Can men act in favor of women's economic empowerment?

Can men act in favor of women's economic empowerment and gender equality? In what way, our husbands, our sons, the men in our lives, and men in general, can contribute to the achievement of gender equality?

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  • Renu Tandon

    It starts with the culture at home, how are the mothers, sisters, daughters, treated. This rightly conditions the men to support and treat women as equal partners - these then get translated to the workplace where men demonstrate the right behaviours.

  • Najat Alhajjaj

    when he shows respect to her and to her abilities and let her believe in herself and that she can do and achieve whatever she wants , then eventually this will happen and you`ll see a successful happy woman . And if some men stop using their women`s money by convincing them they can`t manage their money and will end up wasting them here and there and that she`s not good enough , you`ll see independent strong women outthere . 

  • Nataliia Kolosova

    Their respect will be enough for our empowerment. Because often in developing countries women are not chosen for some position because of their gender. Or being a part of staff they're sexually abused by bosses. Often men-bosses forget about professional skills of women as soon as they will see "their pretty face".

    here you can find some article on the topic http://money.cnn.com/2004/10/15/pf/saving/willis_tips/index.htm, but its advises often don't work in less developed countries, when women are not able to advocate themselves, where there are no any legal instruments to respond on "bad behavior" of the boss.

    So, at least, men have to respect women and don't perceive them like sexual toys only.

    The next step is to support woman's beginnings and carrier.

    Equality is equality, it's when both men and women are treated on the same professional level, receive the same salary and not less bonuses, have equal opportunities.
     

  • Catherine Nyoike

    Yes, they can. I am privileged to know several husbands who have chosen to pay for their wives higher education because they understand that success is really success when it is shared in a family. In instances when the men may face challenges and are not able to support their families, the women can step in and help. 

  • Evelyn Bisona Fonkem

    Men are pivotal to women's Economic Empowerment because in many households,the men decide whether the woman should work or stay at home.If men begin to understand that women can also assist economically in sustaining households,it will go a long way to build economically sustained and resilient communities

  • Evelyn Bisona Fonkem

    Men are pivotal to women's Economic Empowerment.In most households, they are the men who decide whether the women should work or not.If men begin to understand that women can also support the family economically,it will go a long way to encourage their wives to start up income generating activities and this will reduce women's dependency on men and will build economically sustained economies

  • Joy Eze

    We really need to involve men in the struggle to achieve women economic empowerment. We need to work to hard so we can BALANCE power between women and men that is women have power alongside men to influence their destiny and that of others in the society. We should educate men to know the importance of women economic empowerment, and that it is not just for women alone but for their family, community and their country generally

  • Ana Espinosa

    Gender equality is not a women issue is everyone issue, by standing and raising their voices and taking action on the subject, Men can really change the reality of women in every single society. 

    We know that us as women can go really far addressing all kinds of issues related to the inequalities lived in every society in the world, but the truth is that we still live in a world where power is taken by men, so until they don't see this as a necessary issue to address and erase for further generations, the progress will not be enough. 

  • Ebru Uzumcu

    Men can fulfill their house duties so the women can work outside of the house as well.
    Young men can say, "we'll create a happy living together, we'll look after each other" instead of saying, "I'll take care of you"
    They can stop making insulting jokes on women.
    They can carry a badge that says, "all people are equal" in terms of being more vocal
    They can adopt a word of sentiment each month and use it deliberately.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Renu Ghimire

    Chiara, Men can definitely work for the empowerment of women. They can act as agents of change as well as source of encouragement and inspire women to work for the betterment of their lives. They can either act as an ally or an enemy for the economic empowerment and gender equality. Both ways, men have a crucial role to play in the economic empowerment of women.  

  • Poh Ching Tan

    Whether all men can act in favor or not, we have to make sure all will or at least most will in near future, to let them do this....to make them understand why.

  • Poh Ching Tan

    Whether all men can act in favor or not, we have to make sure all will or at least most will in near future, to let them do this....to make them understand why.

  • Al Metz

    Yes, they can.   A man can be supportive and encouraging women in his life to continue to grow, learn and reach of for new goals and opportunities.  It takes time to do this both men and women must work together for this to happen.

     

  • Al Metz

    Yes, they can.   A man can be supportive and encouraging women in his life to continue to grow, learn and reach of for new goals and opportunities.  It takes time to do this both men and women must work together for this to happen.

     

  • Al Metz

    Yes, they can.   A man can be supportive and encouraging women in his life to continue to grow, learn and reach of for new goals and opportunities.  It takes time to do this both men and women must work together for this to happen.

     

  • Al Metz

    Yes, they can.   A man can be supportive and encouraging women in his life to continue to grow, learn and reach of for new goals and opportunities.  It takes time to do this both men and women must work together for this to happen.

     

  • Sabin Muzaffar

    Men play a critical role in empowering women economically. We live in a society - especially under developed and developing countries - with a deep rooted patriarchal mindset. While the world is a buzz with the talk about women participation in skilled workforce,being the third billion, gender mainstreaming etc., another most important issue is including MEN in the conversation about the plight and causes of women. Why? because in countries where women donot even have bodily autonomy to have regular health (reproductive) check ups without the permission of her male relations ... economic empowerment then becomes an unconquerable attainment. In under-developed or developing countries as well as those suffering from various forms of conflict.... there are women who are economically emancipated but lack access to and/or control of their own finances.... relying heavily on their male counterparts. So we need to highlight this issue... bring men into the conversation, have outreach programs that strives to enlighten men how giving financial control as well as decision making power especially regarding health and other issues will in the end benefit not only the family but the society as a whole. 

