When we hear about Women’s Month or gender-based issues, such as gender-based violence and inequality, it is easy for men to think that it doesn’t have much to do with them, or that it isn’t their battle to fight. But the reality is that men play a crucial role in solving these problems. In many ways, they play a bigger role than women themselves in women empowerment!
Considering the fact that most attacks on women are at the hands of men, it is up to men of all ages and backgrounds to set better examples and step up to make a difference. It should not be up to women to learn how to protect themselves or how to avoid falling victim to an attack. It should be up to men to ensure that women do not have anything to fear in the first place. Let us stop treating the symptoms and start solving the problem instead.
A culture shift
Ultimately, in order to see a change, we need a complete culture shift and a drastic shift in our way of thinking. After all, these issues and dangers that impact women as a whole, also impact your mother, your daughters, your sisters, and your partner.
So, how can men do their bit for women empowerment?
It starts with a conversation. When the time comes, teach your sons to respect women, to value them, and to see them as equals. Teach your brothers, your friends, and your father the same lessons.
Give credit where credit is due regarding female students’ and colleagues’ accomplishments. Advocate for women at varsity and in the workplace. Offer your support and listen deeply without making assumptions. Call out inequality when you see it. When you meet someone and start a family, step up as a parent and share equally in parenting and household duties. Speak up for women relentlessly.
Most importantly, be the start of change. Be an ally. Together, we are more powerful.