The United Nations Women organization in Liberia has launched a He for She campaign, targeting young people in the country.
The campaign, which is designed to mobilize men and boys globally to stand up and take action in the achievement of gender equality, is being implemented across UN Women’s country offices globally, targeting about 1 billion men.
Addressing group of students on Friday, 5 June at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia, UN Women Representative to Liberia, Madam Awa Ndiaye Secr said, He for She aim is to enable men to identify with issues of gender equality and recognize the crucial role they can play to end the global persisting inequality faced by women and girls, both in their own lives, and at more structural lives in their communities through sensitization.
She said He for She challenges men to address gender equality as human rights and as a social and economic imperative, the achievement of which will benefit both men and women.
Madam Serc indicated that in many parts of the world, women have not sufficiently participated in decision making, whether on boards and committees, in executive appointments in the public and private sector and in government of all levels, saying, “We have been slow to see the cycle of poverty and despair caused by the lack of education, the violence, the ill health and the lack of economic empowerment in the society”.
She explained that international experience shows that time and time countries do better when they empowered their women, providing them with good health care, assisting them with access to justice and with fair employment opportunities and with representation in all aspects of public and private decision making.
“We have been slow to see the plight of our women as a problem for all Liberians, not simply a problem for women, because we know that position of women in Liberia needs a coordinated response across many parts of our community and the commitment engagement of men and boys”, the UN Women Representative noted.
Madam Serc continued: “We all know that sometimes it is hard to make change across a whole society; it is hard to change education, cultural, employment opportunities, work practices and attitude of those in power, but we also all know that no change, great or small, comes without demand. We do not think because the job is hard, we continue to take big step and small step, we make plans and we implement them in our homes, our schools, our universities and research institutions, our courtrooms and police offices.”
She narrated that given the crucial role of men and boys as advocates and agents of change, The He for She campaign in Liberia will provide a platform for men to self-identify with issue of gender equality and its benefit which liberate not only women, but also men, from prescribed social roles and gender stereotypes. By Lewis S. Teh – Edited by Jonathan Browne