International women’s day is originally a day to acknowledge the vast range of gender-inequality around the world. During the last couple of days you may have noticed plenty of articles, features and functions in honour of women. As a woman, this makes me really excited as it indicates that the world is waking up to the reality of gender-inequality. However on the other hand, it seems that this waking up is happening to half of humanity – which is women and the other half is far behind in the movement for gender parity. This is mainly because gender-equality is considered as a femenist movemnet and traditionally, feminist movement used to be led by women for women. I don’t believe that it is a feminist move benefiting only women for the reasons I discuss later but even if it was, it should be noted that society performs well when we all work together regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation and ethnic history. As an example of such could be the issue of racism in the US where African-American worked together with non-African-American to succeed or the gay rights were granted when gay people had straight people to ally. Similarly, gender-equality movement should be about bringing two halves together. Gender-inequality is not a women’s issue but it is a societal issue that needs both men and women working together. Unless women and men work alongside, we don’t see the transformative change. This is not about men speaking for women or saving them but this is about men supporting women, for the benefit of all.
Globally, no country has fully attained gender parity yet and but this is not without significance to note that countries that are affected by social and economical crisis are the ones that are less gender-equal. It is also good to know that studies show that men that live in more gender-equal countries have also a better quality of life with a lower chance of divorce, depression and violence against them.
Gender-equality movement not only benefits women, but also men and children. It is time to rewire our mind and be supportive of the notion that gender-equality is not a femenist cause. The movement needs support from both men and women. The support of the movement could be provided not only in the form advocacy but also in form of contributing to household chores, caregiving, etc. in an effort to break the stereotypes. Evidence are pilling up that gender-equality leads to better health, happiness and well-being of women, children and men. So there is something in gender-equality conversation for every one. Happy international women’s day to women as well as men.