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Can men embrace feminism? #HeForShe - UN's all-male campaign for women's equality finds out

Saturday, 28 June 2014 - 11:16am IST | Agency: DNA Webdesk

Despite the progress made, our society largely remains riddled with abuse and discrimination against women. And even with the powerful resistance that women across the world put up, little is achieved in what still remains to be a male dominated guild. However, not every man adheres to the rules of the patriarchal society and more than few have stepped forward to help women break the unfair norms. 

Believe it or nor, but more men today identify themselves as feminists.

For a few years now, the internet has provided a strong platform to bringing the "male feminist", a concept many believed to be unrealistic and nonexistent earlier , together with their female counterpart, in the ongoing struggle for gender equality. Thousands of selfies and memes of men holding up placards that read "This is what a feminist looks like" did the rounds of the world wide web.

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Taking cue from this increasingly popular trend, the United Nations rolled out its very own campaign for women's rights fueled by some well known and lesser known names men who stand firm for gender equality. This recent campaign for gender equality has drawn support from all quarters, and most importantly it has become a strong symbol of solidarity from members of the opposite sex to end gender based violence.

Aptly dubbed as HeForShe, the campaign was launched early this year, featuring celebrities like Matt Damon, Patrick Stewart, and Antonio Banderas, alongside world leaders Desmond Tutu, Ibraheem Elayyam Al-Rifae, and UN's own Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

"It’s 2014 and women around the world are still being abused, objectified and silenced. Yet, women are half of the world’s potential and every single one has the right to a life free from discrimination," it explains on their website.

Aiming to raise awareness, it invites men world over to send in their videos of solidarity to the women's cause. "Your voice is powerful—raise it to tell the world why equality for every woman and girl is worth fighting for," it says on their website.

And the response was astounding. Prominent personalities along with many others from across the world sent in their support videos, some as young as 8 years of age.

For instance, Miles, below, speaks on women and war. This young man, by pledging his support to the cause for women's equality, is setting precedence for a better future. Hear him speak for yourself:

Similarly, Jorgie shares his views on on why women should receive equal pay:

From India, actor and director Farhan Akhtar joined in the struggle to end violence against women. Interestingly, he is also a founder for Men Against Rape & Discrimination (MARD), which he setup after a colleague of his was sexually assaulted and killed in her own home. Farhan established MARD to advocate for change in the ideas of masculinity, and to campaign for the end of violence against women. Watch his video below:

Another Indian, Dinesh Karthik, a cricketers and a sports icon, also champions women and girls' empowerment. Watch his call to other men and boys everywhere to take action to end violence against women and girls:

To submit your own videos, visit here 




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