with Robyn Walser, PhD
Cutting edge work is work that is modern and fashionable. Yet, the experience of gender inequality is a vintage problem. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have once again brought an age-old struggle to the forefront in many contexts around the world. Inside the frame of these movements there are many who are still surprised by the level of inequality that remains between genders given the longstanding suffering and progress made by women throughout history. Despite these efforts, issues of discrimination and equal treatment continue to be a mountainous challenge. The problem is complex. Risk factors for women’s mental health issues are interconnected and co-occurrent with gender-based roles as well as stressors and negative life experiences. Other events such as violence, socioeconomic disadvantage, low income and income inequality, low or subordinate social status and rank and unremitting responsibility for the care of others all play a role. Women suffer discrimination related to their weight, height, age, use of societally dictated clothing, level of education and economic status. In any organization, community or society that values the rights of those whom they serve, in any community that aspires to justice, equality is critical. This presentation will explore how contextual behavioral science (CBS)and its international community, with their aspirations to contribute to the lessening of all human suffering, can support and be a catalyst for equity and change in the contextual factors that create disparity. The focus will be threefold: 1) What are the hidden and as well as open forms of discrimination and the ways in which men, women, and non-binary individuals can work together for equity and health, and 2) What are the unique contributions that the CBS community and those learning and conducting acceptance and commitment therapy might be able to make in this area? And 3), The value of choice, and its barriers, will be explored. That women have choice about how they behave and how they spend their time will be essential to creating their personal life meaning. Finding new ways to support and sustain choice for women is part of moving parity for women from vintage to cutting edge.
- Describe the current status of women in a number of social arenas such as finances and education.
- Describe past and current efforts to make positive change for women and how psychology can play a role.
- Identify the contextual influences that sustain gender-based issues such as inequality.
- Describe how acceptance and commitment therapy can be tailored to support women in identifying meaning/purpose related to choice and parity.