At a visit to The New School, a university in New York City, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for the 21st century to be made the century of women’s equality. A call to action to transform the world in order to ensure that equal participation permeates all areas of society across the world. Guterres who declared himself to be a proud feminist urged men to support the right of women. Speaking to the University faculty and students, he said, “Just as slavery and colonialism were a stain on previous centuries, women’s inequality should shame us all in the 21st. Because it is not only unacceptable; it is stupid.”
It is time to stop trying to change women, and start changing the systems
According to the UN Chief, gender inequality and the treatment of women has been the biggest injustice of humanity across the world, “From the ridiculing of women as hysterical or hormonal to the routine judgment of women based on their looks; from the myths and taboos that surround women’s natural bodily functions to mansplaining and victim-blaming – misogyny is everywhere,” he added. At the heart of all these lie power, since male-dominated structures dominate almost every area of everyday life, not to mention political systems and national economies. However, Guterres also shed light on the way in which the patriarchal system is negatively impacting the lives of boys and men and is trapping them into a rigid cage of masculinity. He added by saying that “It is time to stop trying to change women, and start changing the systems that prevent them from achieving their potential. Our power structures have evolved gradually over thousands of years. One further evolution is long overdue. The 21st century must be the century of women’s equality.”
Men must support the rights of women to safeguard the future and the planet
There are doubts that when inequality is dismantled, it will transform the entire world and if big issues like climate change has to be solved, it will need the efforts and minds of everyone, not just men. Hence, it is vital that the wall of patriarchy crumbles before trying to save the world. A majority of problems in the world today have been created by men, however, human beings need to solve the problem together. The UN will celebrate 75 years of its birth in 2020 and this global organization is looking to increase its efforts in making the world a more equal place. Guterres said, “Repealing laws that discriminate against women and girls; increasing protection against violence; closing the gap in girls’ education and digital technology; guaranteeing full access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights, and ending the gender pay gap are just some of the areas we are targeting.” However, the key factor is to redistribute power because gender equality is all about power, this power has been “jealously guarded by men for millennia” and led to the abuse of power which needs to be stopped. If the world has to safeguard the future and the planet, men must support the rights of women.
Image credit: The Wall Street Journal