Gender Inequality is not a ‘women’s concern’ but the responsibility of all individuals and of society as a whole and requires the active contribution and input from both women and men.
In the past in the fight against gender inequality it has been women fighting for women. Within the battle for gender equality there was only one gender pushing for the equal rights and status of women. This showed that it was only women that cared, seemingly because it only effected them. We have come so far in this battle, mainly in the western world, but to complete the task, it must be a joint effort, not just women helping women, but as women and men together as a society fighting for the same goal, so that all people have the same rights and opportunities as one another. More attention should be given to men’s involvement in the achievement of gender equality, as well as to the positive impact that gender equality has on society as a whole
Working as a man in a home for single mothers and pregnant women from disadvantaged backgrounds, I carry a different sense of responsibility. Many, if not all of these women have had little choice but to come to the project simply because their status as a woman is that of a second class citizen. Tribal communities uphold the tradition that a child borne out of wedlock is a bad omen for the tribe. We can’t be blamed for wondering if men were to carry children, would these “laws” and traditions be in place and practised.
Coming here to volunteer in the project, I hope and try to promote a positive image of men for these women and be a good role model for the young children. These women may have only been in contact with damaging, negative men in their lives, so they could carry negative connotations of men. I hope to show them that there are kind, caring and positive men out there and when they do go back into their communities and the working world that they deserve an equal level of respect and that they shouldn’t be treated poorly and accept it just because it’s coming from a man.
In The project we care for four young boys between the ages of one and four and two girls, between the ages of one and five. For them they may never have had a male role model in their lives, or if they did he could have been a negative, abusive one. I hope that they see that it’s important to be caring and fair, and teach them this every day. I hope to be a positive male role model in the short time that I am here.
To abolish gender inequalities we have to teach young children in the early stages of their development that it is wrong to mistreat women and people in general. Show them that women are equal. For this to happen there must be no divide in the education system and everything must be equal and fair. All girls and boys should have equal access to education. Here they can be thought from a young age about equality. If young girls don’t attend school, or are taken out early, already there is this image that boys are superior.
Men have the responsibility to realise, and learn that they are not better than women, and many need to change their ways. For the present generation, it has to be enforced that it is wrong to mistreat or push someone down due to their gender. We now need to set the bar that will be carried on for the next generations to follow.
To take on this battle, the boundaries of gender in the fight have to be broken down. It must not be women helping each other, but our society as a whole, the human race as a whole, fighting for one common goal. To ensure that every person has the same rights and opportunities as one another.