Contact: Lawrence DeMarco, LLM

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‘She for He:’ All Men and All Women are Invited to Join the New Wave for Gender Equality

June 10, 2024 – For years, women experienced a range of disparities that impaired their civil rights and ability to participate fully in society. In some countries, women continue to face challenges including child marriage, female genital mutilation, and restrictive dress codes.

But the long-standing disparities that affect men — for example, educational attainment, health status, and many other areas — have been largely ignored. These disparities are especially worrisome for minority men (1).

So in 2015, Georgetown University professor Cathy Tinsley proposed the establishment of an international “She for He” campaign. Tinsley explained, “I submit that males are already deeply embedded in issues of gender inequality, although they may not immediately recognize it.” (2)

Tinsley’s idea began to spread, as the U.S.-based Women’s Legal Defense Fund published an article that explained, “We have to acknowledge the fact that gender discrimination is a double-edged sword. It hurts both men and women, and we ‘gender justice warriors’ are fighting against it to help all of us….In the end, the fight for equal rights is all for all.” (3) And the Canadian Association for Equality held an event on “SHE for HE: Women for Equality.” (4)

In response, gender equality advocates began to establish councils for men and fathers. Such councils currently exist in Mexico, Norway, and the United States (5).  Similar councils have been proposed for Australia, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere (6).

Last year in Denmark, the Minister for Equality Marie Bjerre announced her decision to assure equal support to male victims of domestic violence (7). In Argentina, a bill was introduced in the Senate to halt false allegations of domestic abuse (8). In South Africa, a documentary on MEN TOO – Domestic Violence Against Men was released (9).

The She for He movement then expanded to the international stage. On December 11, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Mongolia Battsetseg Batmunkh announced her government’s “She for He” initiative. The announcement was made in Geneva, Switzerland at the United Nations’ 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10).

The Batmunkh announcement served to further accelerate the momentum of the She for He effort:

Norway: The Norwegian Men’s Equality Commission released a comprehensive report on achieving gender equality for men. Titled “Equality’s Next Step,” the report expands the traditional gender narrative to also address the concerns of men and boys (11).

Kenya: In support of the World Day of the Boy Child on May 16, the African Boychild Network held a National Convergence, which enjoyed the support of 23 community partners (12).

India: Throughout the month of June, the All-Bengal Men’s Forum is observing Men’s Health Month by organizing a series of seminars on a range of health topics (13).

In the course of 10 years, “She for He” truly has become a global movement. She for He represents a challenging new frontier for the gender equality advocates. The International Council for Men and Boys invites all persons – men and women – to “Join the Wave for Men and Boys” and sign up to receive updates:

The International Council for Men and Boys is a non-governmental organization that is working to end the 12 sex disparities that affect men and boys around the world. Achieving #GenderEqualityForMen also will benefit women.