“If gender bias begins with us, it can end with us”. That is the message of the emotional video shared by UN Women (ONU Dones in Catalan), an organisation dedicated to promoting gender equality and female empowerment. One minute. That’s all it takes to create the desired impact, with a newborn whose clothing is changed based on the gender roles assigned to him. Little girls should play and little boys should do sport. If you’re a woman and you cry, you’re hormonal, and if you’re a man and you cry, you’re weak. These are some of the premises which the video questions, in line with the international HeForShe campaign.
The campaign’s mission is to invite people from around the world to join forces and create a gender equal world. According to the campaign’s accountant, up until now just over 1.3 million actions have been carried out to fight gender inequalities. The country with the most commitments is Rwanda, followed by the United States, Mexico, Cameroon, and the Congo. The Spanish State has made 16,251 commitments. For the HeForShe campaign, a commitment is carried out every time a user signs the petition and commits themselves to acting against prejudice, discrimination, and gender violence.
A Kenyan activist in a miniskirt made the hashtag #MyDressMyChoice go viral, in order to protest against women being raped as a result of wearing miniskirts. The Head of the Dedza district in Malawi, Theresa Kachindamoto, has annulled 850 child marriages and has prohibited sexual initiation practices for girls. These are some examples of actions and stories of change triggered by the HeForShe campaign, and which have had a media impact on society.
“If I am a girl, I’m expected to be a princess. If I am a boy, I’m expected to be a hero.” These words from the video could have been spoken by actress Emma Watson in her speech as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador to present the HeForShe campaign. Better known for her role as Hermione in Harry Potter, in her speech Watson invited men to take up the mantle of the campaign so that their daughters, sisters, and mothers could be free from prejudice. Linked with the world of film, the actress considers herself a feminist with gender awareness, and for that reason she launched the campaign.
The organisation’s initiative in defence of women also invites citizens to take part in other actions such as cineforums, painting murals, creating literary gatherings around books such as I am Malala, volunteering, or posting a photo on social media with the hashtag #HeForShe. For more information about how you can collaborate, click the following link.