The paradox of the gender divide

Years ago, people used to believe gender equality would produce gender similarity. That is to say, people used to believe that as women and men enjoyed more equal opportunities and earned similar pay, men and women would see the world in similar ways. It hasn't worked out that neatly.

In the Nordic countries, where gender equality is highest, unexpected differences have opened up between men and women. In what is called the Nordic paradox, companies in those countries have fewer female business managers, not more. It seems that when egalitarian welfare states give people more choices, many women take advantage of those choices by dropping out of the rat race.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2018, with the headline 'The paradox of the gender divide'. Print Edition | Subscribe