Standing for Sameness
The HeForShe solidarity movement for Gender Equality provides a systematic approach and targeted platform on which men and boys can engage and become change agents towards the achievement of gender equality. Achieving gender equality in our lifetimes requires an innovative, inclusive approach that both recognises men and boys as partners for women’s rights, and acknowledges the ways in which they also benefit from this equality. HeForShe invites men and boys to build on the work of the women’s movement as equal partners, crafting and implementing a shared vision of gender equality that will benefit all of humanity.
“We are all equal, regardless of our background, race or heritage, and given that we are all equal we should be afforded equal opportunities without any discrimination.” These are the words of Pauline Thomas, the Manager of Corporate Affairs for Namdeb Diamond Corporation.
Pauline is also an advocate for the HeForShe Movement, which is a solidarity campaign for the advancement of women, aiming to achieve gender equality by mobilizing people to stand together.
Pauline gives us insight into the campaign’s goals.
“The HeForShe Campaign was started in 2015 by the United Nations Women. It’s about ensuring honour, it’s ensuring getting people committed to saying that they believe in gender equality.”
Gender equality, a human rights issue and not a woman’s issue, has been highlighted as a key factor in positive social change. Pauline explains, “It’s not only something that impacts or affects us in Namibia, it’s a worldwide concern. I think if you look at all the issues that are affecting women in today’s world, it’s important to be part of that cause that says we believe in gender equality. I, for example, am from the mining industry. I believe in the fact that we need to ensure that mining is an inclusive environment, even though it’s male dominated it should be an inclusive environment for all.”
What makes this campaign unique is the vast numbers of people from around the globe joining in and adding their voice to the discussion. According to Pauline, “The key when you commit, is also about what will you do to make a difference. That’s what’s so nice about this campaign, even though you being counted as one of the billions that are committed, you yourself can make a difference by doing something in your society, in your environment, in your house or in your workplace that drives what you believe in. It could be around violence, it could be around education, it could be politics, it could be anything that you feel that this is what I feel is not being addressed correctly when it comes to gender equality.”
When asked how one can join in this initiative, Pauline explains, “It’s very simple. It’s an online commitment that you make. You just go onto your phone or onto your laptop and you put in heforshe.org. This will take you to a website, where you click on the count me button. From there on it’s very easy, very basic, you give your details and then you practically commit.”
HeForShe is inviting people around the world to stand together to create a visible force for gender equality. Some of the names behind this campaign include the President of Malawi , H.E. Arthur Peter Mutharika, the President of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame, and the President of Finland, H.E. Sauli Niinistö. From captains of industry to the man on the street, all are being asked to add this voice to this global movement, and you can too by clicking here
Watch Elizabeth Nyamayaro, the head of UN Women’s HeForShe initiative in her TED Talk here.
This initiative has created more than 2.4 billion social media conversations about a more equal world. Here Elizabeth Nyamayaro invites us all to join in as allies in our shared humanity.