Doha Debates– Don't settle for a Divided World
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Gender Equality

Are quotas the answer?

This debate was held at Northwestern University in Qatar
March 9, 2020

Introduction

Recent research suggests that most of us — including Generation Z — won’t live to see gender equality achieved worldwide, a milestone that is almost 100 years away. Awareness of this fact has fueled conversations around how to address this, and in this debate, our experts discuss one possible solution: quotas.

Read full recap of the debate here

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FULL DEBATE

Gender Equality

Framing the debate

Randa Abdel-Fattah, a novelist, lawyer and human rights advocate from Australia, calls for gender quotas that also accounted for intersectionality. She argues that, for too long, we’ve approached the problem of gender equality as though it’s based on a single axis of oppression. The reality is that we must disrupt both gender and racial inequalities. American writer and scholar Christina Hoff Sommers strongly opposes gender quotas, claiming they are demeaning to women and that gender equality must happen organically. Ayishat Akanbi, a cultural commentator, artist and stylist based in London, takes the middle ground, arguing that quotas could be a strong short-term solution, but that the real goal must be to create a society where they aren’t needed.

Intro statements from our speakers:

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02:47
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Christina Hoff Sommers: Quotas Are Not The Answer to Gender Equality

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02:56
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Ayishat Akanbi: Gender Equality Must Go In Both Directions

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03:28
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Randa Abdel-Fattah: Gender Quotas Disrupt Gender & Racial Hierarchies

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