A United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report highlights the importance of engaging boys and young men in gender equality movements and reproductive health and rights. Their engagement can help achieve full equality for women in the future and positively impact their lives.
The research published on March 2016 analyses boys and young men's realities. Their participation in gender equality can positively affect their attitudes, behaviors and perceptions, improving their emotional and sexual relationships with women as well as with other men.
To continue improving girls and women's lives as well as boys' well-being it is necessary to understand their vulnerabilities are the result and interact with other structural inequalities that affect our society like poverty and forms of social exclusion, says the report's introduction.
Boys have been made vulnerable by rigid manhood standards. "Far too many boys approach adolescence having experienced violence, witnessed violence, dropped out of school, had risky sex, or practiced other risk-taking behaviors because they believe that they must do so to be seen by their peers and their communities as “real men,” reads the report conclusion.
On the positive side, there is evidence that show new generations are more accepting of gender equality. They are leaving the idea of gender equality as a women's only issue aside and due to the economic, political and social implications men continue to have in our society their commitment continues to be essential.
Economically, men typically have more access and control over resources. Promote sharing with women the access of control over resources, services and employment opportunities could be achieved with men's engagement with gender equality.
Socially their commitment can help promote gender equality in our societies. They can also show resistance towards inequitable versions of manhood and misogyny in their daily lives. Lastly, as the majority of political actors are men, they can be allies in resolving problems while they are provided with relevant information and alternative models of behavior.
"The pathway to equality lies in this support for and belief in the positive – in the young men and women who resist rigid gender norms."
LatinAmerican Post |