Transcript: The Long Road to Gender Equality | Jul 18, 2017

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a gray blazer over a pink shirt, and a golden necklace.

A caption on screen reads "The long road to gender equality. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says "BECAUSE IT'S 2015."
THOSE WORDS SPOKEN BY PRIME
MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU
EXPLAINING CANADA'S FIRST
FEDERAL CABINET WHERE WOMEN HELD
HALF THE POSTS.
THAT SAME YEAR IN THE UK,
JOURNALIST CATHERINE MAYER
CO-FOUNDED A POLITICAL PARTY
WITH SIGHTS ON CREATING A WORLD
THAT'S EQUAL FOR ALL.
SHE IS PRESIDENT OF THE WOMEN'S
EQUALITY PARTY, AND THE AUTHOR
MOST RECENTLY OF
ATTACK OF THE
50 FOOT WOMEN:
HOW GENDER EQUALITY CAN
SAVE THE WORLD.

A picture of the book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a 50's-style drawing of a giant woman roaming a city neighbourhood.

NAM SAYS WE'RE PLEASED TO WELCOME
CATHERINE MAYER TO OUR STUDIO TONIGHT.

Catherine is in her forties, with shoulder-length straight brown hair and bangs. She's wearing a black, shoulderless blouse.

NAM SAYS WELCOME.

Catherine says THANK YOU.

Nam says IT'S REALLY NICE TO HAVE YOU
HERE.

Catherine says THANK YOU.

Nam says SO, YOU WRITE THAT IN 2015 YOU
ACCIDENTALLY STARTED A POLITICAL PARTY.

Catherine says YEAH.

NAM SAYS HOW DOES ONE DO THAT?
WHAT HAPPENED?

The caption changes to "Catherine Mayer. Founder, Women's Equality Party."
Then, it changes again to "About the author."

Catherine says IT LITERALLY WAS UNPLANNED.
IT WAS IN THE RUN-UP TO THE 2015
GENERAL ELECTION IN THE UK, AND
I WENT TO AN EVENT AT THE
SOUTHBANK CENTRE AND THERE WERE
A LOT OF VERY WONDERFUL WOMEN IN
POLITICS... MPS... AND A BIG
AUDIENCE, MOSTLY WOMEN.
AND IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A SORT
OF EXCITING OCCASION AND INSTEAD
IT WAS CLOAKED IN GLOOM,
BECAUSE, GOING INTO THAT
ELECTION, MANY VOTERS... BUT
PARTICULARLY WOMEN... FELT THAT NO
PARTY WAS SPEAKING TO THEM OR
FOR THEM.
AND THEY KEPT... PEOPLE KEPT
STANDING UP AND SAYING THEY
WEREN'T GOING TO BOTHER TO VOTE
AT ALL.
AND, OF COURSE, WE'RE ONLY GOING
TO BE CELEBRATING THE CENTENARY
OF VOTES FOR WOMEN IN THE UK IN 2018.

NAM SAYS DOES IT ALWAYS SHOCK YOU
WHEN YOU HEAR SOMEONE SAY "I'M
NOT GONNA VOTE"?

CATHERINE SAYS YEAH.
IT SHOCKS ME AND IT'S VERY SAD.
BUT PARTICULARLY WOMEN, YOU
KNOW, WE FOUGHT FOR THIS RIGHT
AND THERE WERE ALL THESE WOMEN
WHO WERE SURRENDERING IT AGAIN
BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T THINK IT WAS
WORTH ANYTHING.
AND SO, I STOOD UP AND SUGGESTED
THAT PERHAPS WHAT WE NEEDED TO
DO WAS TO FOUND A PARTY THAT
REPRESENTED WOMEN BETTER, THAT
WAS A WOMEN'S EQUALITY PARTY.
AND I ALSO SUGGESTED THAT WE CAN
TAKE A LEAF OUT OF THE UKIP
PLAYBOOK, BECAUSE UKIP IN THE UK
IS A PARTY THAT IN HAVING THIS
AGGRESSIVELY ANTI-EUROPE AND
ANTI-IMMIGRATION PLATFORM... HAD BEGUN TO CREATE SEISMIC
CHANGE, OF COURSE IN THE END IT
LED TO BREXIT.

The caption changes to "Catherine Mayer, @catherine_mayer."

NAM SAYS BUT UKIP IS ALSO VERY POLARIZING.

Catherine says IT'S VERY, VERY POLARIZING, BUT
WHAT IT WAS WAS A PARTY THAT AT
ITS PEAK NEVER HAD MORE THAN TWO
MPS, AND YET BECAUSE IT WAS
WINNING VOTES, BECAUSE IT LOOKED
ELECTORALLY ATTRACTIVE... THE OLD MAINSTREAM PARTIES,
INSTEAD OF CHALLENGING ITS TOXIC
VIEWS WERE BEGINNING TO MAKE
THEMSELVES MORE AND MORE LIKE UKIP.

Nam says SO THEY WERE MORPHING INTO UKIP...

Catherine says AND I THOUGHT, WELL MAYBE WE CAN
USE THIS IN A KIND OF BENIGN
WAY, IF WE SHOW THAT GENDER
EQUALITY IS A VOTE WINNER... MAYBE WE CAN, YOU KNOW, SORT
OF PERSUADE THE OLDER PARTIES TO
CHANGE THEMSELVES AND BECOME
MORE... TO FOCUS ON THIS.
AND SO I STOOD UP AND SAID THAT,
BUT WHAT I WAS NOT SAYING WAS,
"I AM GOING TO FOUND A WOMEN'S
EQUALITY PARTY," I WAS JUST
SAYING MAYBE IT WOULD BE A GOOD
IDEA.
BY THE TIME I GOT HOME, SOCIAL
MEDIA HAD DECIDED THAT I WAS
PROPOSING TO FOUND THE PARTY.

