Yesterday’s side event The Changed and the Change-makers: Engaging Men and Boys to End Violence against Women and Girls was an example of the increasing consensus that involving men and boys in gender equality issues is essential for change. The session mainly evolved around practical examples for male involvement in ending violence against women.
Jarmo Viinanen, Permanent Representative of
UN Women and men
Michelle Bachelet emphasized that men and boys are key allies for change. Her presence at this event seems to express UN Women’s intention to actively involve men in its agenda. Joni had the honor of briefly talking to her, introducing WO=MEN and handing over our popular = button which expresses the importance of working on gender equality with all stakeholders, including women and girls, men and boys. Bachelet’s speech mainly focussed on the issue of violence against women, which is one of the five focus areas of UN Women, and closely related to the other areas of Peace & Security; Leadership & Participation; and Economic Empowerment.
Though Bachelet mentioned many succesful examples of male involvement worldwide (such as by Instituto Promundo in
Every man has a responsibility for change
Jimmy Briggs, an award winning journalist, explained about Man up: a global campaign to activate youth to stop violence against women and girls. Their call to action challenges each of us to “man up” and declare that violence against women and girls must end, through the universal platforms of sport, music, technology and the arts. Briggs: “Most of us see ourselves as good men, because we do not overtly suppress women. But no man can be allowed to be passive about the issues of women and girls, especially violence.” According to Briggs, ending violence against women in an impossible goal without changing the lives of men and boys around the world. For too long their absence has inhibited change and progress. Never before there was such global consensus for male involvement in VAW.
The Most Understanding Husband of
Ronni Goldfarb and Jaya Luintel presented the success story of VOICES project and the ‘Most Understanding Husband campaign’ in