HeForShe: Men and Their Contribution to an Equal World
Get to know the initiative to actively involve men in the building of society with equality between genders.
The Woman Post | Valentina Ibarra
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In September 2014, UN Women created a campaign called "HeForShe," which advocated for men to join the fight for equality between men and women because the structure affects both genders and the solutions need to be built together.
The event was led by UN Goodwill Ambassador and actress Emma Watson, who has been outspoken on gender issues. She is known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies franchise, a character that inspired girls all over the world to be unapologetically smart, strong, and to fight for what they think is right.
Also read: INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN THROUGH HISTORY THAT SHAPED TODAY'S WORLD
In her speech, she remarked on the importance of joint work between genders to truly achieve equality. For Watson, the problem affects men too, as they face non-achievable gender standards. For example, not being able to show their feelings and suffering from mental illness in silence, since they need to keep their "macho" status.
Then, Emma talks about her relationship with the word ‘feminist’. For her, it was uncomplicated because she saw herself and people around her be affected by awful gender stereotypes and wanted to change them. But then, her research proved that it was an unpopular word, as she was seen as too strong, too aggressive, anti-men, and unattractive. But why is it so uncomfortable? Watson thinks that is about believing that women should be paid the same, that they should have the decision over their own bodies, that they should be able to participate politically and to earn the same respect. And not a single country has been able to achieve that.
Because of it, Watson invites everyone to get involved in the fight for equality now. If not, women will have to wait at least 75 more years to earn equal pay, African girls will not be able to complete their secondary education until 2086 and at least 15.5 million girls will be married as children in the next 16 years. If not us, if not now, then who? then when? is the final reflection in her speech. And that summarizes the goal of HeForShe.
Seven years after its release, the campaign has over 3.300.000 commitments and has done more than 1000 community events to impulse the compromise. Their efforts are focused on empowering people all over the world to take action. For example, the impact and the thematic champions, which unites heads of states, CEOs, and universities to implement the changing commitments in their countries, enterprises, and campuses.
Furthermore, global leaders work with the campaign to achieve groundbreaking changes. On the HeForShe page, you can find the stories of a male nurse who tries to deconstruct the gender stereotypes in Ireland, an activist that wants to redefine masculinity in Jordan, the annulation of 455 child marriages in Malawi, and a student rally in Pakistan that resulted in 5000 commitments.
Their goal is to encourage action, so they have created action kits for organizations and individuals. If anyone wants to get involved in the cause, they have posters, flyers, and materials to make sure their efforts can be suported2. It is a call for men to get on the train because a combined work can facilitate and accelerate the achievement of equality between genders.