UN Women’s HeForShe Campaign Goes Patriarchal

With a new envision of gender equality, UN Women’s HeForShe campaign wishes to change the usual state of feminist movements which are attended and supported only by women by seeking to “put men at the center of activism and dialogue to end persistent inequalities faced by women and girls around the world”.

One thing that stands out in the entire campaign, right from its name is the positioning of women at the passive end of the spectrum. You have to be a male to join the movement. Only the men attending the conference were extended a formal invitation.

Agreed, true equality can never be achieved without the participation and change coming from men, but the elimination of women from the conversation is also not a prudent step. The whole concept of self-policing and self-objectifying by women which also propagates the patriarchal culture is not taken care of anywhere in the campaign.

The reason given to join the campaign, directing at men, says,

“Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation.”

It’s like saying you have to be an animal to support animal rights’ movement. Though the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson does mention that men are also affected by gender inequality, it is safe to say, that most of the time, it favourably affects the men. The HeForShe campaign puts all focus on men to change the state of gender inequality in the world without pushing the women to empower themselves. The UN campaign aims to enroll 100,000 men in the fight for gender equality, while the women are expected to sit and watch the numbers rise in the next 12 months.

As the website says,

“Now it’s time to unify our efforts. HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.”

Let’s rather unify our efforts by bringing the WHOLE of humanity in support of one-half, for the entirety of humanity. #WeForShe

Otherwise the male-colonisation of a woman’s mind might continue even after the removal of subjugation, if women are not taught to usurp the patriarchal force themselves. The efforts of a struggling community is utmost and cannot be neglected.


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