[NAM CHUCKLES]

Nam says THE NEXT MORNING... BEFORE YOU
WENT TO BED YOU MADE A POST ON FACEBOOK.

Catherine says THAT'S RIGHT.

Nam says YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING AND
THERE'S ALL THESE PEOPLE SAYING,
"I'M IN, I'M IN," PEOPLE THAT
YOU KNOW, PEOPLE THAT YOU ADMIRE.
AT THAT POINT, DID YOU THINK,
"UH, I WAS JUST KIDDING?"
WHY DID YOU GO THROUGH WITH IT?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Catherine says WELL, IT THEN GOT EVEN FUNNIER
BECAUSE I HAVE A VERY GOOD
FRIEND WHO'S A WOMEN CALLED
SANDI TOKSVIG, WHO'S WELL KNOWN
IN THE UK AS A BROADCASTER AND
COMEDIAN.
AND SHE AND I HAD BEEN TALKING
SOME WEEKS PREVIOUSLY ABOUT HOW
DISAPPOINTED WE WERE TO BE IN
OUR 50S AND FIND THAT THE WORLD
HAD STILL NOT MOVED TO GENDER
EQUALITY BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, WE
REMEMBERED BEING YOUNG WOMEN AND
BEING FULL OF HOPE, AND THINKING
BY NOW IT WOULD BE LONG SORTED.
AND SO I RANG HER UP TO TELL HER
WHAT HAD HAPPENED, AND INSTEAD
OF REACTING AS I EXPECTED, SHE
SAID, "BUT THAT'S MY IDEA."

[NAM LAUGHS]

Catherine says AND I SAID, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN?"
AND SHE SAID SHE HAD BEEN
PLANNING FOR THE VERY SAME
FESTIVAL THAT I'D BEEN AT WITH
THIS WOMEN'S EVENT... SHE HAD BEEN PLANNING TO
SHOWCASE A SORT OF FANTASY
ALL-WOMEN GOVERNMENT, AND SHE
SAID, "I WAS ABOUT TO RING YOU,
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FOREIGN
SECRETARY, DARLING?"

[NAM LAUGHS]

Catherine says SO INSTEAD WE STARTED TALKING
AND DECIDED TO GIVE IT A GO.

NAM SAYS THAT THERE WAS A NEED FOR IT.

Catherine says BUT WE WERE ALSO PROTECTED, I
THINK, BY LEVELS OF IGNORANCE
ABOUT HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS TO DO
WHAT WE WERE PROPOSING TO DO.

NAM SAYS IT'S VERY EXPENSIVE AND
VERY COMPLICATED TO DO, ISN'T IT?

Catherine says EXPENSIVE, COMPLICATED, EATS YOU
ALIVE, YOU KNOW, TAKES OVER YOUR
LIFE, BUT IN A WAY THAT'S WHY
NAIVETY CAN BE A HELPFUL
THING, BECAUSE YOU KNOW
POLITICS... AS WITH PRETTY MUCH
ANY AREA... IS FULL OF PEOPLE WHO
CONSIDER THEMSELVES EXPERTS WHO
WILL SUCK THEIR TEETH AND TELL
YOU IT CAN'T BE DONE THAT WAY.
AND, YOU KNOW, IN SOME CASES
IT'S GOOD TO IGNORE THE VOICES
THAT SAY THAT.

Nam says WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT
YOURSELF THROUGH THAT WHOLE PROCESS?

Catherine says UH... MY CAPACITY FOR RUSHING IN
WITHOUT THINKING IS PROBABLY
UNRIVALLED.

[CHUCKLES]

[NAM CHUCKLES]

Catherine says BUT... BUT, I DON'T KNOW, I MEAN,
I LEARNED A LOT OF THINGS.
I LEARNED ABOUT HOW MUCH... IT'S
BEEN ACTUALLY VERY INTERESTING,
A SERIOUS ANSWER IS THAT I'D
LEARNED HOW MUCH I'D BEEN
REPRESSING, HOW MUCH OF MY OWN
EXPERIENCE I HAD CENSORED IN
ORDER TO MAKE ACCOMMODATION WITH
THE PRETTY SEXIST ENVIRONMENTS
THAT I WOULD ROUTINELY FIND
MYSELF IN.

Nam says WELL, YOU WORKED AT
THE
ECONOMIST
AND
TIME
MAGAZINE,
AND IN THE BOOK YOU DESCRIBED
YOUR WORK THIS WAY:
"YOU ENJOYED ACCESS ALL AREAS
BUT THAT WHILE THE EXPERIENCE
FOSTERS UNDERSTANDING, THEY
DON'T MAKE YOU A PART OF THE BAND."
HOW DO YOU THINK THAT EXPERIENCE
HELPED INFORM YOUR DECISION TO
FORM THE WOMEN'S EQUALITY PARTY?

