A stirring call to give us lots of money

The G7, President Macron, the usual UN suspects, tell us that gender equality is very important. They’re right, it is. Emma Watson gains a presence on stage because, well, because having Emma Watson on stage produces more PR for the claim, that’s just how things work. All of which we’re entirely fine with, of course.

We do rather want to make the point - as we have done so often in the past - that gender equality is something that comes about as a result of economic development, not something that causes it. Gender division in labour isn’t going to stop in a society that relies upon human heft as its power source. Gender division in domestic labour isn’t going to stop in a society where an adult woman spends most of her fertile life pregnant or suckling. The use of machines as the power source is economic development, the greater incomes and wealth from it leading to the fall in fertility rates.

That is, causality is an important point. Given the importance of gender equality of opportunity a very important point.

However, we can’t help but note this in the official call to arms:

Every G7 country should have a feminist foreign policy

We tend to think that depends upon the definition of feminism we’re using here.

The members of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council are activists and advocates from 23 countries. We are civil society and business leaders, doctors and actors, artists and lawyers, ambassadors, UN leaders and Nobel laureates. We’ve built on the efforts of our diverse networks and partnerships, and on the recommendations we and others developed for Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s G7 presidency last year under the banner of Making Gender Inequality History.

OK, good for you.

Along with civil society groups, we encourage each G7 country to have a feminist foreign policy and by 2025 to significantly enhance aid to promote women’s rights and gender equality. But none of this will happen unless countries properly fund the independent women-focused and women-led organisations that hold legislators to account on their commitments.

Ah. The stirring call to action is that we must all give more money to those making the stirring call to action. It is possible to think of less mercenary demands.

And to think, there are those who deny the validity of public choice economics.