HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other.
HeForShe is a UN Initiative designed to encourage men and boys to act as advocates and agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights. The campaign encourages them to speak out and take action against inequalities faced by women and girls.
It is grounded in the idea that gender equality is an issue that affects all people and that equal rights for the women of the world will never be achieved if only half the population take part.
Actress and Model Emma Watson is the figurehead for the campaign and has been widely praised for making some ‘powerful and insightful’ speeches to help promote it.
“If not me, then who? If not now, then when?”
The central goal of the campaign is to get 1 billon men and boys to make the following pledge:
After that things become much less clear. UN Women have developed an Action Kit which, I’ll be honest, left me none the wiser. It points to key campaign metrics such as content creation; online conversations; social media mentions and amount of additional funds contributed to UN Women….By writing and tweeting this page I have ticked three out of four boxes then.
Even Ms Watson appears to be less than certain about what’s going on and I’m assuming someone’s helping to write her speeches. In her follow up at Davos she acknowledges that men who have signed the HeForShe petition have told her that they don’t know what to do next. Her advice is:
“The truth is, the ‘what now’ is down to you. What your HeForShe commitment will be is personal and there is no best way. Everything is valid.”
None the wiser then.
And as for ‘the Impact 10 x 10 x 10 pilot initiative’ which she unveiled at Davos without actually explaining what it was….well let’s wait and see, my only half joking best guess at the minute is that it’s about positive action in the aviation industry.
Aside from not really understanding what Emma is exactly asking me to do, for ethical and practical reasons I won’t be pledging anytime soon.
That said, if you live in a developed country and are a teenage boy harbouring aspirations to get laid anytime soon, my advice would be take the pledge. It’ll only take a second, will probably make your mum happy and is unlikely to be the worst thing you’ll click on this week.