  • Yelena Maleyev

    Having a male mentor has helped me immensely. Whether it's for my career or my education, men have always had sound advice for what steps are necessary to accomplish my goals. While it is great to have women role models to help share their experiences and learnings, I find that men are more to the point and offer up a lot of valuable confidence-boosting advice. As a young woman, I am often not confident enough to speak up, or make decisions that are somewhat risky. It is the men in my life who help me see that risk is worth taking when my dreams are on the line. 

  • Umar Danballaje

    Undoubtedly yes, because this is exactly what I have been doing for a very long time and I know of many men who are passionate and trying their best in seeing that women are empowered through so many means, and we should bear in mind that, women need the support of men to do many things in life

  • Deborah Kimathi

    Having worked for girls' empowerment since 2002, I have witnessed men as key influencers on the frontline of the battle for gender equality.  We started engaging men in the recognition that, key to nurturing and empowering young girls, is ensuring they interact in a healthy manner with positive male role models.  However, over time we saw the engagement of men take on a much deeper significance.  

    We now actively engage young men and boys in our programs for gender equality.  We have found that bringing boys into an environment where girls are leading, learning and exceling transforms how they view girls.  It challenges their social and cultural assumptions and gives them a transformed view and understanding of a girl, her potential and her role within family and community.  It has been amazing to witness their transformed attitudes and to see this influencing beyond our programme. 

  • Salote Niumataiwalu

    Men helps by knowing the real value of women in their lives. We are equal in human sense but different in qualities. Men are leaders, Women are administrative. Men are linear thinkers but women are global. We go hand in hand to achieve something great. One cannot live without another. 

  • Tlaytmass Saou

    From a woman's perspective, i strongly believe that men can and should act in favor of women's empowerment and gender equality. Women -as we all know- are the backbone and the heart of any society. They make the majority of population and they have a vital rule in raising next generations. All the struggles, discussions, and efforts made to empower women on many level like education, economy, business, and leadership can't be useful and have a true and solid meaning until men become very active participants in empowering women and defending their rights. What we should all bear in mind is that any society in the entire world cannot stand if there is only one of the two sides: men or women. Man and women were created to live together, to work together, to struggle together for their rights, to stand up and fight for what they think it is right, and  to put hand in hand in order to make their lives better. The relationship between the two should be a relationship of complementarity. One complete the other. One should stand for the rights of the other and defend him/her. As for gender equality, it starts first by understanding what it is and how it could be defined. What is necessary that men and women unite together in order to make all this happen. 

     

  • Deborah Kimathi

    My experience working for girls' empowerment at the grass roots of both urban and rural communities in Kenya has demonstrated that the engagement of men and boys is key if we are to ever impact significantly on social and cultural norms and practices.  Men are so often the driving, controlling or authoritative force behind family and community decisions that allow for the continuance of harmful social and cultural practices.  By engaging men in a process that allows them to examine these practices and reflect on the value of girls and women, we begin to move towards significant change.  Furthermore, we have seen that by bringing boys into an environment that is women-led, values the contribution and role of girls and gives opportunities to the potential of girls allows for a transformational shift in their thinking and perception.  "Girls never give up, tend to learn more to gain knowledge and skills, they are good decision makers, what they decide on bears them good fruit.  Girls are great, they do succeed no matter the journey they pass through.  We therefore have to change our attitude towards them, respect and be generous of them." (Victor, Current Beneficiary) 

  • Deborah Kimathi

    My experience working for girls' empowerment at the grass roots of both urban and rural communities in Kenya has demonstrated that the engagement of men and boys is key if we are to ever impact significantly on social and cultural norms and practices.  Men are so often the driving, controlling or authoritative force behind family and community decisions that allow for the continuance of harmful social and cultural practices.  By engaging men in a process that allows them to examine these practices and reflect on the value of girls and women, we begin to move towards significant change.  Furthermore, we have seen that by bringing boys into an environment that is women-led, values the contribution and role of girls and gives opportunities to the potential of girls allows for a transformational shift in their thinking and perception.  "Girls never give up, tend to learn more to gain knowledge and skills, they are good decision makers, what they decide on bears them good fruit.  Girls are great, they do succeed no matter the journey they pass through.  We therefore have to change our attitude towards them, respect and be generous of them." (Victor, Current Beneficiary) 

  • Mark Artigues

    From a man's perspective, I most certainly believe that men can and should act in favor of women's economic empowerment.  That is both in the workplace and in the supply chain.  Supporting and procuring from woman owned businesses will have a sustainable economic impact; local, regional and global.

  • Its very true that life begins once we leave our comfort zone i.e. effort beyond the comfort, thinking beyond what has been always told. The way of evolution and development is precarious but become habit later on. The same is needed to be applied to bring Gender equality where walls in mindset need to be broken and shackled and the disparity in wages, salary, respect, honor, lookouts and above all customs should be breached and reset with fairness. Get set go.... Step up step up.

  • All the discussions efforts and work about women education, women empowerment can't be effective full circle and in real sense unless and until men become equal contributor and participant in all the initiative. The change of mindset at all the level, strata and layer of society is the most required thing.

