How Men Can Support Gender Equality
Think of the last time you heard of people advocating for equal pay or equal representation, and you’ll most likely find that they were women. Oftentimes the most vocal people advocating for gender equality are women, but if we truly want to achieve equitable societies men also have to pitch into the effort. So, here are some ways that MEN can support gender equality!
Vote for Candidates that Support Gender Equality
When voting in the next election, whether it be local, state, or national, men must ask themselves if the candidates they are choosing to represent them in their communities would also advocate for women’s economic, social, and political success. Does your candidate listen to women’s voices and amplify their experiences? Is your candidate willing to implement plans that benefit women, and create more inclusive spaces? These are simple questions that can usually be answered with research on your candidate.
As a man, your vote can go a long way in uplifting underrepresented voices and increasing economic and social opportunities in your community.
Shut down sexism
Part of being an advocate for gender equality is not letting yourself become a bystander when you witness sexism. Although calling out a friend or colleague on their sexist comments may not be something you feel excited to do, it is an essential part of supporting gender equality. Simply letting others know that their comments will not be tolerated by you discourages them from making them in the first place. She Should Run has created a helpful guide for calling out and shutting down sexism that men could learn a thing or two from.
Choose a workplace that actively promotes equality
When choosing a new workplace, make an effort to ask insightful questions about equity in your new working environment. Is there enough diversity across all levels in the company? Are women and men being promoted and paid equally? What types of opportunities are men and women given? Do both men and women have access to paid family leave?
These types of questions may provide a more clear understanding of your employer’s priorities when it comes to gender equality and they might even incite those already at the company to re-examine the way they treat women and men as employees.
Be an equal partner
Supporting gender equality starts at home. Whether your spouse is thinking about running for public office or advancing other types of careers, a spouse’s emotional support can motivate a woman to pursue her goals. As a start, think about whether you and your spouse share domestic responsibilities. Can you do more to lighten the workload on your partner, allowing them the time to seek personal and professional opportunities outside of your home?
Donate to Organizations
How can you indirectly support gender equality and reach spaces outside of your immediate community? A great and easy way is to donate to organizations that support women and are actively working on bridging gender gaps. For example, She Should Run is currently running its Team250KCampaign, where people who want to actively support gender equality in all aspects can join our monthly donation program to fund the education and encouragement of motivated women interested in beginning their political careers. By joining the Team250k, men can help increase women’s representation in local, state, and national governments inevitably leading to more equitable communities.
Listen to Women
We’ve all heard of mansplaining and perhaps even witnessed the damage that can occur when men assume without listening first. Men who want to support the movement towards gender equality should work on listening and validating women’s experiences, rather than speaking over them. The most essential part of being an advocate for any group, including women, is being open-minded and willing to change one’s behavior when it is damaging to others. As you think about some of the ways men can support gender equality, reflect on yourself and make sure you are listening and understanding to women as that is the first step to being an ally!
Men’s advocacy is essential as gender equality cannot be accomplished without support from half of our population! Implement our suggestions in your everyday life today by donating, voting, and even asking a woman close to you to run for office!
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