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HeforShe Celebrates Second Anniversary

On Sept 20, 2016, the United Nation Women’s group, HeforShe, turned two years old. The organization, spearheaded by British actress Emma Watson, is focused on creating gender equality through the involvement of boys and men. The goal of everyone involved is to create a world where gender equality is assumed and no longer needs to be taught. In the past they have used social media, like the HeforShe Instagram to spread the knowledge that women make 77 cents for every man’s dollar in their paychecks. HeforShe has gathered a following of over a billion men who have expressed support for gender equality

The same day, the United Nations held its 71st General Assembly at which UN Women released their first Impact 10x10x10 University Parity Report. This has been the culmination of over a year of effort, and is a pilot program that creates a concrete way of participating in bringing gender equality to the world, according to Vogue. The report only involves ten leaders in each of three sectors: companies, universities, and heads of state.

Thus far, the initiative has been very successful. The ten universities involved include Georgetown University, The University of Hong Kong, The University of Oxford, University of Sao Paulo, and University of the Witwatersrand, according to the HeforShe University Parity Report.  These universities have agreed to provide gender sensitization to the students and surrounding communities. They are required to monitor their progress in several countable areas, including closing the gender gap in administration in addition to academia, and creating centers for promoting gender equality. Additionally, to further the HeforShe campaign, the universities, which span five continents, are to develop programs to address gender-based violence on campus. Finally, involved schools are to champion the program for other universities and launch HeforShe on their own campuses. Each university has made this commitment their own and developed their own programs to address specific issues they see on campus. According to Watson, “A good university is like a tiny utopia – it’s a miniature model of how the whole of society could look. All our IMPACT Champions have chosen to make gender parity a central part of the way they educate their students.” Because of this, Watson believes that this is where the UN task force must set its roots for success, in addition to the business and government leaders already involved. 

Beyond just the university setting, Impact 10x10x10 has received support from many other powerful men in the world of global change. These men include national leaders, corporate businessmen, educational leaders, and many other men around the world. While many people do not completely understand how they can personally become involved in the feminist movement through UN Women, Impact 10x10x10 gives a very concrete way for this to occur. Gender equality can only come about if we are all involved, according to Watson. 

On the whole, the men who engage with this program are to use their positions of power in society to spread the ideals of HeforShe. Of those involved in Impact 10x10x10, it is required they create written contracts of actions they will take to benefit women in the workplace, the classroom, and the state. HeforShe is seeking equality for all in areas such as education, health, politics, violence, work, and battling stereotypes. According to the HeforShe mission statement, “The world is at a turning point. People everywhere understand and support the idea of gender equality. They know it’s not just a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue. And when these powerful voices are heard, they will change the world. The time for that change is now.”  So, students of American University, the cause is here, and the time is now.

All facts and statistics concerning the Impact 10x10x10 Initiative were found on the Parity Reports available on the HeforShe website.

 

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