    The initiative and sensitization at fundamental primary levels i.e. family, schools and society in general is imperative. When said primary levels, it means observing, teaching, providing conducive environment to let the kids subconscious get impressed that both genders are equal and they can work in assistance and cooperation to give effect to all required chores whether in home or outside home.  

  • All the discussions efforts and work about women education, women empowerment can't be effective full circle and in real sense unless and until men become equal contributor and participant in all the initiative. The change of mindset at all the level, strata and layer of society is the most required thing.

    The initiative and sensitization at fundamental primary levels i.e. family, schools and society in general is imperative. When said primary levels, it means observing, teaching, providing conducive environment to let the kids subconscious get impressed that both genders are equal and they can work in assistance and cooperation to give effect to all required chores whether in home or outside home.  

  • Jo-Ann Hamilton

    Just to piggy back on what Nadia said below. Parents play a major role in the development of their sons and particularly mothers. I believe as a man's mother is his first post of call, or reference when it comes to a woman, this plays a major role in how he will treat the women he will interact with throughout his life. I believe that mothers should pay more attention to the way they raise their sons, correct them and guide them with respect to women. Fathers should also evaluate masculinity and the way their behaviour will mould their sons. Boys, who grow up in homes with authoratative and abuses fathers learn very quickly and easily. This is not a good example and I believe that once this behaviour is cultivated during the first few years it becomes harder to combat. In essence, it starts at home.  

  • Nada Hamdy

    There should be an increased awareness, they wont learn by themselves. they learn through Media and television, also the way they are raised has a great impact on their behavior with their siblings, girlfriends, or even wife, and mother. 

  • madeleine white

    In nina-iraq.com, we have seen time again that the women leaders writing for us have been inspired by their fathers. In a piece today, healthcare expert Hawra Abu Gulal calls for the importance of including men the the dialogue and follow through actions ref access to healthcare for women.

    "This initiative focuses on empowering young Iraqi girls (aged 12-18) living in Baghdad to more effectively make life choices and gain life skills through a skills training program. This involves trained teachers and nurses providing groups of girls with information about health, communication skills, planning, saving, budgeting and negotiation skills with the aim of building confidence levels. The primary objective is to change their attitudes and knowledge about rigid gender roles starting with the very basics. Boys will also be included, as it is important to change their attitudes about rigid gender roles in a way that encourages positive partnerships. This intervention is expected to have a positive impact on the health of both female and male participants. The aim is to create an intervention which can be applied on a larger scale throughout Iraq."

    You can see the full feature in English at http://nina-iraq.com/2015/03/13/access-to-quality-health-care-for-women-in-iraq/  and here for the Arabic/

  • Nzometia Modeste Zelefack

    Yes, Men can act in favour of Women's Economic Empowerment and Gender equality. Encouraging and Assisting in achieving their business goals. Also make her more responsible in allowing to take decisions and manage her own business.

  • María Teresa Sandoval Huerta

    Con respecto a mi experiencia y a lo que he sido testigo, los hombres pueden contribuir totalmente al crecimiento y empoderamiento de la mujer, todos necesitamos de todos mujeres de mujeres, hombres de hombres y mujeres de hombres, el trabajo y la experiencia de cada una de las mujeres que buscan el crecimiento de las comunidades en donde viven debe ser respaldado y enriquecido tambien con la contribucion del sexo masculino, es la situación de mi pais, pero he tenido la oporunidad de escuchar casos en otros paises en los que no existe tal apertura de mente y de ambiente y la mujer realmente se ve imposibilitada desde muy corta edad, es por eso que como mujeres, quiza de otras culturas debemos de enfocarnos en llevar el mensaje de igualdad a cualquier region y rincon del mundo, para que la igualdad sea una realidad tangible en un futuro

  • Tiphaine Bueke

    Les hommes peuvent oeuvrer efficacement à l'autonomisation économique des femmes et à l'égalité de genre, femmes qui peuvent être leurs épouses, soeurs ou filles.

    De part mon expérience, les meilleurs résultats que j'ai pu avoir c'est lorsque les hommes et les garçons ont été impliqués, ont compris ce qu'est l'autonomisation économique et l'égalité de genre. Nous avons pu obtenir un appui sans précédent dans ces actions. L'action menée était appuyée par l'ensemble de la communauté et les femmes se sentaient estimées et valorisées

    Par contre dans les actions où les hommes n'étaient pas impliqués, on parlait de " vos histoires de genre, vos histoires de femmes, ...." 

    Il était plus difficile dans ces milieux ou communautés que les femmes assistés s'en sortent. Elles subissaient  un écrasement en silence en dépit des connaissances qu'elles avait acquises sur la question d'autonomisation économique et de genre.

    Oui, les hommes ont un rôle à jouer dans le processus d'autonomisation économique des femmes et l'égalité de genre. Ce n'est qu'en travaillant avec les hommes et les femmes ensemble qu'on peut arriver à la réalisation de l'égalité de genre.

  • Ethel Cote

    YES FOR SURE !

    Men and women needs to work together in favor of women's economic empowerment... 

    But more than that, all organizations who are supporting social enterprises, coops, private businesses should have a gender approach make economy accessible to men and women.

    In Social Solidarity Economy, it is amazing, in solidarity, women and men act together to create wealth in communities.

  • Lucia Lastarria Reynoso

    Of course, I think both men and women can be in charge of women empowerment. Mothers can raise their sons in some way that they know how to respect women and treat them as equal. But fathers can also raise their daughters showing them that they can whatever they want in their lives. That is how my father raised me. He didn't hesitate to teach me all that he could; I mean, he taught me to drive when I was a child and also automotive mechanics. My point is that family education is important to the future behaviour of the society of the following decades. 

