Gender Equality. When these words are said, one’s mind usually first thinks of the struggles that women face. These issues are faced anywhere from the workplace to even in our own homes and families. But gender (in)equality considerably affects BOTH men and women. Through the years this growing issue has been prominently contextualized as a “women’s issues”, but recent studies have shown gender roles and gender bias influence and impact men as well. Eliminating gender stereotypes have become increasingly important with the climbing number of men taking on the responsibility of caring for children and the household while their partners work. Societal cliches that pressure men to bury weaknesses, vulnerabilities, signs of feminine emotion and the constant strain to be manly and show aggressiveness have proved to show pessimistic effects on men. Suicide is now four times more common among men than in women, substantially caused by the way society expects men to behave. Expanding the conversation on gender equality to men allows us all to take a great stride forward towards breaking down gender stereotypes and expectations of both genders. As Emma Watson said in her UN speech about gender equality, “It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, not as two opposing sets of ideals.” So how can we all help demolish these stereotypes and promote gender equality in our homes, communities, and anywhere else?
Here are some ways to start:
Share the workload at home
Sharing the housework with your family will make the chores so much easier and also make gender equality a daily habit.
Find female mentors/leaders
Make sure that some of your role models and mentors are women. There is so much to learn from women in authority!
Have an open-minded mentality
Work towards creating an inclusive environment. Stand up and say something when you hear a gender-biased or stereotypical comment, remember one person can make all the difference!
Be conscious of gender stereotypes
Stereotypical comments are a huge obstacle to overcome in gender equality and affect men and women in every aspect of their lives. Recognize these stereotypes and avoid them.
Promote this cause on social media
Take advantage of your social media accounts to promote and share gender equality. Give it the recognition it deserves.
Our goal is to become a planet where people of all colours, genders, and cultures can live in harmony. These small steps might seem insignificant now but will have a powerful effect on the future. Our goal will one day become a reality and for that to happen, learning to love and value one and another has to start. We are all equal and deserve to be treated with love and respect. To reach our goal, we HAVE to start now.