gender equality, women empowerment, You Too
You Too

You Too..

 

“It’s time for men to understand that when women are destroyed, it’s not a women’s question, it’s a human question. And if it’s a human question, men really need to be a part of this fight.”- Dr. Denis Mukuwege

 

Systematic Gender discrimination, sexual and domestic abuse against women , female infanticides or dowry murder are not only women’s issues. These are human rights issues.

 

 You Too….
To All Men and Boys, we urge that YOU TOO (#YouToo) have a huge responsibility and important role in preventing gender discrimination.
Gender inequality does not only affect women, but has negative impact economic and social growth of society. According to the 2013 Human Development Report (UNDP), “gender inequality is especially tragic not only because it excludes women from basic social opportunities, but also because it gravely imperils the life prospects of future generations.”
Every individual in the society , irrespective of their gender should take an active role in eliminating all sorts of gender biases . Men need to understand that creating a gender equal society is required for overall growth, development, peace and progress of the country. They should ensure that women and girls have equal rights at work and at home.

It should NOT only be the fights of women for their own freedom and rights. Would you like to watch your mother, sister or daughters oppressed, discriminated or violated because of their gender ? If not , then what difference can YOU bring in your own life to eliminate or reduce the existing gender inequality ? What else can YOU do to be the change agents in your community or in your family ?

You Too, Women empowerment, Gender Equality, rights of equality

Historically men had taken many major steps to stop harmful social practices or social evils. In India, till early nineteenth century, women were burnt alive after their husband’s death with husband’s dead body . Toddlers or very young girls were married to 70/80 year old men. These girls used to be socially outcast for the rest of their lives, after the death of their husband . Girls were not allowed to go to school. Social and religious reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy , Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar fought  relentless battles against these evil practices and to bring justice to women and girls. And they were MEN.

 

The main challenges in eliminating gender biases, or social customs, rituals, practices where women’s rights are violated are – in most of the societies these are deeply embedded in the culture. Therefore any individual or organization trying to explain those customs as harmful, face with enormous resistance from the community. Women’s rights activities are often characterized by the community as an attempt to malign their cultural identity.

Let’s admit the fact that fighting For women’s rights and equality is not easy for a Man, specially when there are strong conflicts with one’s cultural, social or religious identity.

1. Understand the issue 
Invest some time reading and understanding gender based issues in global as well as your local context . Do your own research to be aware about the pressing concerns over gender inequality and how it can affect the growth and economic development of societies.
Achieving Gender Equality by 2030 is one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. You can access many valuable resources, facts, programs and campaigns undertaken by the UN and its different funds.

Along with knowing the gender equality issues on global context, you can read or refer to some very useful books to understand why women’s issues are so important and how to tackle some issues as a man or boy-

Men’s Guide to Feminism: 5 Books on Feminism Every Man Should Read

2. Start from yourself and your family
First, look at your own life and then at the people around you to identify signs of gender inequality , oppression and gender based discrimination.Think and reflect what you can do to bring changes and equality. You can always start with implementing small but significant changes to reflect more gender equality in your personal life or at work. Read this post on how to Eliminate Gender Discrimination by Building Self Awareness for guidance on working to overcome your unconscious biases and prejudice about social and cultural issues which affect women and girls life and freedom.

 

3. Work in collaboration
Remember, any battle is easy fighting in groups. Connect with like minded people online or locally to make a robust network and support system. Work in collaboration with your community, women and girls to create a gender equal world. Volunteer with organizations who are working in your locality to eliminate gender discrimination or to empower women. 

 Read this story of a 18 year old young boy in California who supports the rape trauma survivors Fighting Against Sex Crimes .This is a very good example of how one can start!

4. Be an Advocate
Be an advocate of women empowerment and gender equality. Present yourself in your home, school, college, workplace, or community as a change maker. Talk about social and cultural customs which impair women’s rights and freedom. This will help you to create your own identity as a change agent as well as will influence others around you to reflect on their lives and beyond. You alone may not be able change everything, but can influence many people to think out of the box and to take actions.

