The substantive equality challenge demands action in three interlinked areas: the address of women’s socioeconomic disadvantages, the fight against stereotypes, stigmas and violence, and the enhancement of women’s power of action, voice and engagement.
The equality we search is not about matching women and men; it’s equality in the recognition, enjoyment and exercise of human rights by both genders. To achieve this, we must obtain equal opportunities, full equality in the access to opportunities, and equal results.
This implies that, in some cases, depending on the impact caused by biological and social factors, women will have to be treated in the same way as men, but in other cases men and women will have to be treated differently. Sometimes it will be necessary to give advantages to women in order to address the historical imbalance suffered by them for over 5,000 years, and in order to erase the masculine advantages due to the prevailing of the masculine standard.
Other times, on most occasions, policies, laws and institutions will have to be redesigned, so their standard is no longer the white, rich, adult, owner male, but a standard that better reflects human diversity.
Whether differences between men and women are constructed or innate is not important, because equality as a value means that we are equal as humans, not depending on our biological, material or otherwise data. Thus, a State’s obligation is to take all necessary measures, so no law, no policy, no plan and no action whatsoever result in any form of discrimination against women.