Women in the past once supported that men should not be involved in feminist activities and education on gender equality and equity because they believed that men would downplay or dilute the message.
However, this is not a practical solution to the problem and may widen the gap between both parties. Gender equality studies not only educate and engage women but men also.
For us to see positive change and make an impact, all hands must be on deck- This includes people of all genders, sexuality, races, and identities. In this article, we will look at some strategies how to engage men in gender equality. We will cover some roles for men and women.
The first step in engaging men in gender equality is by educating and enlightening them. The first task for men on their journey to enlightenment is acknowledging male privilege.
Many men never get to see things from the perspective of a woman- This makes it difficult for them to;
- Understand the challenges women face at home and the society.
- Empathize with women.
- To develop effective plans, policies, strategies, and systems that promote fairness.
Aside from being more open and perceptive about gender issues, one proven way men, boys, and women can improve their awareness is through International development gender training. During programs like these, they can learn about topics such as gender equality, social justice, sexual harassment, and human rights.
Getting Men To Speak Up:
Encouraging men to speak about their experiences can motivate and inspire other men to be more involved in the fight for gender equality. The masculine man is strong, powerful, and can protect and provide for others.
While the idea of masculinity that society preaches sounds fantastic on paper, it can be very toxic and difficult to achieve for the everyday Joe. Men at different points of their lives have felt powerless and incapable because of the overwhelming pressure on them to “be a man”. This has pushed many men into crime, isolation, depression, and suicide.
Gender equality has a better narrative- It says: “It is okay to share responsibility; it is okay to be weak and seek solace in your partner; you don’t have to do the heavy lifting; You can build a better future for your daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers”.
Sometimes, a man may be in the best position to teach and enlighten other men based on gender equality- This is because they (in most cases and with similar backgrounds) have similar worldviews on the topic.
Women are not in isolation in society, and this is why including male facilitators in gender equality training can help achieve better results.
Sending The Right Message:
One of the biggest influences on men and women come from the media. The media shapes our perception of gender roles and expected behavior. Over the years, both men and women have been forced to believe that some behaviors are appropriate and unique to their genders. This is far from the truth.
Sending the right message to the public involves promoting a universally healthy set of behaviors and roles for all genders and equality.
Collaborate with everyone to create policies: There was once a time when only cis-gendered men made all the decisions, from the smallest to the most pressing issues; and the consequences of such actions have created a society that has severely marginalized the non-dominant genders, races, and other minorities.
The only way to recover from the damage done is to involve every party in reforming our ideas, policies, and way of life. By doing this, we ensure that no one is left out.
Children Are The Future:
Asides from breaking the norms and stereotypes, educating young boys, girls, and non-binary children, is crucial to creating a fairer world. Parents, guardians, teachers, and society have a critical role to play in educating children the proper way.
The road to building a better and gender-equal society is not paved in gold. There are obstacles to overcome, and we must all work together to achieve our goals.- for this to happen, men, teens, and boys must be well educated, empathetic, and play an active role in facilitating a better future.