In recent years, gender equality has regained prominence among social activists, policy makers, and government officials. Two years from the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), questions abound as to whether we are any closer to achieving gender equality, and what is the most effective intervention to facilitate the goal.
During this year I have work on different projects related to women’s empowerment, but Men’s Engagement is remain the most important one for me, it is help me to make a “mind shift” in the way that I understand women’s empowerment.
New policies and strategies have been designed to guarantee equal opportunities for women, such as gender mainstreaming and positive discrimination, but questions remain about their enforcement. Increasingly, the gender and broader community have realized the importance of men’s role in advancing gender equality. The idea is built on the premise that lasting gender equality is possible only by tackling and changing deeply rooted patriarchal gender norms and roles that have restricted the status, movement and agency of women. Rather than as perpetrators and aggressors, men should be viewed as positive allies and advocates for women, and engaged in programs to address women’s economic, social, health, and political empowerment.
Inherent in the involvement of men in gender work is the recognition that men are gendered beings and are active participants in the everyday social construction of gender. In this view, women’s empowerment is not solely the domain of women, but a social change effort that involves both men and women.