Distressed by women's inequality issues in the media recently, and want to help? Here are 7 things you can do right now to become an ally for gender equality.
This doesn’t mean asking the women in your life to share potential traumas. There are many stories on the Everyday Sexism Project, or you can follow women’s equality news by creating a Google alert. You may also like to follow feminist spokespeople like Cindy Gallop, Grace Tame, Jamila Rizvi and Clementine Ford. You mightn’t agree with everything they say, but that’s what makes it an education.
Educate your children
Teach your sons about rape and consent, rather than telling your daughters not to dress a certain way or go out at night.
Know when to be silent
Making noise is how women are addressing the endemic gender issues that have held them back for so long. Amplify their voices, rather than mounting a defence. #notallmen is a classic example of how some are trying to shirk collective responsibility and divert the conversation, so avoid using this hashtag.
Take action in the workplace
Ask if your employer has a sexual harassment policy (this is usually easier for you to do than it is for women). If you are in charge of hiring, review your processes to ensure you are giving women (especially women of colour) equal opportunities. If you are in charge of payroll, conduct a pay gap analysis within your business.
Challenge other men
If you hear sexist locker room talk, victim blaming and misogynistic banter, call it out. Likewise if you witness sexual harassment in public spaces.
Use your vote
Consider equality when deciding who to vote for in state and federal elections.
Reflect on your own behaviour
Just as women are conditioned a certain way, so are men. Consider your influences and the things you were taught growing up, or learned by example. Reject the behaviours contributing to inequality. Encourage other men to do the same.
Together, we can create a more equal future for everyone.