Writer Alena Wagnerová

The topic of equality was largely discredited in the Czech context by a former regime that misused it for its propaganda. A number of people think of equality as "sameness" dictated from above. It´s not that kind of equality, which democratic society is trying to achieve. „Equality understood as sameness is no equality at all, because eventually it just means adaptation of one to the other,“ says a Czech-German writer Alena Wagnerová. The way she sees it, what we should be trying to achieve is not equality as „sameness“, but the „equality of the different“.

Such equality is one of essential features of democratic and rightful society. In democratic society, we are all equal in a way and the democratic political competition is just about finding out in which one. First, we need to justify the term of equality in the Czech society so that equality of men and women can, as a priority of the Czech government, can become a widely respected value.

There are two excerpts from major international contracts that speak tellingly about the role of equality in our lives. The first one is General declaration of human rights, that says in Article 1 that „all people are born as free and equal in their dignity and rights“. The second one is Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which says in Article 1 that „people are free and equal in their dignity and rights“. So if we wonder whether equality matters, we should answer that it plays possibly the most important part of all principles that democratic world is built on.


Radan Šafařík


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