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The UN Women launched a campaign in New Delhi on Saturday, aiming at ensuring greater participation of men in promoting women’s rights and gender equality.
“We need boys and men to work with us. ‘HeForShe’ is a global solidarity movement to end gender inequality by 2030. The goal is to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change in the effort to achieve equality. When women are empowered, the whole of humanity benefits,” UN Women Representative, Rebecca Tavares, said.
The ‘HeForShe’ campaign in India was launched by Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. UN Women believes that it is critical to engage all stakeholders in support of women’s rights, including the active participation of men and boys.
Emphasising the need for sensitising the youth on issues related to gender equality, Gandhi said, “The WCD ministry has started many initiatives over the last four months to empower women including: the one-stop crisis centres for women, the national mission on malnutrition, and the ‘beti bachayo beti padhayo’ campaign.”
The campaign launch coincided with the ongoing ‘Rendezvous’ festival at IIT Delhi, in which this year’s theme is ‘SHE’, a social awareness drive. UN Women is partnering with MenEngage, an acclaimed international forum that mobilises men and boys from around the world, to advocate for gender equality.
MenEngage will be hosting the 2nd Men Engage Global Symposium ‘Men and Boys for Gender Justice’ which will take place between November 10 and 13. Abhijit Da from Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ) shared that, “masculinity is a burden on men and boys. We need to break this mindset and this is the aim of the MenEngage.”
“A UN Women booth is designed to get students to pledge their support for gender justice by signing up to the campaign.
The campaign was officially launched on the September 20 at the UN General Assembly. Since then 100,000 men have pledge support with 4000 in India. UN Resident Coordinator, Lise Grande said, “We hope that men and boys raise their voices against inequality and commit themselves to equal partnerships. This is how progress will be made.”