In a speech given at the United Nations over the weekend, actor and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, delivered an empowering message about the meaning of gender equality for both men and women.
To Men – “I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too. Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s. I’ve seen a young man suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make him less of a man … I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.”
To Women: “I started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not. When at 14 I started being sexualized by certain elements of the press. When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn’t want to appear “muscly.” When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings. I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive. Why is the word such an uncomfortable one?”
- Helen Conway from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency will speak on workplace gender equality at the AHRI Inclusion and Diversity Conference on 30 October.
- AHRI’s Inclusion and Diversity Awards include a Gender Equity in the Workplace Award – view the finalists
- HRM online has the latest articles from the profession on the topic of gender – view the articles
- For AHRI members: AHRI:ASSIST can provide you with info sheets and policies and procedure documents on diversity in the workplace