Catherine says WELL, THE EXPERIENCE COVERING
POLITICS FOR 30 YEARS ABSOLUTELY
INFORMED THE SHAPE THAT WE GAVE
TO THE PARTY, AND THE IDEA OF
THE PARTY WHICH IS A REALLY
UNIQUE POLITICAL MODEL, BECAUSE
AS A POLITICAL JOURNALIST, YOU
HAVE TO BE NON-PARTISAN IN YOUR
DEALINGS WITH PEOPLE, AND MOST
OF US WILL COME FROM ONE
BACKGROUND OR ANOTHER WHERE
WE'RE MORE INCLINED TO BE LEFT
LEANING OR RIGHT LEANING OR
WHATEVER IT WAS.
I HAD COME FROM A VERY
LEFT-LEANING BACKGROUND, BUT IN
HAVING DEALINGS WITH POLITICIANS
RIGHT ACROSS THE SPECTRUM IT HAD
HELPED ME TO UNDERSTAND THAT
THERE WERE GOOD POLITICIANS IN
ALL PARTIES, THAT THERE WERE
ALSO BAD POLITICIANS IN ALL
PARTIES, BUT THAT THERE WAS A
LOT OF COMMON GROUND IN THEORY
AROUND GENDER EQUALITY, AND TO
ALREADY BE THINKING ABOUT,
"WELL, THERE'S ALL THIS COMMON
GROUND AND THEY'RE ALL SIGNED UP
TO IT, BUT THEY'RE NOT DOING IT
SO WHY IS THAT?"
BUT IT HELPED ME UNDERSTAND... THE
LEFT TENDS TO THINK THAT IT OWNS
GENDER EQUALITY.
AND, IF THAT WERE TRUE... IF IT
REALLY TOOK OWNERSHIP... THEN WE
WOULD BE THERE ALREADY.

Nam says BECAUSE YOU WERE RIGHT THAT IT'S
MOSTLY ON THE RIGHT THAT WOMEN HAVE... WE'VE HAD LEADERS FROM THE RIGHT.

Catherine says YES.

Nam says LIKE MAY, MERKEL AND THATCHER.

CATHERINE SAYS YES.

Nam says SO IF THE LEFT... THAT'S ONE OF
THE THINGS THAT DRIVES THE
PARTY, WHY HAVEN'T WE SEEN A
WOMAN LEADER FROM THEM?

Catherine says SOMEBODY JOKES... AND I REPEAT IT
IN THE BOOK... BUT IF THE UK
LABOUR PARTY WOULD HOLD AN
ALL-FEMALE LEADERSHIP CONTEST
THAT A MAN WOULD STILL WIN THE CONTEST.
THAT'S HARSH BUT HAS BEEN TRUE
FOR A LONG TIME.

NAM SAYS WHAT ARE THEY DOING WRONG?

Catherine says AND WHAT IT IS... AND THIS ISN'T
JUST COMMON... THIS IS COMMON TO A
LOT OF PARTIES ON THE LEFT, IS
THAT THEY'RE BLINDED BY THEIR
OWN SENSE OF THEIR OWN VIRTUE.
IT'S BECAUSE THEY HAVE DONE SOME
REALLY GOOD THINGS FOR WOMEN,
YOU KNOW, THEIR LEGACY IS
ABSOLUTELY UNDOUBTED, BUT THAT
LEGACY IS LIMITED AND IT DOESN'T
EXTEND TO SORTING OUT THEIR
STRUCTURAL DISCRIMINATION WITHIN
THEIR OWN RANKS.

Nam says IN FACT, LIKE TAKING A MIRROR TO
THEMSELVES.

CATHERINE SAYS EXACTLY.

Nam says AND THE WOMAN'S EQUALITY PARTY'S
BIPARTISAN, LIKE YOU SAID, BUT
THE NAME ITSELF IS A BIT
CONTROVERSIAL, HOW DID YOU COME
UP WITH THE NAME?

Catherine says WELL, LIKE MOST OF THE MODEL AND
THE NAME AND THE ORIGINAL CORE
OBJECTIVES WERE THINGS THAT SORT
OF SPRANG FULLY FORMED WHEN WE
FIRST STARTED DISCUSSING IT... AND WE, YOU KNOW, LITERALLY
SORT OF SAT AND WROTE THIS STUFF
ON A NAPKIN.

[NAM CHUCKLES]

Catherine says AND THEN STARTED DEBATING... IS
THIS A GOOD IDEA.
AND WE DID HAVE A DEBATE AROUND
THE NAME, THERE WERE PEOPLE WHO
WANTED US TO CALL IT THE
EQUALITY PARTY, AND THAT WAS,
AGAIN, QUITE IRONIC THAT THE
VERY FIRST THING PEOPLE WERE
ASKING US TO DO IS TO DROP THE
WORD "WOMEN."
AND I THINK THERE WOULD BE MANY
PROBLEMS WITH CALLING IT THE
EQUALITY PARTY, NOT THE LEAST
THAT WE WERE SPECIFICALLY THERE
IN ORDER TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE
OF GENDER EQUALITY... THIS HUGE
ISSUE WHICH ACTUALLY IMPACTS
EVERYONE.
BUT, NEVERTHELESS, YOU NEED A
FOCUS ON IT AND BY REMOVING THAT
WORD YOU'D IMMEDIATELY LOSE THAT
FOCUS AND YOU'D GET INTO THAT
CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT KIND OF
EQUALITY DO YOU MEAN.
BUT IT WAS ALSO BECAUSE PEOPLE
WERE DISSATISFIED WITH THE
LABOUR PARTY AND THEY WERE SORT
OF TRYING TO DO A REVERSE
TAKEOVER OF OUR NEW GROUPING
TO... TO TURN IT INTO ANOTHER FORM
OF LABOUR PARTY.
I MEAN, I UNDERSTOOD WHERE THEY
WERE COMING FROM BUT I'M VERY
GLAD WE STUCK WITH OUR...

