9 ways men can become allies for equal rights

Gender equality and women’s rights are not just women’s issue, it is a human rights issue. Women combat for their rights every day everywhere. But to achieve an equal world for all, men should question power dynamics in their actions and words and take responsibility for change.

Date: Sunday, August 30, 2020

Design: HeForShe Turkey
Design: HeForShe Turkey
Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is about challenging the patriarchal beliefs, practices, institutions, and structures that drive inequality between men and women. It also requires men and boys to take responsibility for change, be engaged as gender advocates, question the power dynamics in their actions or their words.

Here are 9 ways for men to support and be actively involved for women’s rights.

1. Communicate with women and girls among your friends, family members, and loved ones

Listen to your friends who are combatting for their rights in different ways. Ask them about how you can offer support and look for ways to act in solidarity.

2. Start with yourself to join the women’s rights movement

Question your behaviors and discourse, realize the gender-based stereotypes you may be applying and learn more about the ways of achieving equality.

3. Learn about the women’s rights movement

Women’s fight for human rights goes back hundreds of years in numerous countries around the world, including Turkey. Knowing about women’s rights movement is one of the vital elements of the fight against inequality.

4. Avoid sharing content that normalizes violence

Regardless of your good intentions, do not share disturbing content, that normalizes violence and portrays psychological, physical, or other forms of violence against women.

5. Support women’s organizations

Support and volunteer for the women’s associations, organizations, and platforms that fight for women’s rights in your city.

6. Do not forget that women are the main focus of the fight for rights

Always keep in mind that the needs and suggestions of women are in the limelight of discourses and interventions when it comes to their rights and remember that women are the leaders of the women’s rights movement.

7. Do not share sexist content or hate speech

Do not share content that belittles and marginalizes women or that contains discriminatory language and hate speech. Do not contribute to the repeated production of such discourse. Use an egalitarian language. Check out UN Women Turkey's collaboration with Turkish Dictionary for tips on gender neutral language.

8. Do not be a bystander in the face of violence against women.

Do not stay silent on any form of violence at home, at workplace, or in public spaces. Violence against women is a crime. Do not be a part of it, by witnessing and yet ignoring violence. Learn about the organizations and institutions that you can contact to report and issue complaints when you witness acts of violence.

9. Think about the long run and maintain your support to be a part of change

Women’s fight for human rights is not a sprint but a marathon. Reflect on how your involvement contributes to change and maintain your support through your actions and discourse. Share accurate information to reach more people. Inspire children and young people around you through your egalitarian actions.