It all starts from the walls of the house. Raising the voice, screaming, getting into verbal and psychological fights, and then into bullying and physical abuse. Statistics from UN Women shows that 35 % of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. Women who have been physically or sexually abused by their partners are more than twice as likely to have an abortion, almost twice as likely to experience depression, and in some regions, 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV, as compared to women who have not experienced partner violence.
Love in the house produces love and respect outside of the walls of the house. Love always starts at home. And once at home you feel secure, safe and protected, you can project your Love outside as well, making the best for Humanity.
How to reach that?
Instead of waiting for international campaigns, which i always take part in, but who are only limited in a specific amount of time ( and I strongly encourage you take part as well, especially the 16 days of activism against violence against women and against gender-based violence, promoted by UN Women, Orange your world, with tons of activities you can join, here), you have to walk the talk and be an Ambassador for Gender Equality and Women’ Empowerment in your daily actions, by joining a women’ organization, and by getting your men involved in the conversations.
I would call upon men to:
– Do you know you can record you video and tell the world why you stand together with Women? You can do it if you become an Ambassador of UN Women- He for She, and you follow the instructions here (this also involves sharing online on your social media platforms and amplifying your voice by inviting your male friends to do the same) Are you a #HeforShe?
It is not only about videos, sharing and social media postings. You have to show it. Actions speak louder than words, as the oldest saying says. UN Women Global Campaign He for She provides Action Kits for individuals, organizations, workplace and universities to use and turn big words into actions. Supporting Women means, in the first place, showing that you care for them and you support and encourage them in the pursuit of their Dreams, without stopping them because of their gender.
You can start with opening up a book club, involve artists to talk about gender equality through visualizing and painting, it. You can get involved with your local radio stations and vocalize your doubts and seek for answers. Write an Op-Ed in the column of your local and national newspaper ( or using digital platforms, like amazing Thrive Global here (Thank you Thrive Community!) to raise awareness about the importance of Women, their ideas, their aspirations and their dreams in society, to create a better, a diverse and more inclusive world). Women and Men are the same, so they have the same Rights to Aspire High, Study, Dream and Reach their Dreams!
UN Women Global He for She Campaign- Action Kits
If i were a boyfriend, or a father, I would also encourage my girlfriend or my daughter to constantly dig inside herself to search what she likes doing the most, irrespective of gender-labeled stereotypes ( i am a girl, therefore i do not like maths and science and i like playing with dolls: WRONG!- not everyone is like this- you can love sciences and pursue a career to become a physicist or an engineer- no profession is labeled “for women or for men only”)
As a boyfriend or a father, i would then keep supporting my girlfriend or my daughter to follow her guts, her instincts, her passions, her desires. I would always be there for her, never forcing her to do something she does not feel, but instead guiding her by talking things out and debunking complicated and uncomfortable talks sometimes- which in life are sometimes needed to explain better and to contextualize actions, consequences and results).
I would be there for her, so that she can develop a full trust in life and in men. I would make her see that Men can be good, although we are all driven by emotions, but i would teach and show her that it is also possible to control and manage emotions and passions, so that we do not get into troubles and we do not suffer sad consequences, for health and family ties.
A way is always possible, to inspire others and take actions to protect and safeguard our humanity, and to raise the future leaders of tomorrow. I would spend a lot of time with her talking, and talking, and talking.
I would make her listen a lot of music, all genres, all artists, from all over the countries, so that she can see that Art & Music is what unite us, and, no matter race, religion, languages or jobs, we are all part of the same planet, therefore we should all strive to make life on earth a good, peaceful and respectful place to live, for all, in tolerance, acceptance and understand.
As a last point, i would give her these two books, to start with, to grow her self-confidence and her self-esteem. Everybody can do it, everybody can achieve their Dreams!
Girls who rocked the World, by Michelle Roehm Mc Cann and Amelie Welden
Go Girls, You can be who you wish to Be! Unleash your potentials and Achieve your Dreams!