  • Hadia Sheerazi

    I believe that gender equality begins in the home. My father was the first #HeforShe in my life, and perhaps the one with the greatest impact. Everything I have achieved today is because of what he has contributed to my life and because of the example he set.  Most men in the society I grew up in are not active and involved fathers, not just because they have demanding jobs or hectic schedules, but because gender norms classify child-rearing as "women's work." I was very lucky and fortunate to have a father who was an equal parent and played a transformational role in my life. Even before I was born, he volunteered to give up his job as a university professor so my mother could keep her position as a lecturer and he would be a stay-at-home dad during my early months. While this may not seem that revolutionary in 2015, in 1987 it was. Especially in a small, sleepy, super conservative town like Quetta, a man taking a step back for his wife and child (particularly a female child) would have made shock waves greater than the earthquakes experienced by that region. 

    After I was born, my father was an equal parent, and in fact I think he may have spent more time as a father than a breadwinner. Most people don't believe when I tell them that he would stay up late at night sowing clothes for me to wear to their university's daycare (a daycare that was opened because of me and my mother), teaching me to speak English, helping me learn to ride a bicycle, practice my mathematics tables, and later on training me to become a fierce debater and effective communicator. My brother grew up in a home where his sister and mother were equal participants in conversations and responsibilities. I have dozens of stories of "firsts" where I overcame stereotypes, gender biases and shattered glass ceilings because I believed that I could, and because I had great champions cheering me on. My parents have raised two children who grew up in a gender equal home and who have become advocates for a gender equal world. No matter what we go on to do professionally and no matter where we live geographically, we are living proof that men can be powerful catalysts for making our world a fairer and more just place. On father at a time. 

  • Mohamed Abdelgawad

    Yes men and the importance of empowering them to contribute to the achievement of equality between the sexes. Men are the foundations of society and partners in the dialogue between men and women leads to the exchange of knowledge and create a better society

  • Tim. O. C. Aniebonam

    For me the starting point to deal with this is to continue to use every development space to let men and boys to the realization that; women and men, girls and boys are intrinsic partners in the making of the world. That both sexes are equal collaborators and stakeholders in the creation of a new world order that humanity aspires for. Men and boys should be made to know that until women and girls develops at the same pace as men all human quest for sustainable development will remain a mirage.

    As we all will acknowledge, the story of man had never been complete without relating reflecting on the woman.  Although in man’s quest to create class that hitherto never existed, inequalities was introduced and over years have grown to become the order especially in relationship discussing the higher creatures. 

    With regard to the way husbands, sons, the men in women’s lives, and men in general, can contribute to the achievement of gender equality? I think the first step is to start from the home which is the first unit of learning and knowledge sharing.  Secondly is to begin early childhood to inculcate the orientation that, in way is the ‘girl’ less a being, to a ‘boy’.  And also in way is the ‘women’ less a being to a ‘man’.

    For me, if children will grow with this orientation and right from their parents and their immediate homes they will have inculcated a key learning to the fact that all human being are equal irrespective of their sexes and or gender after all.  Also, a an orientation of this nature will go a long way to help to whittle down cultural cleavages and inclinations that have continued to underpins gender inequality across various ages, races, nations and countries across the world. 

  • Tim. O. C. Aniebonam

    For me the starting point to deal with this is to continue to use every development space to let men and boys to the realization that; women and men, girls and boys are intrinsic partners in the making of the world. That both sexes are equal collaborators and stakeholders in the creation of a new world order that humanity aspires for. Men and boys should be made to know that until women and girls develops at the same pace as men all human quest for sustainable development will remain a mirage.

    As we all will acknowledge, the story of man had never been complete without relating reflecting on the woman.  Although in man’s quest to create class that hitherto never existed, inequalities was introduced and over years have grown to become the order especially in relationship discussing the higher creatures. 

    With regard to the way husbands, sons, the men in women’s lives, and men in general, can contribute to the achievement of gender equality? I think the first step is to start from the home which is the first unit of learning and knowledge sharing.  Secondly is to begin early childhood to inculcate the orientation that, in way is the ‘girl’ less a being, to a ‘boy’.  And also in way is the ‘women’ less a being to a ‘man’.

    For me, if children will grow with this orientation and right from their parents and their immediate homes they will have inculcated a key learning to the fact that all human being are equal irrespective of their sexes and or gender after all.  Also, a an orientation of this nature will go a long way to help to whittle down cultural cleavages and inclinations that have continued to underpins gender inequality across various ages, races, nations and countries across the world. 

  • Jo-Ann Hamilton

    P.S. I forgot to add the organisation of men in Turkey last week to protest the killing of a young woman, is just one way men can get involved. This was a bold and brave move by Turkish men and it is much appreciated. There are multiple ways that men can get involved and show their support for a cause that will not only benefit the women in their lives but will create a more balanced world for us all. 

  • Jo-Ann Hamilton

    Thanks for this discussion. I believe that the empowerment of a woman is inherently bounded to the empowerment of man. I do not think either gender can consider themselves equal individually. As many campaigns have echoed, when you empower a woman, you also empower a man, the home and the entire community. Men and women should complement each other and our efforts to create a better world should be achieved together, shoulder to shoulder. 

