Only 380 Korean men amongst them… Less than in China and Japan
Please be a part of it in order to end gender discrimination and gender inequalities
Are you aware of the UN Women’s gender equality movement campaign ‘HeForShe’? From all over the world, 308,814(as of May 27th) men have participated since it started last July. It is a campaign specifically aimed for men. The name itself, ‘he for she’, suggests that men be actively engaged and involved in gender equality issues. Women are asking men to take a step forward to becoming a ‘supporter of gender equality’.
Picture: Stefan Löfven, the Prime Minister of Sweden(left) with Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General both participating in ‘HeForShe’ campaign
Until now, gender equality was conceived as an issue only for women. However, it is not enough with only the half of the world to achieve gender equality. It is true that there have been many changes in each country’s laws and systems after the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 which was a significant turning point in gender equality movement. In Korea, gender equality policies have been established, and women’s college entrance rate and the number of women politicians and CEOs have increased. Nonetheless, there are things that still remain the same. Wage disparity between men and women is not decreasing, nor is the sexual and domestic violence. Career discontinuity due to childbirth and childrearing is a peculiar phenomenon experienced only in Korea.
To overcome these inequalities, women cried and shouted for their rights. But these cries and shouts were empty without the support from men. There even grew misunderstanding and hostility that feminists were seen as man-haters. The truth is, feminism is a movement against all discrimination.
Our parents and teachers do not treat us differently at home or at school because of gender any more. These days, some parents even prefer a girl to a boy, and there are a lot of ‘girl’s daddy’. These parents, of course, want their daughters to be treated equally without discrimination in our society, and that makes them a feminist whether or not they had intended it.
Some might question why men should participate in a campaign only for women. Gender equality, however, is also an issue for men. In Korea, men suffer from gender stereotype that men ought to be ‘manly’ and are heavily burdened with social responsibilities. Growing up under the pressure of these gender stereotypes and the social perception of ‘male success’, men tend to be hard on themselves. Those who fail to become ‘a successful man’ feel vulnerable and insecure. Men, just like women, are not free from gender inequalities.
Therefore, it is urgent that men take part in breaking down this deep-rooted gender stereotypes and gender discrimination. A number of men have shown their commitment to ‘HeFor She’ campaign over the past year. From the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the U.S. President Barack Obama to Prince Harry Windsor of Britain and famous actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Russell Crowe, Tom Hiddleston, and Simon Pegg announced their participation and support, followed by fathers of daughters, brothers of sisters, grooms-to-be, and sons who love their mothers. It is a shame that not so many Koreans have participated so far. For the last 10 months, only 378(as of May 27th) have done so. The U.S. has the most participants of 76,285 followed by Britain’s 33,330 men. Compared to 4,971 from China, 1,050 from Japan, 1,092 from Vietnam, and 10,553 from India, Korea remain in the lower ranks even among Asian countries.
How to take part in ‘HeForShe’ is as easy as 1-2-3; go to ‘HeForShe’ official website(www.heforshe.org), find ‘Take Action’ menu, and click on the ‘I Agree’ button. You can also access Korean Facebook page for ‘HeForShe’ to participate. Upload a picture of proof that you are ‘HeForShe’ and tag it with #HeForShe. All the better, if you can ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ Facebook feeds from ‘HeForShe’ Korea to spread the word out. You can find information on how to participate in the campaign when you log onto www.womennews.co.kr and click on the ‘HeForShe’ banner. The picture of proof will be received until this July which will be one year from the launch of the campaign.
Are you asking yourself if it is really necessary to go through taking a picture and uploading and all that trouble although you agree with the campaign’s cause? The UN Women Goodwill Ambassador
Emma Watson answered this question by “if not me, who? If not now, when?”
It is time for you men to reach out to help your daughters, sisters, and mothers be liberated from sexual prejudices and also help yourselves live a truer life free of gender stereotype. You are a feminist if you believe in gender equality. Please take action and be a member of ‘HeForShe.’
Picture: (from left) Russell Crowe, Harry Styles, Chris Colfer.
<How to Participate in ‘HeForShe’ Campaign>
One. Upload a picture of proof that you support ‘HeForShe’ on Facebook page for ‘HeforShe’ Korea(www.facebook.com/heforshekr) and tag it with #HeForShe.
Two. ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ Facebook feeds from ‘HeForShe’ Korea and encourage others to join in!