The World Economic Forum tells us that true gender parity is going to be some century and a half away. Something we think we're rather grateful for to be honest. For we strongly disagree with the definitions of parity being used here. The WEF is using definitions which depend upon equality of outcome - and we insist that it is equality of opportunity that matters.
No, this is not just some trivial or even philosophic difference, it goes right to the heart of what we want our socio-economic system to offer. We can have parity of the WEF's type if everyone wears boiler suits, that anyone may or may not, can or cannot according to their desires, wear a boiler suit is the equality we desire.
Take their set of comparators for economic participation:
Economic Participation and Opportunity Ratio:
Female labour force participation over male value
Wage equality between women and men for similar work
Ratio: female estimated earned income over male value
Ratio: female legislators, senior officials and managers over male value
Ratio: female professional and technical workers over male value
We don't support any of those. No, not even equal wages for similar work - equal wages for the same work we insist upon, just as the law does now, but not for similar because similarity is always in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?
All of the rest of them are insisting that male and female outcomes must be the same. That there must be the same number of male coders as female ("technical workers"). That as many women work in the market economy as men.
We are adamant that women and men should have exactly the same opportunities to deploy their skills and desires as they wish. That's what freedom and liberty mean. But we're well aware that there seems to be, when looking at the world around us, there's something of a difference in who wants to do what. No, not at that individual level, where the freedom must apply, but at the average or societal level there's most certainly a difference in numbers who wish to be primary child carer for example.
House husbands exist and are becoming more common. That's fabulous, an expansion of those individual freedoms - we ourselves were behind that expansion of paternity leave for example. But the WEF assumption is that parity is only achieved in labour force participation when equal numbers of men and women are primary child carers.
That does rather seem to run against what we know in general about mammalian and thus viviparous species.
The desirable world is one in which we all get to live our lives as we wish. This does not mean equality of outcome simply because we all have different desires. That the individual man or woman should and must have the same opportunities does not mean that the entire population of either - nor of any other grouping we might like to consider - will choose the same mixture from life's rich list and thus the population outcome isn't going to be the same.