.
As far as preconceptions go, I think the only one I really had was that the Netherlands would naturally score high in any ranking. When I heard Rwanda came fourth on the list I inmediatly thought there had to be a catch. Maybe this isn’t a good thing, but I turned out to be right. Some gendre gaps aren’t born of inequality.