The Great Men Campaign

greatmenThis week Emma Watson delivered a powerful speech to the UN on gender equality. Launching the #HeForShe campaign, Emma called on men around the world to join the fight to help achieve equality between the sexes. She spoke eloquently about how men are also victims, trapped by social prejudices projected on to them from a young age. Gender equality, she noted, is everybody’s issue.

When it came to choosing a brilliant project to highlight this week, with Emma’s inspiring words swirling around my head, I instantly thought of our guardians Alan and Josh and their work with the Great Men campaign.

The GREAT Initiative is a UK based gender equality charity. They launched the Great Men campaign to involve and engage men and boys in the fight for gender equality. Unless you were raised in a Swedish genderless school, gender expectations enter your life at a very young age. Boys are handed ‘manly’ toys based around combat and construction, girls are sent off with a pretty doll in one hand and a wooden spoon in the other. As we grow older, these gender prejudices carry serious consequences. Women are often held back from leadership roles, labelled ‘bossy’ or ‘outspoken’. Whilst men are expected to behave like ‘real men’ – to be strong, a breadwinner and to not show their feelings. Great Men is about giving young men the tools to challenge stereotypes and to provide them with the confidence to make their own decisions about what ‘masculinity’ means to them.

If you’re interested in a volunteering opportunity that tackles issues around gender inequality then this might be the perfect place for you. They’re looking for men aged 18+ who are passionate about promoting their cause. Not a guy? They also accept donations online to help them deliver this free programme in schools across London.

“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum instead two opposing sets of ideals.” – Emma Watson