HeForShe is a gender equality initiative started by UN Women. Its mission is to encourage men to rally behind social, political, and economic equality for women. It continuously makes the point that sexism is something that affects us all, and that men too will benefit from empowering women. The initiative has worked with many organizations to further this cause.
Activism is a big part of HeForShe, and activists focus on many different issues that affect women. These issues include education, healthcare, workforce inequality, violence, struggles with identity, and politics.The website gives helpful information on how anyone can resist against a sexist society through everyday life choices, such as choosing not to buy from discriminatory companies or by being an active bystander to anyone that may need help. The UN runs many collaborative campaigns, including Voices Against Violence, The Representation Project, and many others that work with HeForShe to help women.
A few years ago, the campaign gained significant media attention when Emma Watson gave a speech on its behalf as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. Watson’s partnership with the initiative raised awareness on what exactly HeForShe stands for and broadened the conversation to incentivise men to join the movement.
Recently, two men in Singapore were honored with the HeForShe Impact Awards, given by the Singapore Committee for UN Women for promoting gender equality and diversity initiatives in their work and in the community.
The Sales Manager and Head of Global and Asia-Pacific Key Accounts of Bloomberg LP, Mr. Coombe, graciously accepted the award for tirelessly working to increase the representation of female voices in Bloomberg news reporting. Coombe actively worked with colleagues in Singapore and Hong Kong to identify over 120 women to whom Bloomberg could reach out for interviews. The second honoree, Mr. Pranama, is the Vice President of Global Markets at Credit Suisse. He was recognized for his commitment to achieving financial literacy for foreign domestic workers.
In addition to these Singaporean men’s awards, Salesforce, the Singapore office of a US tech firm, was also acknowledged for its work on showing gender inequality within the workforce. The office has implemented equal pay for its employees and continues to make sure there are equal opportunities in terms of recruitment and career advancement processes.
The recognition of Salesforce and these two men’s actions and dedication to furthering equality reaffirms HeForShe’s statement that gender equality is a human rights issue, and that regardless of your sex or gender identity, it is something we should all be fighting for. As Elizabeth Nyamayaro, the head of HeForShe, said in an interview with Into The Gloss, “The success of the HeForShe campaign relies on men and women both being engaged in the process. But it’s absolutely true that for a very long time this has been a woman’s struggle, so now the men have to play catch up.
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