Remember the Ladies

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Remember the Ladies: Gender Equity for Corporate Compliance Programs Using Nanotechnology

The sheer economic force of nanotechnology in commerce will take the changed rules of science and rewrite the rules of global business. The window of opportunity therefore exists to also rewrite the rules governing civil society’s approach to women’s occupational health. Whenusing the term “gender equity” rather than “gender equality,” we suggest an international recognition of the fact that there are biological, cultural, and perhaps legal differences between men and women that cannot make everything inherently equal.

However, in the workplace and the greater society that is served by our work, we want that difference to become unimportant, so that the results of regulations and policies are fair. This means making sure that every worker, regardless of gender, has the safety and health protections necessary to enjoy the right to a safe and healthful working environment.

Rethinking An Old Problem: The Dilemma of Women’s Occupational Health

First Lady Abigail Adams was the wife of the second United States (U.S.) President and the mother of another U.S. President; she successfully ran a farm while her husband was away writing the Declaration of Independence. Her famous letters to her husband urged him to “Remember the Ladies” when declaring independent suffrage for humans who lacked the divine right of kings, and also described the hard work of managing a family business while raising and educating several children while combatting illness.

Abigail Adams wrote a letter to her husband, John Adams, 95 days before Mr. Adams signed the Declaration of Independence “in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors”. Gender equity in the workplace is therefore an old problem, and a problem that has garnered significant attention in recent decades.

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