  • Vincy Abraham

    One of the most powerful things I learnt about women's empowerment came from my English Professor back in college. I remember her sharing with me how she envisages real change towards gender equality in the society starting from within the private sphere. We'd technically call that the "bottoms-up" approach. I largely agree with it. Real change starts from the smallest unit of society, i.e. the family. Inculcating values that promote gender equality within the home can start off the process. Of course, this value building approach cannot be done in isolation, as there are other contributors - right from forward-thinking governments at the top, to role models within the community.

    In the world we live in today, the environment is more conducive than before. Men and women both can begin by inculcating values towards gender equality within the home itself (that would mean practicing gender equality in decision making, education, economic independence etc). That can start off the process towards women's empowerment, particularly economic empowerment, in the larger society.

    What we must be aiming for is a transformative change of the society which itself translates into a lasting change in the attitudes towards gender equality. Men are as integral for this transformative change as are women. I think Emma Watson's speech was impressive in this regard. "He For She", after all.

  • Matthew Prowse

    Echoing the opinion of many of you here, I believe it’s imperative for men to be involved in the fight for women’s economic empowerment. Realistically there can only be so much progress made if men are not also actively involved in campaigning for change.

    I really like the comment from Leila Gharavi below, “the question is not: can men act in favour of...? Rather, it is: how do we get men to come in, be our allies, and then act all together in favour of all of us?”

    I believe the challenge set is to find the best ways possible to get as many men to see the benefits the economically empowered women and thus have them work alongside us in the fight for equality. Momentarily ignoring the moral reasons as to why empowering women is important, it is undisputed that given a chance to prove themselves the benefits of empowered women in a community will eventually become evident. If men are consistently presented with this message, alongside concrete examples of empowered women benefiting them, we will have a greater chance at engaging men in advocating for the economic empowerment of women.

    Of course, what I’ve described above is no small task. Engaging men to campaign for women’s economic empowerment will not come quickly, with uniformity or without resistance. However as we know, overcoming this hurdle is far too important to not continue working for it. I believe that in trying to attract men to become fellow advocates, it’s important to give them as many avenues as possible to find their way to accepting something that may feel foreign to them. This means ensuring that we as activists push the agenda of economic empowerment from as many angles as possible, incorporating governments, NGOs, churches and community groups as a whole. With programs implemented through each of these avenues, it will take a concerted effort from all those already engaged in this advocacy to maintain constant pressure on these issues. By doing this it allows men to individually come to the conclusion that the economic empowerment of women is of benefit to them, and help us in working towards greater equality.

  • Leila Gharavi

    I personally don’t see how "women’s empowerment" can yield optimal results without men’s engagement, at all. I mean, in the society we do not have any other resources but men and women. I believe we have been handed the current situation we are in as a result of men and women collaborating together through the ages, each playing their respective part. Being silent or accepting of their situation on the side of women, is collaboration enough. Now, I can’t see how reversing the situation can or should materialise only by women & in the hands of women.

    I understand that perhaps the spark or initiation should come from women themselves, and I think that has more or less been the case during the past few decades (even though not at all levels of all the societies) but I also think that through these decades of activism, progress, demanding rights and empowerment, etc. what we have not yet figured out, or even failed out-right to figure out, is how to best tap into the potential of men, how to bring them in, make them our allies and join forces to recreate a better & more inclusive world for all of us. & probably this is one of the challenges of our times and this community here, or similar ones.

    So for me, the question is not: can men act in favour of...? Rather, it is: how do we get men to come in, be our allies, and then act all together in favour of all of us?

  • Sheila Crook

    Most definitely.  In fact women empowering women will only take us so far.  It is imperative that Men, Women, Boys and Girls challenge the status quo. It is by working together that we will achieve economic empowerment and gender equality. Addressing the constraints to women's economic empowerment is fundamental to lasting, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction, food security, the elimination of violence against women/girls and to achieving gender equality.

  • Shaheera Jalil Albasit

    This question is highly relevant to the dynamics of my community where,

    A) Women and young girls are taught from early ages that to work outside homes and to pursue higher education is the job of men and to stay at home and provide for the family's care needs is the job of the women. It is concerning that women/girls are themselves insistent that empowerment is a concept not relevant to them.This discourages those girls/women who are willing to work/study and are willing to have a 'shared' responsibility of domestic/household chores with the male members.

    B) Because young boys from an early age see that it is only women/girls who are tabling the food,washing dishes,pressing clothes,cleaning the house,they tend to become gradually less attentive to the little signs of the widening gender gap that exist in their surroundings.

    Subsequently,they tend to grow less informed about how this gender gap is contributing to the economic backwardness of their communities.

  • Shaheera Jalil Albasit

    Deriving lessons from UN Women's HeForShe Campaign,it is indeed significant that men are brought into the net of championing for women's empowerment just as much.

    In societies where indicators indicate lower levels of women's socio-economic empowerment,we see the male population taking a considerably dominant share of empowerment, access and liberty.

    This infers that societies where women are relatively less empowered than men are societies where men are more empowered than women.This establishes ground for why it is after all important to inform,educate and engage men in the global struggle for women empowerment.

    Lets speak at a domestic scale of families and homes.Where men are educated about the need to bridge gender gaps,there are greater chances of women enjoying greater confidence to work and study.Families and homes where men are also champions of women empowerment,are places where the share of unpaid household/care work is shared more or less equally between both men and women family members.On the contrary,it is evident from families where men have not adequately (or have never) been engaged in conversations and dialogue on gender gap and women struggle,that it is 'assumed' that household chores are the domain of women,even if those women are working or studying as much (or more) than the male members of the place.

