Half of the world’s population is women.
And yet they deal with a lot of hardships just because they are born in a certain gender.
In some places of the world to be a woman is to be at a disadvantage.
You don’t get the same opportunities, resources, get judged because of your gender, don’t get to go to school because of your gender and you get killed because of your gender.
I believe that gender equality is a fight for human rights, and men should be involved in this fight as well.
If you are a man and you have always wanted to be a part of the fight but you don’t know how to, here is how you can be a better ally:
1. Check your privilege
Check your male privilege.
In your family, in your office, in your college, wherever you are check how you get treated differently compared to a woman next you.
Recognizing that as a man this world treats you differently from women and that that’s not normal is your first step to speaking up about the issue.
Here’s the thing about privilege though, some like it. So it’s hard to speak up against it when it serves you.
But if your privilege requires someone else to be disadvantaged, it should make you think twice about the privilege.
2. Redefine gender roles
Some say gender is a social construct, I’m reading on that subject.
However I think society has rules for how men and women ought to behave and be in the society.
Most people follow them, some don’t.
Redefine what being a man means to you, and how that is mostly influenced by the society’s rules and not really how you would want to live or define yourself.
As much as patriarchy is giving you a pass, it is also giving you a hard time.
Take time to unlearn.
3. Listen to women
I know this may not come as a surprise to you, but the world is built to listen to men.
Men’s voices matter.
Men’s opinions matter.
Men even speak about topics they know nothing about, like period🤣🤣
Men have the final say in their families
Men have the final say in the offices
Heck even in restaurants men are being asked, ‘what will you guys have?’
All these conditions you to think that you know it all, you are powerful, invincible.
I was once at a gender equality workshop at work, and a trainer said, ‘most of the people who say there is gender equality and women are happy with this patriachal system are men’.
Ofcourse men can even say if women are happy or unhappy in situations without asking them🤦🏿♀️.
Women have voices.
Women have opinions.
Listen to women.
Ask questions. Sit down. Listen.
Ask your mom, your sister, your girlfriend, your workmate and hear them out. And learn.
4. Speak up
More and more often.
If you are in a meeting at work and a guy speaks over a female colleague who was speaking, tell him that’s wrong.
If you are out with your friend or girlfriend and a hotel manager greets you and overlooks the woman your with, bring it into his attention.
If you are in the bus and see something speak up.
If you are at home and you see the inequality speak up.
Also speak up more about how you are affected by the inequality and patriachy as well. You opening up can lead to more men opening up as well.
Be a support system to the women in your life, be a safe haven. Create an environment where women are safe around you and where you are really committed to seeing women as your equals.
Amplify women’s voices on this subject as well.
And also speak up and educate your fellows. If they are being insensitive or abusive, take a stand, educate them and show them that what they are doing is wrong. Don’t be quite.
I also found this article very eye opening on this subject : A man’s role in the fight for gender equality
What are some other ways that men can be better allies in this fight?