Women’s rights mean coming to the table ‘as you are, knitting needles in hand’


Photo by Lona on Unsplash


“Too often…we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought”
– John F. Kennedy

Two of the more interesting ideas on gender equity have emerged from Europe, more specifically, from the European Commission’s executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager.

Politico recently reported that Ms Vestager has been calling for a gender perspective on tech regulation.

That’s because if the current, “very non-diverse community” builds Artificial Intelligence technology there is a risk the data will be biased, the AI will also be biased, or even increase bias.

In other words, Ms Vestager, a former coder herself, says the solution is more women in the coding community.

The second refreshing notion she advances is for women to women bring their “difference to the table…come as who you are”.

Ms Vestager, of course, is a keen knitter who works her needles even during official meetings.

She admits that “it provokes some [but] I know that it’s equally provocative when people cannot resist fiddling with their phone”. She added: “Being concentrated, listening to other people is a skill, and if we have to do it for a long time, I think people would in the best cases doodle; in the worst cases double screen”.

And then, finally this gem. She likes “a number of old-school women’s things to do…I love to cook, I love to sew – and I would like to bring that in to who I am as a vice president, also because dressing up more or less as a man [convinces] no one. So better come as who you are”.

A blast of common sense.