Let’s acknowledge the role of good men who help women with their personal and career growth
Feminists are those who believe in equal rights and equal access for all women in all areas of life.
In the past most women were confined to their homes and had no say in broader political and social issues. But in the course of time things have changed, for the better. More and more women started joining business and politics, and went on to occupy some of the most powerful positions.
But what has been the role of men in this change? And how do men contribute to the cause of equality for women? Evidently, most societies in the world are patriarchal and men have taken up all the major roles. And not all men support feminism, even while they may not be against providing equal opportunities to women.
Others have tried to dilute the concept of feminism and come up with another term to describe those advocating for women’s rights—feminazi, a radical feminist. Feminazis are different from feminists.
They believe in superiority, not equality, in gender roles. But feminism is different. Those who are opposed to equal access and opportunities for women and for equal sexual rights misinterpret feminism.
Despite this, we as a society have become more sensitive to women’s issues. Yet women’s empowerment is highly dependent on men’s support. Even today, sexual harassment, female infanticide, unequal education and inadequate nutrition continue to hinder women’s empowerment.
On the other hand, there are lucky girls and women, like me, who receive support from their families to further their careers and studies. My dad has always inspired me to work hard and to believe in the power of education. He has used all his resources to provide me and my siblings the best education. My brother cooks at home and there are no distinct gender roles in the family.
My father always encouraged my mother to pursue her career. His support has shaped our lives. And while most of my friends in village have been married and have children, my dad believes I should be the one to decide when I should get married. He always inspires me to think beyond the walls.
There must be many more men like my dad and my brother.
So let’s celebrate and acknowledge the role of all good men who have helped women grow, both in their private lives and in their careers.
Let’s be thankful to all hardworking dads who have been investing in the future of their daughters. Let’s thank those brothers who encourage and inspire their sisters to be independent. Let’s thank all our coworkers who help us understand our issues and treat us as equals. Let’s thank our bosses who have provided us equal remuneration and office spaces and restrooms that are women-friendly.
Let’s thank our government for providing us with special opportunities and privileges for our wellbeing.
But this is not enough. More high-level and policy-making positions should be open for women.
Nepal should promote girl’s education and look to eradicate social evils that have hindered our growth. Yet, while we do this, let us not forget the good men who have done all they can for advancement of women.
Let’s celebrate even small changes that have had a positive impact in women’s lives. Let’s thank everyone who has helped women. Let’s acknowledge the fact that many more girls go to schools today, that many women have restarted working after being mothers and that there are more women entrepreneurs in rural areas. And let us acknowledge men’s role in all these changes.
It is impossible for women to succeed without men’s help because all of us are dependent on men, both emotionally and culturally. Men have made us. Wherever we are is the outcome of inspiring men around us: fathers, brothers, friends, relatives, husbands, bosses, colleagues and so on. Let’s appreciate them all.
Thank you, all men, for inspiring us and helping us achieve more. As ‘woMEN,’ part of us will always be guided by the light you show.
By Rusha Giri
The author writes short fictions at www.roohsa.blogspot.com and is a CA student.