NAM SAYS AND THE ACRONYM.

Catherine says STUCK TO OUR GUNS THERE.

Nam says THE ACRONYM IS WE.

The logo of the party pops up on screen briefly. It's a white W on a purple background that creates an equal sign, which also works as an E.

The caption changes to "Political equality."

Catherine says THE ACRONYM IS GREAT, AND WE
HAVE A WONDERFUL LOGO WITH WE,
BUT THE E IS MADE INTO
AN EQUAL SIGN, SO.
AGAIN, I MEAN, SOME
OF THIS STUFF IT FELT LIKE
RATHER THAN US INVENTING THINGS
LIKE WE WERE TAPPING INTO THINGS
THAT WERE ALREADY THERE.

Nam says AND WHAT ARE THE PILLARS OF
THE WOMEN'S EQUALITY PARTY?

Catherine says WELL WE STARTED WITH SIX CORE
OBJECTIVES AND ADDED A SEVENTH.
THEY ARE EQUAL PAY, AS YOU WOULD
EXPECT, EQUAL REPRESENTATION,
AGAIN AS YOU WOULD EXPECT IN
POLITICS AND BUSINESS AND
WORKING LIFE.
SHARED OPPORTUNITIES AND
RESPONSIBILITIES IN PARENTING
AND CARE-GIVING.
WE ALSO THINK IT'S VERY
IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT EQUALITY IN
AND THROUGH EDUCATION, BECAUSE
THERE'S AN AWFUL LOT THAT STARTS
VERY, VERY EARLY...
IN DEVELOPMENT.
EQUALITY... EQUAL TREATMENT BY AND
IN THE MEDIA, WHICH AS WOMEN IN
THE MEDIA WE WOULD KNOW
SOMETHING ABOUT.
HOW VERY IMPORTANT IT IS TO
CHANGE THAT IN ORDER TO MOVE
FORWARD.
AND WE ALSO HAVE ALWAYS CALLED
FOR AN END TO VIOLENCE AGAINST
WOMEN AND GIRLS.
AND THEN WE ADDED A SEVENTH CORE
OBJECTIVE WHICH WAS EQUAL
HEALTH, BECAUSE THERE ARE VERY
UNEVEN OUTCOMES IN HEALTH CARE
AND IN MEDICAL RESEARCH.

Nam says AND YOU TOUCH ON ALL THOSE
TOPICS IN THE BOOK.

CATHERINE SAYS YEAH.

Nam says WOULD THIS BOOK BE LIKE A
MANIFESTO FOR THE PARTY?

The caption changes to "Catherine Mayer. Author, 'Attack of the 50 foot women.'"

Catherine says IT'S ACTUALLY MUCH MORE THAN A
MANIFESTO FOR THE PARTY.
I THOUGHT IT WAS INTERESTING TO
WRITE ABOUT THE PARTY TO GIVE
INSIGHTS INTO WHAT IT'S LIKE TO
FOUND A PARTY... AND TO TRY AND FORMULATE
POLICIES TO CREATE GENDER
EQUALITY.
BUT IT WAS REALLY BECAUSE A LOT
OF THESE IDEAS ARE SHAREABLE WAY
BEYOND THE UK, AND MORE THAN
THAT IT WAS TO BRING TOGETHER
ALL OF THE ARGUMENTS THAT I FELT
THAT WOMEN, AND IN FACT ANYBODY
WHO BELIEVES IN GENDER EQUALITY,
WOULD NEED ANYWHERE IN ORDER TO
GO FORWARD WITH IT.
I LOOKED FOR A BOOK LIKE THIS
WHEN WE FIRST STARTED THE PARTY
AND I COULDN'T FIND ONE, SO IT'S
A BIT LIKE STARTING THE PARTY
BECAUSE THERE WASN'T ONE THAT
APPEALED; I WROTE THE BOOK
BECAUSE I COULDN'T FIND THE BOOK
THAT I WAS LOOKING FOR.

Nam says SOPHIE WALKER IS THE LEADER OF
THE PARTY.

CATHERINE SAYS YEAH.

Nam says WHY AREN'T YOU LEADING IT?

Catherine says UM... I DIDN'T START THE PARTY AS
A PLATFORM FOR ME... BUT VERY MUCH TO CREATE SPACE
FOR OTHER WOMEN TO COME THROUGH.
BUT SANDY AND I HAD A VERY FUNNY
CONVERSATION VERY EARLY ON, WE
LIKE TO GET A COUPLE OF BEERS
AND SIT IN THE BAR...

[NAM CHUCKLES]

Catherine says...WHAT WE INTEND TO DO.
AND WE SAT THERE AND WE SAID,
YOU KNOW, "DO YOU WANT TO LEAD
IT?"
AND SHE WENT, "NO."
SHE ASKED ME, "DO YOU WANT TO
LEAD IT?"
"NO."
WE'RE TOO WEIRD, AREN'T WE?

[CHUCKLES]
[NAM LAUGHS]

Catherine says YOU KNOW... AND WE'RE, I MEAN,
WE'RE ALSO... WE'RE BOTH IN SOME
WAYS TOO, YOU KNOW, QUITE
STRANGE.

[NAM CHUCKLES]

Catherine says BUT WE'RE ALSO...

NAM SAYS THAT'S OK.

