Here is why gender equality is a concern for men. Gender equality among both genders is the true end goal of this conversation on gender equality, and not that one gender enjoys certain or all the benefits based on their gender more than the other. Gender equality ensures all genders have equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities. For the longest time, gender equality was contextualized as a woman’s issue, and men had nothing to do with it.
Then there was a shift in focus of the whole point of the conversation to where women are the only ones who will benefit from a more equal society, for which I still believe, that our mindset as a country is still here — which, of course, comes with its very many negatives and zero positives, most that barely hold as lawyers would say — in my opinion, but that is a conversation for another time.
For now, this kind of thought process can’t be further from the truth. It is a true testament and a clear indication that men still benefit from a society that disregards gender equality in its entirety, knowingly or unknowingly. In reality, men benefit from gender equality because they, too, face gender-specific issues such as lower life expectancy, poor health, lower education levels, and rigid gender norms, especially now that many women are taking charge of their lives and claiming what they deserve, leaving many men moping about how women benefit greatly from an equal society. As my cousin would say, men are now getting a dose of their own medicine. “Both women and men must be aware of the benefits that gender equality brings to them as individuals and as members of communities and societies. It is also true that we can only succeed through the participation of both women and men,” states the European Institute for Gender Equality.
I completely support this statement. There are so many benefits to an equal society, such as:
Livability- People can participate in social, economic, and educational activities because they are socially connected to their community.
Productivity- People treated fairly and given equal opportunities are better able to contribute to the community’s social and economic well-being. Boosting growth and prosperity.
Confidence- By reducing entrenched social and economic disadvantages, an equal and fair society is likely to be safer.
Even men suffer from gender inequality in silence. We men never bring up issues or have decent conversations about how to change whatever situation we are in because we don’t want to appear or be deemed weak. Then, when women decide enough is enough, we are the first to shut them down and, even worse, ignore their concerns.
In my opinion, this is a clear sign of unresolved issues within us, and we need to check ourselves and pour into our cups to pour into others. Not in a narcissistic kind of way, of course, but in a kind-hearted, emotive, respectful, and finally more self-aware way. That way will get through and find resolve in all our social issues as a country.
According to the Role of Men and Boys in Promoting Gender Equality presentation at the Harvard Club, New York, “Over the past decade the important role that men and boys can play in empowering women and achieving gender equality in the home, the community, and the workplace has become increasingly recognized. Achieving gender equality is acknowledged as a societal responsibility that concerns and should fully engage men as well as women and requires partnerships between women and men”.
As such, achieving a fair and equal society is difficult in practice. Complex factors affecting fairness and equality are often beyond the reach of legislation and the aspirational objectives of authorities. Public value organizations have a unique responsibility for embedding fairness and equality in the community.
But then I insist that with proper communication and a judgement-free zone, we can listen to each other’s crazy ideologies, which shows we are a progressive society and give constructive feedback to those ideas, not the person. From there, we should be able to come up with effective solutions on how to achieve gender equality.