  • Salamatu Musa

    It depends on their background, a man that is brought up and trained  by a woman and whose mother is economically empowered would act in favour of women's economic empowerment. Because he had seen the the contributions she made to the family's welfare.

    Secondly, for men to act in women's favour the women need to speak up and make their voices heard or make demands, otherwise the men would never speak on their behalf. 

    I remember when i got a job outside our state of residence in Nigeria, my husband supported me, if i did not apply and felt that because the job is somewhere outside Lagos, i wouldn't get it, talk more of getting the job.

    Despite all the side talks from family and friends from both sides, due to the patriarchic nature of our society in Nigeria. My husband blocked his ears and supported me. He gave the support because he remembered his mother's contribution to his family of orientation. 

     

  • Marjorie Molina
    I think this is an important question. The scale of this conversation is so large and I'm sure there are different realities around the globe. What has drawn me to this movement is the beautiful sisterhood and unique collaboration opportunities. I enjoy that no matter where we are we can share our strengths, struggles and gain more understanding. I believe that it's very important for men to act in favor of women's economic development and equality. I believe they can offer information for the gaps and even strengthen our voices adding positively to the dialog. I cringe when I see the further tipping end of the spectrum to empower women that almost appears to be "male hating." The men we love; our fathers, husbands, brothers and sons must participate because it's their understanding our voices that will allow us to move forward as women. Many times we can empathize with one another already depending on the circumstances of our reality.
  • Marta Lamas

    I love the different initiatives around the world engaging men for the women visibility. I really like the one from Catalyst, and one I have followed in Australia.

    Once I heard that the best ambassador is a "CEO with daughters" because one day he will realize the situation that their daughters will face. Think about it :)

    I would recommend to engage every man you understand that and the "issue matters" and engage him as an ambassador and ask him to talk and to be involved :), they love it !!!

    Engage senior managers to mentor women and their perspective will change.

    Both women and men have to tackle the issue, and we need allies

     

     

  • Tsering Kongtsa

    Hi Chiara. Great question and you have some really insightful answers and opinions that have been posted. Like others who have commented, I also believe that men can definitely act in favor of women's economic empowerment and gender equality. To add to the replies, I wanted to draw your attention to a 3 year study that CARE conducted in nearly 30 different countries and their findings. I think you will find the information and conclusions helpful. 

    http://www.care.org/sites/default/files/documents/2009-SII-Womens-Empowerment-and-Engaging-Men-Brief.pdf

    Thanks 

     

     

  • Monica Chavarria Herrera

    ~~I think men MUST do it. We can make the difference breaking certain cultural paradigms with our  daughters and sons during the growth period in order to avoid  the replication - generation after generation- of  situations that  stop  gender equity. Starting by ourselves and our relationships is very important in our  closing gender gap goal.

     

  • Marian Darlington

    Yes. Men can act in favor of gender equality and women's economic empowerment. I believe it is a strong way of advocating for the cause. Men can act in various ways to promote women's economic empowerment. However, there are a lot of men out there who fear this. In my work place, I find a lot of men acting rudely and uncouth towards me just because I am a female boss. They will rather have a man in my position. Whenever they come to my office looking for the HR Manager and they are introduced to me, their demeanor changes. They automatically want to oppose everything I say or they start being defensive. This is one challenge a lot of women face. Women are treated differently when in authority than men are treated for the same position. 

    I know there are a few men out there who are in support of women empowerment and equal rights. I had one of such men tell me that the African culture did not put a woman in authority and it is slow to accept the changes which has allowed women to take up challenging positions. For this reason he thinks a lot of men need education and sensitization to know that a woman is not their competition or subordinate but rather an equal and when men and women work together, we can achieve greater things. I certainly agree with him.

    i believe men can take up various activities which showcases their support for women empowerment and also gender equality. They can lead campaigns, advocate and also publicly show respect to their female colleagues at work.

  • Sherine Ahmed

    Men can do that if they feel that they have the power of making difference in their communities. in my community i know a lot of men who believe in gender equality and  believe that women have a great role in life balance and success . 

  • Barbara Young

    Men without a doubt play a great role in advocating for gender equality, moreso in developing nations where patriachy is the order of the day especially in rural communities. I find that many people ignore the peculiarities of the rural communities. Aside from the fact that men who make up a large chunk of government administrations in most developing countries, can work beside the women in power to create policies that advocate for the betterment of women's lives, much of the work lies on the homefront. The home is where primary ideas, notions, norms and beliefs are built and to tackle the issue of gender equality and empowerment, men must begin to dissociate themselves from many of the regressive cultural beliefs that exist many developing countries. 

    For instance, there is still a widespread belief in my home Nigeria that having a male child is more beneficial that having a female child. Many couples produce as many children as it takes just to get one male child. In the end, you would find a typical rural family who is living below the poverty line having 7 girl children and the 8th child, their ultimate prize, being the male child. In some cases, the woman is unable to bear a male child and is thrown out of her marital home. Many still do not know that it is the man who carries the responsible chromosome.

    This is a common occurrence in Nigeria and indeed much of Africa. When this happens, the female children automatically believe that the man is more important than they are and all they are there for is to bear children. How can such a girl feel economically empowered without her father who is her first point of contact, her first teacher, instilling the value of strength, self importance etc in her? The case is often that she never feels empowered and continues the destructive cycle by imparting the same belief into her children.

