Leading to HeForShe
The fight for gender equality has persisted for years. From the late 1800’s to recently released movies as The Suffragette, the modern war on human equality has continued longer than a century. In this same time period we developed cars, invented flight, united the nations through the Internet and cell phones, but still the fight for gender equality is in full swing.
Still today however,
- Only 7.4% of nations have had a female head of state in the last 50 years (The Global Gender Gap Forum, 2013).
- Women make up only 22% of parliamentarians in nations worldwide. (Interparliamentary Union, 2014)
- Between 2007 and 2012, only 10.7% of movies featured a balanced cast where half the characters are female (New York Film Academy, 2013)
From unequal wages, perceptions of who is responsible for children, to positions of leadership, the statistics go on and on. Gender equality is still a modern battle.
Significant efforts have led to significant progress, leading to changes throughout this last century. People are still alive today that were born before women received their right to vote in 1920 in the U.S., and 1928 for the Britain. Because of strong movements for equality in the 1960’s finally the stereotype that women should get married in their 20’s, have babies, and manage a household began to be broken.
Today, a new stage has begun in this battle: gender equality is not just a women’s issue, it’s a humanity issue. Men have a significant part too. The He For She movement is one of the first examples of this shift in perception. Essentially an online-based solidarity movement, He For She speaks up that without men, the fight for gender equality will never end.
What is HeForShe?
He For She, is a movement sponsored by the United Nations. They offer an online (HeForShe Webpage) collaboration where people can join in the fight worldwide to share they are a part of the solidarity for gender equality. Offering an action kit with their mantra and information on how to promote a gender equality movement in their area in seven different languages, He For She’s main focus is to create a foundation for the battle that men need to instigate gender equality every bit as much as women.
Their three main messages are as follows:
- “Gender inequality is one of the most persistent human rights violations of our time. Despite many years of promoting gender equality, inequalities among women/girls and men/boys continue to manifest in egregious ways around the world”
- “HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that engages men and boys as advocates and stakeholders, to break the silence, raise their voices and take action for the achievement of gender equality.”
- “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that affects all of us women and girls, men and boys. We all benefit socially, politically and economically from gender equality in our everyday lives. When women are empowered, the whole of humanity benefits. Gender equality liberates not only women but also men, from prescribed social roles and gender stereotypes.”
HeForShe is one example of the first to be a movement focusing on the too long ignored role men play in gender equality. Take the step to be a proactive contributor to society, join HeForShe and beyond signing a petition, join the fight for gender equality.
Men Who Promote Gender Equality
As a person who is a man, I want to encourage any men in this world to join with me in the struggle for gender equality. To join in this struggle, this means:
- Be aware of gender inequality. As a man you need to challenge yourself to break out of the privilege of being ignorant to gender equality.
- Actively find ways to promote gender equality. Recognize that a true man is not defined by his strength, respect, significant relationships, or muscles, but rather being a fair, respectful, proactive, and communicative individual to society.
- Be humble. Giving up privilege is a conscious decision. This means acknowledging and changing your habits when you ignorantly respond against equality because you’ve been raised in unequal culture.
Are you a man or have you seen a man promote gender equality? Please share practical ways how you or they have done it!
– Tim, HE63