[LAUGHS]

Catherine says WE'RE ALSO, YOU KNOW, WHITE,
MIDDLE-CLASS, MEDIA WOMEN... AND, YOU KNOW, THIS WASN'T
MEANT TO BE A PARTY FOR, YOU
KNOW, A SMALL GROUP OF WOMEN,
THIS WAS MEANT TO BE A PARTY
THAT REFLECTED ALL EXPERIENCES
AND WE DIDN'T THINK THAT EITHER
OF US WERE THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO
LEAD IT.

Nam says WELL YOU TALK ABOUT
INTERSECTIONALITY.

CATHERINE SAYS YEAH.

Nam says WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT WHEN WE
TALK ABOUT EQUALITY?

Catherine says IT'S NOT JUST IMPORTANT, IT'S VITAL.
IT'S BECAUSE IT'S SOMETHING,
AGAIN... THIS HAS BEEN A HUGE
LEARNING PROCESS, YOU KNOW, IT'S
SO EASY TO BE A SORT OF
ARMCHAIR POLITICIAN WHEN YOU'RE
A JOURNALIST.
YOU LOOK AT PEOPLE AND YOU SAY,
"OH, WELL IF I'D DO IT LIKE
THAT, WHY AREN'T THEY DOING IT
LIKE THAT?"
AND THEN WHEN YOU'RE OUT THERE
DOING IT, PEOPLE ASK YOU
QUESTIONS AND YOU REALIZE, YOU
KNOW, THESE THINGS ARE QUITE
TRICKY.
AND ONE OF THE FIRST QUESTIONS
PEOPLE WERE ASKING ME IS WHAT
KIND OF EQUALITY ARE YOU AIMING
AT, YOU KNOW, IS THIS AN
EQUALITY JUST FOR SOME WOMEN?
AND IS THIS... ARE YOU TALKING
ABOUT MAKING WOMEN MORE LIKE MEN?
ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT MOVING
SOME OF THE MEN OUT OF THE BIG
CORNER OFFICES AND STICKING
WOMEN IN BIG SHOULDER PADS IN
THOSE OFFICES?

[NAM CHUCKLES]

Catherine says OR ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT
SOMETHING MORE PROFOUND AND
FAR-REACHING?
AND OBVIOUSLY I ALWAYS THOUGHT
IT WAS SOMETHING MUCH MORE
PROFOUND AND FAR-REACHING.
BUT YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE
EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN ARE SO
DIVERSE... THAT WOMEN ARE SO
DIVERSE... AND THAT THE
DISADVANTAGES THAT WOMEN
EXPERIENCE AREN'T JUST ABOUT
BEING WOMEN, BUT THEY OFTEN
INTERSECT WITH OTHER FACTORS.

Nam says LIKE RACE, CLASS, ABILITY.

Catherine says EXACTLY.
AND THAT IF YOU IGNORE THAT
YOU'RE ONLY GOING TO BE ABLE TO
HELP SOME WOMEN.
SO, THAT WAS RIGHT FROM THE
BEGINNING SOMETHING THAT WE WERE
ADDRESSING AND WERE AWARE OF,
BUT ALSO SOMETHING THAT YOU
UNDERSTAND VERY QUICKLY, YOU
KNOW, IT'S VERY EASY TO SOUND
LIKE, YOU KNOW, TO SOUND WELL
INTENTIONED, BUT TO DO THE RIGHT
THING IS MUCH HARDER.

NAM SAYS YOU WRITE THAT, "FEMALE
LEADERSHIP ISN'T NECESSARILY
FREE FROM THE IMPERFECTIONS OF
THE MALE VARIETY."

CATHERINE SAYS MM.

Nam says WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

Catherine says WELL, I THINK YOU ONLY NEED LOOK
AT THE FEMALE LEADERS THAT THERE
HAVE BEEN.
YOU NEED ONLY LOOK AT, FOR
EXAMPLE, THERESA MAY... TO SEE THAT WOMEN VERY OFTEN
TAKE AS MODELS FOR LEADERSHIP
THE MODELS THAT ARE ALREADY OUT
THERE.
BUT ALSO THAT WOMEN ARE NOT, YOU
KNOW, I'M NOT ASSUMING... I NEVER
STARTED FROM THE ASSUMPTION THAT
WOMEN WERE BETTER THAN MEN,
OR EVEN NECESSARILY WE'RE THAT
DIFFERENT TO ME, THOUGH WE HAVE
VERY DIFFERENT SOCIALIZATION.
BUT THE... AND WEIRDLY ONE OF THE
FREEDOMS THAT WOMEN DON'T REALLY
ENJOY IS THE FREEDOM TO FAIL
BECAUSE THERE ARE SO FEW WOMEN
WHO ACTUALLY MAKE IT INTO
LEADERSHIP ROLES.
I MEAN, I CRUNCHED THE NUMBERS,
AS YOU'LL KNOW, BECAUSE PEOPLE
KEPT SAYING, "OH THERE ARE SO
MANY FEMALE LEADERS THESE DAYS."
IT'S LIKE, NO...

