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Catherine Antheunissens,

In 2017 the board of directors of the 22@Network BCN Association unanimously decided to award me the González Tormo award for my personal involvement in the project of this district, a fact that filled me with pride, since I have always felt very involved and proud to be part of it. Why do I remember that day now? Because in my thanks words I mentioned what I think should be a central aspect of an innovative district that wants to be a pioneer and reference for other similar initiatives: being feminist. Yes, feminist in the sense of guaranteeing full equality between men and women at work, in companies, institutions, positions of responsibility and power.

Now, I have been asked to write about the role of women at 22@. I will tell you at the outset that I do not particularly like the date of March 8; I don't like that everyone points out and denounces the discrimination that women experience on this day and not the remaining 364; I don't like it because it reminds me that there is still a lot of injustice, a long way to go and a lot of work to do. I will like it much more once I won't have to remember this date, because it will mean that our goals will be achieved and that there is no need to fight against injustice anymore.

While writing this short article, I read that the Spanish government wants to approve on March 7 a law of equal representation that will oblige equality between men and women in the major decision-making bodies. I think it is very good news, but above all, I continue to think that this must be so not only by law, but by moral obligation, by generosity, by justice, by natural justice. We cannot continue to do without the talent of 50% of the population in such a frivolous and selfish way, we cannot afford it, we are not in a position to do so as a society that wants to progress and become better and better. Each of us, men and women, will have to apply it in our day-to-day life, but especially as mothers and fathers, when educating our children. No limit, no barrier, no gender prejudice should stand in the way of girls reaching the same places reserved for boys. The only limit should be their talent; limit that we will apply in the same way to one and the other, so you have to be convinced, you have to believe it and be willing to step aside to let them all reach the places that have been reserved until now, with both suspicion, only to a part of society.

As the philosopher and sociologist Marina Subirats said in an interview a few days ago: "Men need more change than we do, because we have already done part of the way and they very little." True, very true, but I also believe that generosity will have to be reciprocal; women will also have to give way to men in private spheres, bastions that some women still see as their own and where they feel more secure and valued, because society has left them no more role than this and where they continue to resist and not give in space. I mean the world of care and tenderness can not be exclusive to any of us, it must be exclusive to everyone. It is proven that equating paternity leave with maternity leave favours the establishment of a much closer loving relationship from the first moments of life. Who can be against that?

From the 22@Network BCN Association we have a golden opportunity to become a benchmark, an example to follow for many other business associations and for the companies that make them up. To become the mirror in which to look at ourselves and discover the beautiful and fair image of the organizations of the future. We must join the movement for global change to achieve equality, as recommended by the United Nations 2030 agenda.

Studies demonstrate the positive impact of parity within companies, enriching their decision-making and having an impact on the improvement of economic results. And if all of this doesn't seem enough to you, this week the United Nations warned that, at the current rythm, equality won't be achieved before 300 years.....this somewhat apocalyptic statement shouldn't demoralize us. We will not fail, on the contrary. What about speeding up the pace? What about a swing, a twist? Let's dance.

Cristina Oliva, UPF Ciutadella Campus Director.


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