Men and gender equality
The importance of involving men in gender equality and its initiatives has been stressed numerous times among experts working with the gender equality issues. Indeed, on one hand, involving more men also helps to bring the issues of gender equality forward by creating “ownership of the cause” from men’s side too. On the other hand we should remember that men have gender and therefore gender specific issues as well. These issues range from lower life expectancy, risk behaviour, health problems to fatherhood, parental leave and gender stereotypes.
EIGE works with the issue of men and gender equality by taking a dual approach. Firstly, the appointed staff member coordinates EIGE’s activities around men and gender equality topic. Secondly, attempts are made to follow horizontal approach by integrating men’s perspective in EIGE’s research and consultation work when relevant.
Even now when more women than ever before are hired to lead organisations and more men use their right to parental leave the effects of gender stereotyping cannot be underestimated. One still observes the persistence of stereotypical gender perceptions across different generations, countries of the European Union and fields of life. It is in most everyday realities that gender matters – in education, work, family and relationships, health, leisure, determination of identity, society life.
In many different ways gender stereotypes have far-reaching societal influence and are detrimental to the lives of both, women and men. They limit people’s freedom and choices. They lead to discrimination. They cause unnecessary suffering. Because of the insidious effects gender stereotypes need to be addressed on different levels and by different actors.
Women and men inspiring Europe
Launched on 8 March 2010 with the title ”Women Inspiring Europe”, EIGE’s initiative has evolved from acknowledging women breaking gender stereotypes to promoting both women and men who have had successful initiatives in the area of gender equality. The “Women and Men inspiring Europe” 2014 Calendar was the last calendar edition EIGE has printed and distributed.
All profiles – from the calendar and the web – form the “Women and Men Inspiring Europe” Resource Pool, which provides media and gender equality stakeholders with an opportunity to search for speakers and gender-sensitive experts from various backgrounds.