[NAM CHUCKLES]

Catherine says THERE ARE 144 FULL AND PARTIAL
DEMOCRACIES IN THE WORLD, AND
WE'VE ACTUALLY GOT ONLY 7.6 percent
FEMALE LEADERS IN THE WORLD,
THAT IS NOT MANY AT ALL.
AND THAT SCARCITY MEANS THAT WE
EXPECT MUCH MORE OF THEM, WE
WANT SOME KIND OF PERFECTION.
WE WANT THEM TO LEAD IN A
DIFFERENT WAY.
WE WANT THEM IN SOME WAY TO
BRING SOME KIND OF MORE
EMPATHETIC APPROACH.
A SOFTER APPROACH.
WHATEVER THAT IS... SOFTER, LESS
WAR-LIKE, GREENER.
YOU KNOW, AND SO ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT I WANTED TO DO IN
THE BOOK IS LOOK AT FEMALE
LEADERSHIP WHERE IT DOES EXIST
AND FIGURE OUT WHETHER THOSE
TRAITS OR CHARACTERISTICS ARE A
FEATURE OF IT, AND WHETHER IF
YOU BROUGHT MORE WOMEN IN IT
WOULD ACTUALLY CHANGE THE NATURE
OF LEADERSHIP.
AND MY FEELING IS, NO IT
PROBABLY WOULDN'T, BUT WHAT IT
WOULD DO IS IT WOULD INFINITELY
BROADEN... WELL, NOT
INFINITELY... BUT BY A HUGE
AMOUNT, BROADEN THE TALENT POOL.
BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, WE'RE
EXCLUDING WOMEN AT THE MOMENT.

Nam says AND THE ASSUMPTION IS THAT ONCE
A WOMEN IS IN A LEADERSHIP
POSITION SHE WILL ADVOCATE FOR
WOMEN, BUT THAT'S NOT ALWAYS THE
CASE.

Catherine says THAT'S VERY MUCH NOT ALWAYS THE
CASE.

NAM SAYS WHY IS THAT?

Catherine says WELL, AGAIN, I MEAN, A LOT OF
THE WOMEN WHO DO BREAK THROUGH
HAVE HAD TO STRUGGLE IN ORDER TO
BREAK THROUGH, AND THERE IS A
SYNDROME THAT GOES WITH THAT,
WHICH IS THIS SORT OF, YOU KNOW,
"I DID IT BY MYSELF, AND IT WILL
THEN DEVALUE WHAT I'VE DONE IF I
TURN AROUND AND MAKE IT EASIER
FOR THE PEOPLE WHO COME AFTER ME."
BUT ALSO I THINK A LOT OF
WOMEN... YOU KNOW, I SAID AT THE
BEGINNING THAT I'D REALIZED HOW
MUCH I'D EDITED MY OWN RESPONSES
IN ORDER TO JUST SURVIVE IN THE
WORLDS I INHABITED.
I THINK A LOT OF WOMEN DO WHAT I
DID, AND IT'S NOT THAT WE IGNORE
THE ISSUES OR IGNORE OTHER
WOMEN, BUT IT'S THAT WE SHUT
DOWN SOME OF OUR OWN DAILY
EXPERIENCE OF DISCRIMINATION,
BECAUSE OTHERWISE WE'D JUST
SPEND THE WHOLE TIME BEING
ANGRY.

NAM SAYS CRYING...

Catherine says OR CRYING.

[LAUGHS]

Catherine says OR CRYING OR WHATEVER IT WAS.

Nam says EATING CAKE.

[LAUGHS]

Catherine says AND SO IN A WAY, YOU OFTEN SEE
WITH FEMALE LEADERS THAT THEY
DON'T WANT TO BE IDENTIFIED
AS... THEY DON'T WANT TO BE
ASSOCIATED WITH SO-CALLED
WOMEN'S ISSUES BECAUSE THEY
THINK THAT THAT WILL IN SOME WAY
DEVALUE OR WEAKEN THEIR BRAND.

Nam says AND YOU ALSO SAY THAT WOMEN'S
ISSUES ARE MEN'S ISSUES.

CATHERINE SAYS THEY ABSOLUTELY ARE, YEAH.

Nam says HOW DO YOU MEAN... WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

The caption changes to "The land of equalia."

Catherine says WELL, I MEAN, IT'S ONE OF THE
MAIN REASONS THAT WE ARE WHERE
WE ARE WITH NO SINGLE COUNTRY IN
THE WORLD GENDER EQUAL IS
BECAUSE MEN DON'T UNDERSTAND... THE FACT THAT MOST OF THE
ISSUES THAT GET DISMISSED AND
BELITTLED AS WOMEN'S ISSUES ARE
ACTUALLY PEOPLE ISSUES.
I MEAN, THINK ABOUT PARENTING
FOR EXAMPLE, THE NUMBER OF TIMES
YOU HEAR IT TALKED ABOUT IS IF
IT WAS ONLY WOMEN THAT HAD
CHILDREN.
AND, YOU KNOW, YOU HEAR PEOPLE
WHEN EVEN, SORT OF, ENLIGHTENED
PARENTS WHERE YOU'LL HEAR THE
FATHER ACCIDENTALLY REFER TO
LOOKING AFTER HIS OWN KIDS AS
BABYSITTING... YOU KNOW.

[CHUCKLES]

[NAM CHUCKLES]

Catherine says BUT ON A MUCH MORE SERIOUS
BASIS... IN TERMS OF ECONOMICS, IN
TERMS OF POLICY MAKING... THE FAILURE TO TAKE WOMEN AND
WOMEN'S PERSPECTIVES INTO
CONSIDERATION ACTUALLY MAKES FOR
MUCH WORSE POLICIES WITH MUCH
WORSE OUTCOMES, NOT JUST FOR
WOMEN BUT FOR MEN TOO.
AND SO IN DECIDING THAT ANYTHING
THAT INVOLVES WOMEN IS A SIDE
ISSUE, MEN ARE ACTUALLY HARMING
THEMSELVES AND DIMINISHING THE
BENEFITS THAT WE COULD ALL BE
SHARING IN.

