How can men become better allies to women in the fight for equality? As International Women’s Day approaches, Professor Kriti Jain pens a letter to men with some practical tips on how to become more involved in the push for gender equality.
Come March every year, there’s a massive buzz around women’s rights, experiences, and achievements. Somehow, the events and celebrations for International Women’s Day are predominantly attended by women. The men who do attend often ask, “What can we do to help?”
Thank you for asking. We want you to be a part of the conversation and to do this together, with you. Here are some practical ideas.
1. Listen to understand. Most of us listen to respond. Yet, particularly when it involves experiences that differ from your own, it is important to listen to understand (and there is a lot of good advice out there on how to be a good listener). So, when women approach you with their experiences of gender-pay gaps, stereotypes against their marital or maternity status, or even the prejudices they face from families and societies, what you can do first is listen, and do so deeply. Do not tune out just because you are not accustomed to hearing about these topics or they don’t immediately pertain to you, or because they seem like issues that might be too difficult to fix.
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