Men for Gender Equity

Zonta International President Ute Scholz on Bringing Men into work on Gender Equity:

Involving men in your local actions is something that all Zonta members can and need to do! According to the article, MANdatory – why men need (and are needed for) gender equality progress, as published in Frontiers in Psychology, March 2024, men are generally more inclined to join gender equity movements when explicitly asked. One study found that men’s low involvement can be due to a perceived lack of psychological standing, or perceived low legitimacy to act on behalf of this cause.

In one example, participants were asked to volunteer to be part of a companywide taskforce on gender parity (the control group) while some participants also received information that the CEO had made a request for both men and women volunteers. As expected, this additional information regarding the CEO’s request increased men’s volunteerism to 55% (vs. 33% in the control group without a specific invitation for men’s participation).

As you read below, learn about how Zontians can build a better world for women and girls by including more men in the conversation. The Add Your Voice membership campaign is also a great opportunity to invite more male voices to join our efforts for gender equity. If you know someone deeply committed to advancing gender equity, regardless of their gender, share with them the powerful impact they can make by becoming a Zonta member. Together, we can create a world where men support women’s rights as human rights.

Your unwavering support and dedication are truly inspiring. I am eagerly looking forward to celebrating all the incredible achievements we have made together at the upcoming Zonta Convention in Brisbane!Warm regards,

Ute Scholz

President 2022-2024

Zonta International and Zonta Foundation for Women

Learn more about DEI and ZontaUSA

MANdatory – why men need
(and are needed for) gender equality progress

Frontiers in Psychology Article Summary

Colette Van Laar Colette Van Laar1*Aster Van Rossum,Aster Van Rossum1,2Natasza Kosakowska-BerezeckaNatasza Kosakowska-Berezecka3Renata BongiornoRenata Bongiorno4Katharina BlockKatharina Block5

29 Feb. 2024

“While much progress has been made towards gender equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, education and society, recent years have also revealed continuing challenges that slow or halt this progress. To date, the majority of gender equality action has tended to approach gender equality from one side: being focused on the need to remove barriers for girls and women. We argue that this is only half the battle, and that a focus on men is MANdatory, highlighting three key areas: First, we review men’s privileged status as being potentially threatened by progress in gender equality, and the effects of these threats for how men engage in gender-equality progress. Second, we highlight how men themselves are victims of restrictive gender roles, and the consequences of this for men’s physical and mental health, and for their engagement at work and at home. Third, we review the role of men as allies in the fight for gender equality, and on the factors that impede and may aid in increasing men’s involvement. We end with recommendations for work organizations, educational institutions and society at large to reach and involve men as positive agents of social change.”

Read the full article.

Taking Gender Equity Action- HE for SHE

There are many ways to include all members of society in building a better world for women and girls.

HeForShe has action kits with ideas on how you can engage with male advocates on gender equity.

Below are links to the full kits with some key ideas highlighted.

Individuals (PDF)

  • Speak up if you hear something that does not sound right. Challenge your peers when they speak disrespectfully of others. Change happens right then and there when you speak up.
  • Ask your local library to host a film screening and discussion.

Students (PDF)

  • As part of a Golden Z or Z club, plan an event at your school or university and host a speaker, movie screening or book club.
  • Report your actions and share them via your social media channel of choice, showing that gender equity is being talked about and actions are taking place!

Workplaces (PDF)

  • Create a platform for discussions on gender equity related issues.
  • Run a gender equity training session.
  • Ensure gender balance in meetings.

Organizations (PDF)

  • Connect with other groups and networks.
  • Start where the men and boys are coming from, but don’t get stuck there. Challenge stereotypes and assumptions while using positive messages and language of responsibility.

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