Gender studies

Equality a Snapshot – Gender Justice in Times of Uncertainty (Film screening and discussion)

June 30, 2021 9:00
June 30, 2021 10:30

Lucia M. Lanfranconi, University of Geneva


In this (short) film screening and discussion, we will watch the short documentary “equity a snapshot” (30 minutes, 2016) by Romana and Lucia M. Lanfranconi and discuss gender inequity in times of uncertainty. The film is part of a broader science communication project (AGORA) founded by the Swiss National Science Foundations. I have the full rights for a public viewing. The documentary is publically available:

After 20 years of equality legislation (in 2021: 25 years), how do things stand in terms of equality between women and men in Swiss working life? We accompany the social researcher Lucia M. Lanfranconi through the Swiss companies whose equality projects she has investigated. One employee is given a different role with a lower salary following her maternity leave. A human resources manager regrets the fact that she has only one man working as a career in her retirement home. Another employer is willing to offer part-time work to more male employees, but hasn't actually asked them if they would like to take this up.

These everyday insights bring many hidden mechanisms on inequities to light. The voices of employees and managers show the obstacles that stand in the way of equality in relation to pay, career structures, parenting, traditionally gendered professions, and part-time work. Professionals in the field explain current equality policy measures and deal with objections to their implementation.

The film will open up room to discuss the state of the current gender equity policy in Switzerland on the policy, the company as well as the household level. However, the film is also a perfect starting point to discuss the question how the current Covid-19 pandemic did affect gender equity or justice, a topic Lucia M. Lanfranconi is currently working on. How did the pandemic, resp. the lockdown affect the gendered distribution of paid and unpaid work? We discuss research evidence, showing an increase in gender inequities, together with research pointing in some positive direction of more gender equity, such as fathers and men who had to stay home and take over care duties. Further, we want to discuss, how the pandemic did affect companies? Did they introduce more family- and gender-friendly measures or what can be said about contra-productive effects of home office etc. for more gender justice?