    1) We must teach men to teach other men how to empower women in thier communities. 

    2) We must do this subtly in rural areas where cultural beliefs are still deeply entrenched. It will be counterproductive to go into rural areas and preach "gender equality" because the men who have existed in this deeply patriarchal community will repel the movement. 

    3) Educating the men on the gross effects of various cultural practices on the health and welfare of their wives and daughters alone is bound to reach the hearts of many men if not all.

    4) Our world today is ever changing and the need for more than one source of income is dominant so men can be educated on how their wives can "assist" them instead of preaching "equality" to them because the typical African/Nigerian man will not welcome such so it mist be done tactfully.

    By going such routes, you are more than likely to reach far and wide. Remember, the same paths to solutions you apply to urban communities do not usually apply to rural ones. Nonetheless, once each peculiarity is determined and applied, women who are seen as "assisting" become empowered and they in turn pass this message to their young children, male and female and a new ideology is born in their minds. 

  • Barbara Young

    Men without a doubt play a great role in advocating for gender equality, moreso in developing nations where patriachy is the order of the day especially in rural communities. I find that many people ignore the peculiarities of the rural communities. Aside from the fact that men who make up a large chunk of government administrations in most developing countries, can work beside the women in power to create policies that advocate for the betterment of women's lives, much of the work lies on the homefront. The home is where primary ideas, notions, norms and beliefs are built and to tackle the issue of gender equality and empowerment, men must begin to dissociate themselves from many of the regressive cultural beliefs that exist many developing countries. 

    For instance, there is still a widespread belief in my home Nigeria that having a male child is more beneficial that having a female child. Many couples produce as many children as it takes just to get one male child. In the end, you would find a typical rural family who is living below the poverty line having 7 girl children and the 8th child, their ultimate prize, being the male child. In some cases, the woman is unable to bear a male child and is thrown out of her marital home. Many still do not know that it is the man who carries the responsible chromosome.

    This is a common occurrence in Nigeria and indeed much of Africa. When this happens, the female children automatically believe that the man is more important than they are and all they are there for is to bear children. How can such a girl feel economically empowered without her father who is her first point of contact, her first teacher, instilling the value of strength, self importance etc in her? The case is often that she never feels empowered and continues the destructive cycle by imparting the same belief into her children.

    1) We must teach men to teach other men how to empower women in thier communities. 

    2) We must do this subtly in rural areas where cultural beliefs are still deeply entrenched. It will be counterproductive to go into rural areas and preach "gender equality" because the men who have existed in this deeply patriarchal community will repel the movement. 

    3) Educating the men on the gross effects of various cultural practices on the health and welfare of their wives and daughters alone is bound to reach the hearts of many men if not all.

    4) Our world today is ever changing and the need for more than one source of income is dominant so men can be educated on how their wives can "assist" them instead of preaching "equality" to them because the typical African/Nigerian man will not welcome such so it mist be done tactfully.

    By going such routes, you are more than likely to reach far and wide. Remember, the same paths to solutions you apply to urban communities do not usually apply to rural ones. Nonetheless, once each peculiarity is determined and applied, women who are seen as "assisting" become empowered and they in turn pass this message to their young children, male and female and a new ideology is born in their minds. 

  • Rita Otu

    Men came through this world by birth through a woman, therefore men can contribute a lot in favor of women's empowerment. The various ways are: Laws to protect women form violence, free education for women, many women should be involved in politics etc.

  • Poh Ching Tan

    Men to understand and know that these for women should be considered as human rights for women ( basic enough for women to have access and be given to equal opportunities in lives and not to be discriminated in any sense even if any failures are encountered along the process of living such as women who are single mothers or divorced etc.  They should not be viewed as "second-class" citizens in certain societies.

  • Poh Ching Tan

    Men to understand and know that these for women should be considered as human rights for women ( basic enough for women to have access and be given to equal opportunities in lives and not to be discriminated in any sense even if any failures are encountered along the process of living such as women who are single mothers or divorced etc.  They should not be viewed as "second-class" citizens in certain societies.

  • Sharon Bousi

    We are here because a woman brought us into this world by birth.  If that is not reason enough for men to empower the women around them, then I do not know what is.  We do not realize what an empowered woman would do for this society we live in, especially with the support of women.  Because of years of men being ahead of women, women are always in the back.    We have gone to the same school, studied the same courses and hoped for the same future.  However when we present ourselves before the same panel, women are seen to still be weaker, or that they shall mix emotions in what they do.   Some go ahead to say that because of the responsibility the women have at home, they cannot perform at work like men do.  But then again imagine this; if men helped out at home with the children or some house chores, would the women need to take time off from work?  Come into work late or leave work early?  No they would not, because the work is shared at home creating room for growth at work for both of them.  The only women likely to rise through the ladder of success are those without a family.  Men believe that a woman cannot perform at work with family responsibilities.  Something else that could be done for women with family responsibilities that do not have assistance at home, having a day care for the children so that they are well taken care of as their mothers are working.  That way they are able to give 100% to their work. 

