The way out of the crisis: focus on human capital and cultural change

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Our moral contract with life and our children

The history of humanity has accelerated in the 20th century.e century with the participation of women in the economic development of Western countries. Necessity is the law, and the two world wars pushed women to replace men who had gone to war. From the liberation of France in 1944, women were able to progressively access fundamental rights: to participate in democratic life with the right to vote and to run for office, then to economic life by obtaining the right to freely use their money in 1965, and finally over their bodies and their families with contraception (1967), shared parental authority (1970) and abortion (1975) in particular. Often, laws were passed to protect them because they were considered weaker: during or after motherhood, or to access positions of power, such as the law on quotas for boards of directors.

Thus, until now, it is the system that "gives" them the rights, won one by one, with great difficulty. They have never yet taken them.

The period of the health crisis of the Coronavirus 19 has further accentuated this state of affairs and law.

The media emphasized the precarious but essential nature of the women nurses, or the cashiers of the supermarkets who allowed the sick or confined population to hold on.

Domestic violence has increased in appalling proportions (over 30%) during the period, with women being locked up with their abusers.

What will we remember from this period?

That women are victims, poorly paid, not valued, and abused.

Almost no press article highlighted all these wonderful women, senior executives, who were in charge of managing the crisis in companies. Almost no female expert, scientist, philosopher, was interviewed during this period while the TV sets and the "front pages" presented only men. Cf. front page of Parisian April 5, 2020.

Only the 2GAP collective has just published an open letter to the President of the Republic to demand more women in governance.

"Where are the women?" I wrote earlier during the crisis.

I already sensed that the issue of equality between women and men was going to be sidestepped, replaced by the subject of women victims or some other subject.

Today, we are on the eve of total deconfinement, and the question of equality is effectively disappearing from the radar in favor of the resumption of consumption by production, but also paradoxically by the project of a "green deal" which does not seem to be all that salvific.

How to reconcile such paradoxical injunctions as the revival of mass consumption and the de-pollution of our planet when already the Mediterranean Sea is full of used masks and the production of plastics has increased in gigantic proportions during the health crisis. But it is about "plastic that saves lives" we were told.

Now that the applause has stopped for the nurses and caregivers, and the fight against domestic violence is entrusted to "Angela", what happens to the other women and the crucial issue of equality and respect between everyone?

What is happening to human capital, the primary component of Humanity?

Why are the issues of this human capital, which include its gender balance, no longer considered, except from the perspective of a minority that must be protected?

I ask this fundamental question: have we ever seen a vulnerable minority take power?

This is a serious time, because after having praised the importance of soft skills during the crisis, the supreme value of resilience and the reconciliation of life times in a single space, we are switching to other subjects that are very far from the utopia of confinement where we dreamed of a better, fairer and more sustainable world.

Today, we have to produce and therefore pollute because we don't have time to review the systems. We need to consume in order to keep jobs, whereas we should be looking at the jobs of tomorrow in relation to AI, which in a few years' time will have upset the current situation. (Cf. Somme Toutes L'Express of 21/04/2020)

But we must also get involved to save the planet!

But it is not the planet that must be saved, it is humanity. The planet will survive us, we will not survive ourselves at this rate...

It is urgent to put human capital back at the heart of the political project of France, Europe and the world.

Urgent to redefine a new social contract (Cf. Somme Toutes L'Express 05/04/2020) fairer, more equitable, more balanced.

It is urgent to bring this message of equality and therefore prosperity to the highest level to enlighten minds and projects.

What should motivate us is the betterment of our humanity. And there is a lot of room for improvement.

Individual and collective wellness.

The confinement taught us that each one of us is able to find his or her own way to fulfillment. It was a test period to get to know each other better, to understand our family, friends and social environment, to take stock of our priorities, to question the meaning of our life in an anxiety-provoking context where death was present at every moment.

In our western societies where it has become forbidden to grow old and worse to die, Codiv19 reminded us of our human condition, of humble mortal.

Let's not get caught up in a frantic whirlwind again to forget our human destiny.

Let's rethink the system for a humanity awake to its own condition and its limits.

"We only live once", so let's live this life in maximum harmony. And this harmony passes by our interior balance between our anima and our animus, by the external balance between the women and the men in their diversities.

The aftermath of Covid-19 must serve as a lesson to create a new model of society: to stop the system of domination of one gender over the other.

Because within this group of dominant men, a minority of them dominate the others, who themselves dominate the group of women.

These dominated/dominant relationships create imbalances and are the source of poverty, ignorance, enslavement to traditional beliefs, inspired by religions or archetypes, which in both cases do not recognize women as equals, or more modern, mass production/consumption which in fine destroys the planet.

To achieve this, there is still a long way to go. It is a question of changing individual and collective attitudes and culture.

Today we are only at the stage of discovering inequalities and denouncing them. We protest, we demonstrate, we make clips and forums to point out these differences, which sometimes turn to horror, making women martyrs everywhere in the world.

Or we try with difficulty to value women as "models" to demonstrate that it is possible... or worse, we try to demonstrate with studies and KPIs that women are "profitable", "more efficient" than men! But where is the desired unity?

Simone de Beauvoir, who described so well the profiles of the women of her time in The

second sex, rightly believes that women will only achieve equality through financial autonomy. I would add to her vision, in the light of this new century, that the most important thing is to have acquired the inner freedom to be a woman or a man, in its completeness, by getting rid of the weight of History.

For a woman today, being autonomous, even in charge, is not enough to change the world.

We need to burn this step to move quickly to an inclusive culture where the rules of the game would be reset with new values. As we live more than a hundred years, we all have the absolute right to change our paths, to allow ourselves to be experts and artists, poets and scientists. We have the right to be sentimental and solid, parent and stakeholder in governance. For this, it is a whole reform of our priorities, of our operating systems, of governance that we must revisit in the beautiful light of equality between women and men and the principle of the disappearance of inequalities. We have the means to do so, and this is our way out of the crisis. This should be our only priority that would allow the rebalancing of the whole.

During the coronavirus crisis, on a personal basis, we apprehended these subjects: our real life priorities, telecommuting, the social roles of women, men, by professions, by social categories.

Political governance has been questioned and will have to take this into account in the coming months.

Our European membership, so obvious but so fragile, etc.

It is therefore an essential project, of redesigning systems and institutions, an individual and collective awareness that awaits us. An exciting project, which will allow us to respect our moral contract towards life and our children.

Cristina Lunghi, President and Founder Arborus