Guest Op-Ed: Ending Violence Against Women Is a Men’s Issue
If we are to make progress, we must look at the big picture and actively involve men.
We must recognize that society as a whole pays the price for violence against women, because it greatly impacts our collective ability to generate growth and prosperity. It is well documented by poverty experts that women are the biggest untapped natural resource for development. Societies that emphasize public policies promoting gender equality tend to be more prosperous and less violent.
I, as a father of three boys, know that changing our societies’ norms and attitudes that often excuse gender violence starts with me. It starts with us. As men, understanding our role in shaping the systems that create this problem should motivate us to be allies for change.
We must shift from our role as silent bystanders and speak out alongside women. We can do this by being less defensive, looking inward and questioning our own attitudes. By learning to understand how our language and interactions affect those around us, and how it may perpetuate sexism.