What happens when we are equal?: The first world problems of equality and how to move past them!

March 8, 2019
I read last week a new survey stating that Denmark on most parameters have reached gender equality and that we are in top compared with other countries.
Though it might not be a 100%, it seems quite true. I’ve grown up in Denmark and am now 38 years old, married with 4 kids. I’ve never felt that my gender has been a hindrance for me to do what ever I have dreamed of. I could choose freely in studies, got my master’s degree, have had interesting jobs and created several businesses.

So when “Women’s International Day” comes up every year, I don’t on a personal level feel like there is a battle that needs to be won in Denmark. That doesn’t mean that I can’t see that women all over the world don’t have the same privileges as I do. And that there is still a lot to be done in other countries. But instead of taking the usual reflection on how to help them, I want to look at, what are the issues in a gender equal society?

Just because we have obtained equal rights, it unfortunately doesn’t mean, that everything is fine and dandy. It might be first world problems, but for those of us living here they feel quite real and should also be addressed.
The paradox is that now that we have acces to everything, we also feel like we have to succeed in everything, rather than choosing what makes us happy and prioritizing what to focus on. The downside is, that a lot of women – and men for that matter – are stressed and unhappy despite that fact that they “have it all”: a partner, children, a good career, nice house and car and the possibility to travel every year.  They end up running after a checklist and always feel pressured to do more and better and and the same time feeling more and more empty and sad inside. The list of lifestyle related diseases is rapidly growing and in Denmark stress is number one.

It’s difficult to choose, but in order to benefit from all the great opportunities that our grandparents, parents and we have created for ourselves, we need to step back and reflect on what we, on an individual basis, really want and why it is important to us? 
When I coach business mums on starting their own company, I always begin with their vision of a good life, their values and their strengths, and build the business strategy around that. What’s the purpose of creating your own company if it makes you unhappy and unfulfilled? We have the luxury to choose between many options, so why settle for something that isn’t meaningful to us? That doesn’t mean that everything will be smooth and easy, but at least it should be worth the struggle.
I truly believe that we’ve come to a point where less is more. Where happiness is found in doing what is meaningful to you and not what looks good on your resume or social media.  
You don’t have to be perfect. That doesn’t exist anyway and will always change depending on who you ask. I believe that Women’s International Day is also about making choices and being the woman you want to be.
So the question is, are you doing what makes you happy? Are you living you dream, with all the struggles and joy that comes with it? If not, it’s time to choose what you really want and go for it!  Happy Women’s International Day!

About the Author

Christine Gouchault is a mother of four and a successful business owner. She also provides workshops and seminars to help other mums develop their businesses, and is a mentor to entrepreneur students.

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