A report from the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE):
Extracts from the report
“The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) acknowledges that the role of men in promoting gender equality deserves special attention at the European level and in the Member States. Encouraging men to undertake non-stereotypical roles, enabling their occupation in traditional female sectors, participating in anti-violence initiatives, tackling discrimination, sharing care responsibilities and other means must become part of gender equality policy […]. It is essential that both women and men are aware of the benefits that gender equality brings to them as individuals and as members of communities and societies. It is also true that we can only succeed through the participation of both women and men.” Virginija Langbakk, Director for EIGE (p.5)
“Gender equality was in most countries seen as a ‘women’s issue’ and many organisations did not see themselves involved with men and gender equality.” (p.11)
“ […] gender equality holds the promise of improvements in men’s and boys’ relationships among themselves, as well as with women and girls. Greater gender equality would reduce the pressures on men to conform to damaging and rigid forms of masculinity. Conversely, gender inequality has damaging effects on the personal health and well-being of men as well as women.” (p.12).
“ […] the benefits men derive individually are not experienced equally and men’s lives reflect their different actual or perceived relations to the power they hold.” (p.40)
“Many men believe that gender equality does not, therefore, have much, if anything, to do with them and has nothing positive to offer them. For many, the general perception is that gender equality is promoted by feminist approaches that only seek to ‘take rights away from men and give them to women’. From this perspective, gender equality is often regarded by men warily or with hostility.” (p.44-45)
“A number of interviewees stressed the importance of showing men that they benefit from gender equality, as well as women. ‘We should stress the benefits for personal, family and social life and for society from the participation of men in gender equality.’ (Maro Varnavidou, Secretary-General of the National Machinery of Women’s Rights, Ministry of Justice and Public Order, Cyprus).” (p.47)
“ ‘Young fathers enjoy having a real relationship to their children. They also enjoy having more roles in the household and are no longer the helpless man at the stove after coming home from work, like their fathers and grandfathers. They gain power in education and household affairs.’ (Jonni Brem, Men’s Counselling Centre, Vienna, Austria).” (p.47).