5. Share your Story
Your story of fighting against gender discrimination could potentially inspire many other men and boys who want to help but are not sure about the steps or scared about the challenges on the way. Please tell your story to engage and encourage as many male as you can.
You Too is a platform for all men and boys to share their stories and fights for creating a gender equal world. Please be a part of it. Let your story be heard. Contact us at equalityrightsof@gmail.com

It is time for all of us to wake up to this realization that many harmful social practices in patriarchal societies were established to dominate and control women’s lives and rights. These practices do not have any social , economical or political benefits on any society. No country or community can progress to the fullest of their potential by oppressing their girls and women. 

A Clinical Researcher by profession, I am originally from India; now live in California with my family. I am an advocate of gender equality and women empowerment. I am also a Certified Reiki Healer and a Certified Sexual Assault Counselor and Advocate. I write about women's rights, equality and gender based issues to create awareness and to include every body in my fight against gender discrimination.

30 Comments

  • honeybunnytwee

    I really hope that #youtoo catches on! People always think that supporting causes like these mean that we hate men, but that’s so untrue. Wanting a fighting for equality doesn’t have to be at the expense of anyone else, but people need to realize that they need to either be part of the change to a more progressive society or to stay out of the way of change.

    • Swagata Sen

      Women’s fight for equality and justice are not against men, but against the patriarchal society and many customs. These rules and customs have harmful effects on all societies and countries, not only on women. Hope more and more men realize the importance for them to be a part of this change. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments.

  • sjd68

    I have two girls and I hope that they get to experience the equality that is necessary for them to succeed. That being said I have almost always worked for female managers in my lifetime. I feel some of the equality is also based on the line of work. GReat read and an importnat issue for all worldwide #youtoo.

    • Swagata Sen

      Thank you so much for your comments. These mean a lot to me. It is very strange and baseless concept that men are superior than women in all aspects! I wish all the best to your girls. Hope they grow up in a safer and more equal world!

  • Andrea (2oddravens)

    You’re absolutely right! These are human issues – not just women’s issues. I don’t want to say that women are incapable of advocating for themselves, because that is completely untrue: however, it is certainly wonderful to have the extra support from other human beings.

    • Swagata Sen

      I agree with you. It is not because women are not capable to fight for their own rights, it is because these issues are not women’s issue but social and human right issues. Men have equal responsibility to end these social evils.

  • Johnny Quid

    This is SO important, and it needs to be understood by men all over. Gender discrimination is a REAL CRISIS, not just an excuse to argue on Facebook, and I’m tired of other dudes downplaying it all the time. I will always be an advocate for gender equality because this isn’t just a “woman’s issue”. This affects us ALL.

  • stylelullaby

    Thank you for shedding light and bringing awareness to this important issue! I think it’s not talked about enough and hopefully with more knowledge being put out there, people will be inspired to make a change.

  • karilife

    In some ways I think that we’ve demonized men instead of focusing on the ones who have worked so hard to be inclusive, supportive, etc. If we truly wish to be equal, we must choose to be equal…not better or above. I couldn’t say the exact answer or science to making this happen because people can suck sometimes, but I feel like it’s possible to be equal without being exclusive.

  • Megan McC

    Thanks for your article. I think I’ve grown in my ability to advocate for gender equality in the last few years. I think age has empowered me to be more confident and vocal; however, I love that I see more and more young people advocating for others. Also, I moved from the US to Mexico a few years ago where gender issues are “behind” what I am used to. I think this has actually helped me to share more and I discuss gender more openly as we share cultures, experiences and friendships. Thanks for sharing.

    • Swagata Sen

      Thank you Megan, for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you about the importance of discussing the gender related issues, specially about issues no one wants to talk about.

  • angieh86

    Yes! I think men felt left out of the me too movement because there were so many woman coming forward. But really it can happen to anyone!

  • Swagata Sen

    Thank you for such thoughtful comments. I know lot of people downplay it because either they live in a bubble of unconscious biases, or these issues do not directly affect them. But the moment we are out of our cultural bubbles, we can actually realize that all of us are some how a part of it!

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