NAM SAYS HOW DO YOU CONVINCE MEN OF THAT?

Catherine says THAT'S A REALLY GOOD QUESTION,
AND WHEN YOU'VE GOT THE ANSWER
YOU TELL ME.

[NAM LAUGHS]

Catherine says I'VE BEEN GOING COMPLETELY MAD
RECENTLY BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN
DOING THIS BOOK TOUR WITH THIS
BOOK AROUND THE UK, AND MEN KEEP
RUNNING UP TO ME GOING, "I
BOUGHT YOUR BOOK."
AND I THINK, GREAT, AND THEN
THEY GO, "FOR MY WIFE."

Nam laughs and says THAT'S NOT THE
POINT!

Catherine says I FIND MYSELF SAYING THROUGH
GRITTED TEETH, "READ IT
YOURSELVES."

[NAM CHUCKLES]

NAM SAYS YOU ALSO MENTION
PARENTHOOD, AND YOU WRITE THAT
AS MUCH HAS CHANGED THERE'S
STILL THE EXPECTATION THAT ALL
WOMEN WANT TO BECOME MOTHERS.
YOU WRITE, "I WORRY THAT THE
MYSTIFICATION MOTHERHOOD DUPES
WOMEN INTO ACCEPTING THE
MATERNITY PENALTY AS THE PRICE
OF ENTRY TO THE CLUB."

CATHERINE SAYS YEAH.

Nam says WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

Catherine says WELL, IT'S VERY COMPLICATED
ATTITUDES TO MOTHERHOOD AND
MATERNITY, AND... BUT IT IS VERY
CLEAR THAT THERE IS A KIND OF
MYSTIFICATION AROUND IT, THAT IT
IS THE PUREST EMOTION THAT YOU
CAN HAVE.
AND THAT THERE IS ALSO A NOTION
THAT WOMEN CANNOT REALLY BE
COMPLETE UNTIL THEY HAVE
CHILDREN.
AND YOU FIND THAT OTHER WOMEN
WILL IMPOSE THESE IDEAS ON YOU,
AND WILL REALLY NOT WANT TO
RELINQUISH SOME ASPECTS OF THAT
IDEA, BECAUSE THERE'S SO LITTLE
THAT WOMEN ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE
OWNERSHIP OF THEMSELVES... SO THEY DEFEND IT QUITE VIGOROUSLY.
AND IT JUST WORRIES ME THAT IT'S
NOT TO SAY THAT, YOU KNOW,
MOTHERHOOD ISN'T A WONDERFUL
THING BECAUSE IT IS, BUT IT'S
THAT IT IS... TO MYSTIFY IT IS TO
FEED INTO THIS NOTION OF IT
BEING AN ESSENTIAL TO, AS I SAY,
TO BEING PART OF THE FEMALE
EXPERIENCE.

Nam says AND I THINK TOO, THAT WOMEN WHO
DECIDE NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN KIND
OF GET... I MEAN, IT'S A
CONVERSATION THAT PEOPLE DON'T
REALLY HAVE, BUT WHEN THEY DO
HAVE IT IT'S LIKE, "OH, OH,
SOMETHING'S WRONG WITH YOU," AS
IF IT'S LIKE A, YOU KNOW,
"WHY AREN'T YOU A MOTHER?"

Catherine says THERE HAVE BEEN SOME INCREDIBLE
ATTACKS ON CHILDLESS FEMALE
POLITICIANS FOR THAT VERY REASON.
ANGELA MERKEL, ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT HAPPENED IN HER EARLY DAYS
IN POWER WAS THAT THERE WERE ALL
SORTS OF NASTY CARTOONS ABOUT
EMPTY CRADLES, AND SORT OF IDEAS
OF HER BEING IN SOME WAY
DEFICIENT IN UNDERSTANDING
BECAUSE SHE HAD NOT HAD CHILDREN
HERSELF.
NOW THAT SHE'S SO POPULAR, THEY
CALL HER "MUTTY." HER NICKNAME
IS "MUTTY." MOTHER.

NAM SAYS MOTHER.

Catherine says YEAH, SO SHE'S BECOME...

NAM SAYS THE MOTHER OF THE COUNTRY...

Catherine says A KIND OF... THE MOTHER OF THE
COUNTRY, SO NOW THEY CAN ACCEPT HER.

Nam says THE LAST CHAPTER OF YOUR BOOK,
THE READER IS INTRODUCED TO THE
FICTIONAL LAND OF EQUALIA... AM I
SAYING IT RIGHT?

Catherine says WELL, YOU ARE SAYING IT RIGHT AS
FAR AS I HAD IT IN MY MIND...

Nam says OK, GOOD...

Catherine says BUT THE BBC CORRECTED MY OWN
PRONUNCIATION OF IT RECENTLY AND
TOLD ME IT WAS EQ-WAY-LIA.

NAM laughs.

She says OK, WELL I'M
GLAD I GOT IT RIGHT.
AND IN EQUALIA, GENDER EQUALITY
IS RECOGNIZED AS BEING BETTER
FOR EVERYONE.
HOW HOPEFUL ARE YOU THAT IT WILL
BECOME A REALITY ONE DAY?

