WOW | Men Speak
What can men do to support gender equality?
Compiled by: Anushka Shrestha
wow photo file © Ram Tandukar/ Gokul Shress/ Sabina Mainali
Assistant Manager, Corporate Department, Sunrise Bank
It is now the need of the hour to realise that gender equality doesn’t mean women issues anymore, it’s about equality of both genders. Now that we have it legalised through the constitution, our country has transformed in a big way at the law making level. We should all start doing little things from our home to support gender equality. All men should start to see women as human beings rather than the opposite gender and practice the same in everyday life from home, workplace and everywhere else.
Men and women should share the household work equally and set an example for their children. Your gender should not determine what work you should or shouldn’t be doing. Parenting responsibilities should be divided equally. Men should brush off the stereotypical belief and encourage women to speak their minds and stand up against any discrimination. This will help to develop the understanding that gender equality is a fundamental.
As a banker, I have closely witnessed that the banking sector does not discriminate at all on the basis of gender. Sunrise Bank and the other banks provide equal opportunities to all women with qualification being the sole parameter for growth.
Executive Director, Glocal Nepal
I feel men should do three things for gender equality.
Believe that women know as much as men do. Just because someone is a female does not mean she is unaware of different issues, or does not know to drive well, or cannot handle a given situation. I believe that women have great understanding and sense of responsibility.
Help women exercise their power of choice. Sometimes women are in dilemma about what and how should they act in a particular situation; men should enable their decision because often the dilemma happens because women sometimes want to make everyone happy.
Make women feel they can’t do many things. A lot of times, women themselves think that they are not equal to men. It is a kind of mindset that has been conditioned over time through family traditions and society; it is important to remind them time and again that they are equal and can do many things too.
We humans get ready to change ourselves under three conditions; when we get any incentive, when we feel any threat, and when we are in the situation of self actualisation.
Incentive: When we believe in gender equality as the most important task to be achieved to have a balanced society and when we start to really put it into practice, it will create huge incentive to all human beings. Imagine the additional productivity we will have in total.
Threat: If we are not going to respect the equal existence of women, that means we are not respecting our mothers and we are passing a bad culture to our next generation too. If you do not respect your wife as a good partner then your son will not respect your wife as a good human being and parent.
Self actualisation: This is very rare, we cannot expect this even in 5% of the population but still this is very important. I have seen some people giving big speeches about gender equality but they don’t practice it inside their own family. We want to touch other female but we do not want to see our female partners shaking hands with other opposite gender.
Managing Director, Katha Nepal
Women are often expected to be kind, compassionate and nurturing. While these are innate qualities of most women, I believe all women have another side which goes against people’s normal expectations. Qualities like being assertive, aggressive, coming out strongly, being opinionated, especially in professional life. As men, we should push back against the likability bane and ask ourselves “Would we have the same reaction if a man did the same thing?
Men and women are both equally accountable when it comes to parenting. In order for men to do their part for their family, they need support from their workplace. Family friendly policies like flexible timings and maternity and paternity leave should be introduced. Men should not be penalised when they choose to spend time with their family.
Men and women both should feel encouraged as professionals and as parents.
Owner, Sports Gallery
Men can support women in many ways. First and foremost is respect. The second is to share everyday tasks. The third is to appreciate women and encourage them. The fourth is to listen to women and understand their feelings and problems.
Dr. Udip Shrestha
CEO, Healthy Choice Clinic
I find Nelson Mandela as an inspiring personality who has provided major contributions for women’s equality. He was an outspoken champion of women empowerment. He influenced people all over the world with his contributions and his vision for women’s equality. I think we men can also raise our voice against any kind of violation against women and help them prove what they are capable unmindful of gender differences.