UN Women Germany Champions Gender Equality and Male Engagement with Their HeForShe Germany Catalyst Program
In 2018, UN Women Germany launched the HeForShe Germany Catalyst Program with four catalysts and expanded to include two more catalysts on March 8, 2020. These six catalysts use their expertise in a wide range of formats to raise awareness and motivate people to take an active role in promoting gender equality. In addition, they serve as role models for other men and take the necessary discussions into their circles.
Fikri Anıl Altıntaş:
"As HeForShe Germany catalyst, I would like to inspire others to become feminist allies through critical reflection on masculinities. To be a feminist ally for me means, as a man, to find out about injustices towards women and, in doing so, fight against sexism and violence. I aim to draw attention to the exploitation of women by men and to encourage men to take a critical look at their privileges and power relationships. It is important to look at gender equality in an intersectional way and think outside the box to raise awareness of the different structural forms of discrimination.”
Dr. Joy Asongazoh Alemazung:
"Gender inequality remains one of the greatest human rights violations with serious implications for our world and its development. The negative effects of gender inequality start at the micro-level within the nuclear family and extend to the macro-level, detrimentally affecting national and global development. Frederick Douglass says that it is easier to raise strong children than to repair broken adults. Therefore, we should raise our children so that they become aware of the injustice between the sexes and counteract this injustice through their daily actions."
"As HeForShe Germany catalyst, I am committed to educating more men on the issues of gender equality and sexism. The HeForShe program gives me the platform and the credibility to reach male groups that were previously difficult to access. In keynote speeches at conferences and workshops with mixed or all-male groups, I always see great potential for changing the perspectives among men. HeForShe is also an excellent feminist school for me."
"My name is Robert Franken, and I advise companies and organizations on organizational culture, transformation, and diversity. My activism moves in the context of asymmetrical gender relations in business, society, and politics. These spheres have many interfaces where I can learn debates about D&I, New Work, and feminism and open up a perspective for men to see themselves as part of the solution. It is necessary to raise awareness of privilege and responsibility in discussions, and I do this on my blog "digital dance formation." Often a "low-threshold" entry for men into the discourse is required. HeForShe is such an entry that others can - and must - follow.”
"I want to make men understand that equality between all genders requires their sustained commitment. Violence against women is still a burning social problem that men should fight resolutely in all its forms. The move away from traditional masculinity offers men diverse opportunities to enrich their lives too."
Martin Speer is an activist, feminist and political advisor from Berlin. He is committed to a fairer society and European cohesion. In his youth, he became acquainted with the negative consequences of toxic masculinity and gender injustice. Through conversations, he learned to question old ideas and overcome them. Today he shares his experiences to motivate men and everyone else to work for a gender-equitable future.