Catherine says I'M OPTIMISTIC ABOUT IT, AND I'M
OPTIMISTIC... IT MAY SEEM VERY
STRANGE TO BE OPTIMISTIC AT THIS
POINT IN TIME WHERE IN MANY WAYS
YOU SEE THE RIGHTS AND
PROTECTIONS ENJOYED BY WOMEN
UNDER SIEGE WORLDWIDE.
THERE IS SO MUCH TURBULENCE, NOT
JUST IN TRUMP'S AMERICA AND IN
EUROPE WITH THE RISE OF
POPULISM, BUT REALLY EVERYWHERE.
BUT IN THAT TURBULENCE THERE IS
ALSO OPPORTUNITY, BECAUSE ALL OF
THE GREAT BREAKTHROUGHS FOR
WOMEN HAVE BEEN AT TIMES OF
TURBULENCE.
YOU KNOW, IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT
HAPPENED WITH WOMEN AFTER, FOR
EXAMPLE, THE FIRST AND SECOND
WORLD WARS, THOSE WERE PERIODS
OF GREAT CHANGE BUT ALSO THEN
BACKLASH.
SO WHAT WE'VE GOT TO DO IS SORT
OF SEIZE THE MOMENT AND THEN
GUARD AGAINST THAT BACKLASH.

Nam says AND IN THE BOOK YOU WRITE
ABOUT ICELAND.

CATHERINE SAYS YES.

Nam says WHY IS ICELAND SO SPECIAL?

Catherine says IT WAS REALLY AN INTERESTING
THING FOR ME BECAUSE I KNEW
ABOUT IT BUT I HAD NOT TRAVELLED
THERE UNTIL I WENT THERE TO
RESEARCH THE BOOK.
AND I ASSUMED THAT ICELAND HAD
TOPPED THE GENDER EQUALITY
TABLES FOR SEVEN YEARS BECAUSE
THE WOMEN WERE FEMINISTS.
WE HAVE AN AMAZING HEAD OF
POLICY AT THE WOMEN'S EQUALITY
PARTY CALLED HALLA
GUNNARSDOTTIR, WHO HAD WORKED IN
THE GOVERNMENT THAT CAME IN
AFTER THE ICELANDIC FINANCIAL
CRASH, AND THE WOMEN-LED
GOVERNMENT THAT ACTUALLY KIND OF
PULLED ICELAND OUT OF THE CRISIS
AND SORTED THINGS OUT.
AND HALLA IS WONDERFUL BUT SHE
IS VERY TYPICAL IN SOME WAYS OF
HER COMPATRIOTS IN THAT SHE
NEVER SORT OF SOFTENS THE EDGE
OF HER SENTENCES, AND SHE'S
INCREDIBLY DIRECT.
AND YOU SORT OF THINK, "WELL, NO
WONDER THEY'RE SO GOOD AT DOING
THIS" BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T
LEARNED DEFERENCE IN THE WAY
THAT WOMEN ARE SO OFTEN TAUGHT
IT IN OTHER CULTURES.
BUT WHEN I GOT THERE I REALIZED
THAT IT WAS MUCH MORE PROFOUND
THAN THAT, IT WAS THAT ICELANDIC
MEN ARE FEMINISTS TOO, AND THAT
THEY UNDERSTAND EXACTLY THE
POINT THAT WE WERE DISCUSSING
BEFORE THAT GENDER EQUALITY IS
SOMETHING THAT IS IN THEIR
INTEREST, AND THEY NO LONGER SEE
THINGS THAT GET DISMISSED AS
WOMEN'S ISSUES, THEY UNDERSTAND
THEY'RE THEIR ISSUES.
AND IT ALL GOES BACK TO ONE DAY
IN 1975 WHEN 90 percent OF ICELANDIC
WOMEN TOOK THE DAY OFF FROM
THEIR PAID AND UNPAID DUTIES AS
A KIND OF FESTIVE PROTEST, AND
IT MADE THE MEN SORT OF SIT UP
AND REALIZE HOW MUCH WOMEN
CONTRIBUTE.

Nam says AND YOU'RE PLANNING ONE FOR 2018?

CATHERINE SAYS YUP.

Nam says THE BRITISH DAY OFF?

Catherine says YEAH.
AIMING TO DO IT... HAS TO BE VERY
INCLUSIVE, HAS TO BE VERY
CAREFULLY ORGANIZED SO THAT
EXACTLY THE WOMEN THAT ARE MOST
IN NEED OF HELP ARE NOT INSTEAD
INCONVENIENCED BY IT, BECAUSE,
OF COURSE, YOU KNOW, WOMEN DO DO
MORE CARING, FOR EXAMPLE, SO
ASKING WOMEN TO LEAVE UNPAID
CARING DUTIES, IT'S THEN WHO
DOES THAT, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE
PEOPLE WHO NEED THE CARE, AND
ALL OF THAT.
SO WE'RE WORKING VERY HARD TO
MAKE SURE THAT IT CAN BE A BIG
AND INCLUSIVE AND REALLY
SOMETHING, AGAIN, THAT WILL MAKE
VISIBLE WHAT'S INVISIBLE, AND
WORK AS A PIECE OF ADVOCACY... TO
WIN EVERYBODY OVER TO THIS IDEA
THAT IS SO IMPORTANT, AND THERE
IS SO MUCH EVIDENCE FOR IT,
WHICH IS THAT GENDER EQUALITY IS
BETTER FOR EVERYONE... MEN INCLUDED.

The caption changes to "Producer: Meredith Martin, @MeredithMartin."

Nam says CATHERINE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR
BEING HERE... GREAT BOOK.

Catherine says THANK YOU.

Watch: The Long Road to Gender Equality