Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Michael Kimmel. I am a university professor in the state of New York. And I am a consultant for Corporations and the Government for Gender Equality.
What did you expect from this Conference?
I did expect to interact with the most energetic high-level, professional women in Germany today and I think I am well satisfied. The women who come to this conference are very accomplished leaders in their field. It is good to experience the kind of energy women can develop working on gender issues.
What do you think are the main differences in Germany and the US concerning gender issues?
There are many differences between our countries. In terms of the active promotion of women, what I find is that the differences are within similarities. They are hindered by stereotypes: what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a man. Femininity is considered to be not as effective, not as accomplished, not as assertive. Women face the same problems. When we were talking about barriers, women here had the same experiences as women in the States. Now one of the differences between the German experience and the US is we are really occupied with questions of sexual harassment. Here in Germany that┬┤s much lesser a concern. I don┬┤t think it doesn┬┤t happen. I think it is not yet fully identified and addressed here in the same way as this has happened in the States. It is part of a discussion about violence against women, domestic violence, rape. There are some differences there as well. German women are not nearly as likely to become victims of rape as American women are. The homicide rate in the US is so much higher than here. We are the most violent industrial nation on Earth. We could not join the EU because we believe that the State has the right to take life. We have the death penalty... So those are important differences I think.
Do you think that the laws to promote Gender Equality like Affirmative Action have been successful in the United States?
I think it is without question that those laws have helped.
What do you think about the future of World Women Work. What is the professional work of women in general?
The future is that I won┬┤t be thinking about "women┬┤s work┬┤ at all - we will be thinking about who┬┤s good.