Celebrating Gender Difference is the Only Way to True Equality

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Challenging speech promotes vision of egalitarianism between sexes

Celebrating the difference between men and women is the only way to achieve true gender equality – that was the challenging message delivered at a motivational speech given yesterday evening at the Dubai International Financial Centre’s Capital Club. Under the title ‘Gender Diversity – the Inequality of Equality,’ Marwa Karoura, life coach and founder of KTalk, expounded her views on how best to promote egalitarianism between the sexes.

Marwa Karoura - Founer of KTALK

“Be it nature or nurture, by the time most girls and boys make it to adulthood, their life experiences and expectations have been different in certain gender-based ways,” explained Karoura. “Of course, as human beings, men and women share many of the same experiences and expectations but as individuals, they are each entirely unique. In each person, all these experiences and expectations function simultaneously; the group-based differences, the universal human similarities and the individual attributes. This makes for a fascinating – and sometimes confusing – human landscape which men and women must navigate,” she added.

Key to Karoura’s message was that whenever man and women interact, gender-based differences come into play, at times creating avoidable misunderstandings. These she described as being the innocent communication-style and experience-based misunderstandings that arise among women and men interacting in friendly, cordial, and helpful ways, with no ill will intended. Both genders need to be especially aware of the potential for such misunderstandings, in their own actions and reactions as well as those of their operating environments.

“Gender-based differences manifest themselves in our every day practices. Certain behaviours are attributed due to their innate nature as being ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ or are attributed to women or men,” said Karoura. “These labels and attributions are a shorthand way of describing characteristics more likely to be found among members of one gender or the other, and should not be read as a negation of individual differences,” she added.

One solution, Karoura suggested, was to introduce ‘Gender Fluidity,’ which she explained as being a wider, more flexible range of gender expression that had interests and behaviours that change from day to day. A Gender Fluid human, she argues, will not feel confined by restrictive boundaries of stereotypical expectations of the male or female role. In other words, the differences and the variation will be highly respected by oneself and accordingly, by the surrounding community.

“Imposing equality without an appreciation of the gender differences is an attempt to rob men and women of their innate attributes,” said Karoura. “Judgmental equating and condemnatory neutralising against such differences causes deformation of the intrinsic potencies available for the essential role to be played by any of the genders, causing a huge humanitarian imbalance,” she added.

Gender Diversity – the Inequality of Equality was the latest in a series of talks from Karoura, who founded KTalk in 2011. Since starting the organisation, which aims to increase effectiveness, emotional intelligence and general well-being, she has worked with individuals and groups through various forms of coaching, which include Life and Business Coaching and Youth Empowerment.

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