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9 ways men can become allies for equal rights

Gender equality and women’s rights are not just women’s issues, they are human rights issues. Women fight for their rights every day everywhere. But to achieve an equal world for all, men should question the power dynamics in their actions and words and take responsibility for change.

Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is about challenging the patriarchal beliefs, practices, institutions, and structures that drive inequality between men and women. It also requires men and boys to take responsibility for change, be engaged as gender advocates, and question the power dynamics in their actions and their words.

Here are 9 ways for men to support and be actively involved in women’s rights.

  1. Communicate with the women and girls that are your friends, family members, and loved ones.
    Listen to your friends who are fighting for their rights in different ways. Ask them about how you can offer support and look for ways to act in solidarity.
  2. Start with yourself when joining the women’s rights movement.
    Question your behavior, realize the gender-based stereotypes you may be applying, and learn more about the ways of achieving equality.
  3. Learn about the women’s rights movement.
    Women’s fight for human rights goes back hundreds of years in numerous countries around the world, including Turkey. Knowing about the women’s rights movement is one of the vital elements of the fight against inequality.
  4. Avoid sharing content that normalizes violence.
    Regardless of your good intentions, do not share disturbing content that normalizes violence and portrays psychological, physical, or other forms of violence against women.
  5. Support women’s organizations.
    Support and volunteer for the women’s associations, organizations, and platforms that fight for women’s rights in your community.
  6. Do not forget that women are the main focus of the fight for women’s rights.
    Always keep in mind that the needs of women are the focus of conversations and interventions when it comes to their rights and remember that women are the leaders of the women’s rights movement.
  7. Do not share sexist content or hate speech.
    Do not share content that belittles and marginalizes women or that contains discriminatory language and hate speech. Do not contribute to the repeated production of such discourse. Wherever possible, always try to use egalitarian language. Check out UN Women Turkey's collaboration with the Turkish Dictionary for tips on gender-neutral language.
  8. Do not be a bystander in the face of violence against women.
    Do not stay silent on any form of violence at home, at the workplace, or in public spaces. Violence against women is a crime. Learn about the organizations and institutions that you can contact to report and issue complaints when you witness acts of violence.
  9. Think about the long run and maintain your support to be a part of change.
    Women’s fight for human rights is not a sprint but a marathon. Reflect on how your involvement contributes to change and maintain your support through your actions and words. Share accurate information to reach more people. Inspire children and young people around you through your egalitarian actions.

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