    Some men are in a position to educate men on the importance of empowering and contributing to the achievement of gender equality.  Many times when it discussions on women economic empowerment and gender equality are had, they are done by women to men.  It would be better if a man was educated by a man on the benefits of empowering a woman.  It is not a fight of women against men, but a fight for women by both the men and the women.  If in my home I work or run a business and my husband assists me with the work at home, in turn we are a more productive home.  We have more income in the home, do more activities as a family as I am not the only one handling things at home and he the only one who brings an income home.  We are able to afford a few luxuries and take our children to better schools as compared to before I started to work.  If my husband told this to another man, he would have played his role in helping empower women.  A man would understand then what having an empowered woman in his home could do for him and his family.  Another illustration is an office set up.  If a man and a woman of the same qualifications are promoted or employed together it increases the productivity of the company.

    By empowering women, it is not just a struggle for women alone.  It is easing the burden men have had to carry on their own and that is not necessary to carry alone.  It so that women can feel valued and needed by society.  It so that they are not just doing what they have to do by caring for their hoe but also doing what they want to do and love to do and sharing equal opportunities with men.  It is to create a more productive home and in turn society as well.  

  • Chopra Ritu

    When gender gap are big, a healthy dialogue can bring some degree of positive results in gaining male support. It make take some time, but one can be optimistic. 

    I personally beleive that we humans are creatures of habits, practices and traditions, which can be changed if the 'old' ones do not serve purpose any longer. 

  • Laura Isidean

    As part of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, White Ribbon published an excellent article on what men and boys can do to make a difference - a must read that includes 16 practical ways men and boys can get involved in promoting gender equality:

    http://www.whiteribbon.ca/news/16-ways-in-16-days/

  • Chopra Ritu

    Yes, men can change the scenario of economic empowerment for women. The societies are changing, cost of livings are much higher that a decade ago. Women around the globe support  and contribute to the family income and livelihood. 

    My thoughts to the questions are, men already know the contribution women make (may not always acknowledge though).

    They need to see thru the different lenses. Mutual respect and honoring each other first, supporting each other to grow and make their world better place for themselves and their families. 

  • Poh Ching Tan

    As fellow human beings with feelings and compassion/empathy, men have to give women a helping hand to lift up women socially, economically and pyschologically.

  • Krystle Pereira Hinkson-Goodwin
  • Krystle Pereira Hinkson-Goodwin

    A worthy point @Poh Ching Tan, but why is it that "the mothers" are tasked with being solely responsible to teach them the values of respecting women? This notion of women consistently being the main caretaker defeats the cause we are advocating for, which is gender equality. Biologically speaking, it takes both a man and a woman to create a new being, and both mother and father (in most instances) should be responsible for instilling the ideals of fairness and gender equality for their offspring in all arenas, especially child-rearing.

  • Nathalie Interiano

    This weeks speech by Emma Watson regarding feminism and the HeForShe Campaign speaks to the need to include men in the gender equality conversation. 

    Here is the link, this is a speech worth listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkjW9PZBRfk

  • Nora Hamdy

    According to how they are raised , some are raised to see that they are better than women more qualified . those won't help in that , However open minded well educated men with no insecurities will contribute in the achievement of gender equality for sure

  • Poh Ching Tan

    Boys should be taught from young, to respect girls and women.  Their mothers to be the ones teaching and be role model ( female figures ) to show them the values.

  • Nathalie Interiano

    Both men and women can act in favor of equality of the genders. This begins with a conceptual understanding of what equality of the gender means and how it is put into practice. At the basis, there is the inclusion of every individual in opportunities for empowerment, be it socially, politically or economically, without prejudicial notions of what gender roles constitute in society.  It is imperative that men be part of the dialogue. Husbands can support their wives in the pursuit of empowerment, they can teach their children to respect everyone equally, regardless of their differences. The list can be very extensive, but at the basis, attitudes need to change in order to change behaviors that benefit all members of society.

  • Krystle Pereira Hinkson-Goodwin

    Great questions Chiara and your topic is related to Mary Robbin's post "How to Involve Men in Women's Economic Empowerment". Men can most assuredly be in favor of women's economic empowerment and gender equality but they must be encouraged to act on it and should not be isolated from engaging in this issue as this goal can not be met without half the population (it's not feasible and highly improbable). This goal of equality and economic empowerment obviously won't happen overnight and is something that must be learned and addressed on a wide-scale level (think governments implementing mandatory policies to educate denizens on this issue, perhaps starting in primary school, and media campaigns for parents on gender awareness). For instance, in order to gain gender equality, men and women must view each other as respected and equal counterparts and even on the most basic levels in today's modern age this does not happen (e.g. women are usually seen as caregivers and men as breadwinners, maternity leave might be seen as a given however is paternity leave viewed in the same regard, "throwing like a girl" is seen as an insult, women should be obedient towards their husbands, taking on your husband's name for a patrilineal​ line, etc..).

    To achieve all of what you mentioned, we must work on attitudinal shifts, so women are no longer devalued and we must embrace men into the fold so that they too can take part in the conversation. However if men feel marginalized by women's economic empowerment and that it will  not be beneficial to them (and we all know that it empowers everyone), they will not embrace it and this goal will not be reached.

  • Krystle Pereira Hinkson-Goodwin
  • Caitlin Jurman

    Men MUST act in favor of women's economic empowerment and gender equality, or these goals will not be met. Men must provide women with the freedom to feel empowered economically, whether that be running their own business, having a job or choosing to stay home and raising a family, this must be a decision made by both the woman and her partner and must be honored by her partner. Beyond economic empowerment, men must want equality for women, just as much as women do. They must strive for it in their everyday and help to educate those who don't see it as a priority. 

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