Created by UN Women, HeForShe is a solidarity movement which provides a systematic approach and a targeted platform on which men and boys can engage and become change agents towards the achievement of gender equality. The innovative approach to addressing gender inequality has resulted in gained momentum around gender talks.
According to UN Women, achieving gender equality requires an inclusive approach that both recognizes men and boys as partners for women’s rights, and acknowledges how they also benefit from this equality. Since the launch of HeForShe campaign on 20 September 2014 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, hundreds of thousands of men from around the world including Hollywood actor Matt Damon and Ex-President Barack Obama have endorsed the movement.
At its launch, UN Women made a call to mobilize the first 100,000 men in the campaign; a goal successfully reached in just three days. Ever since approximately 1.3 billion commitments have been made, and this number is only growing. From U.S alone 137,000+ commitments have been made, half of which are by men.
The movement has four broad-based goals and through its advocacy efforts seeks to:
- Accelerate women’s economic empowerment
- Support women’s role in peace and security
- Advance women’s political participation and leadership
- Eliminate gender-based violence
Elizabeth Nyamayaro, a senior advisor to Executive Director of UN Women, continues the spearhead the movement, Emma Watson remains an active spokesperson of HeForShe campaign.
In September 2015, HeForShe Campaign launched another initiative called Impact 10X10X10. It's 3 to 5-year pilot effort that leverages top-down approach to engage leaders from the field of Business, Government and Educational Institution who best exemplify addressing women issues in their organizations, countries, and institutions. The identified leaders were felicitated in an annual impact summit, where they shared their best practices with the crowd.
The video below highlights the impact of HeForShe thus far.
Impact 10 by 10 by 10 U.S Champions include companies such as Tupperware, Mckinsey & Company, Twitter, and two educational institutions – Georgetown University and Stony Brook University.
”Part of my personal commitment is to move the needle on gender equality. HeForShe at PwC will harness the immense power of our network to promote inclusion and foster greater equality.
- Bob Moritz, Chairman, PWC international Limited
“Georgetown University is proud to stand with HeForShe and its work to empower women and girls worldwide. We share a responsibility—as members of a global family—to promote justice, equity, and dignity for women around the world.”
- John J. DeGioia, President Georgetown University
United States National Committee for UN Women has supported the campaign since its launch. While the majority of organizational efforts support UN Women program’s monetarily, the Chapter programs in Los Angeles(LA), San Francisco(SF), New York, and Miami have been successful in advocating for gender equality by organizing special events.
The Gulf Coast Chapter holds an annual fall breakfast event, which exclusively supports the HeForShe movement. It does so by bringing in speakers who engage in talks centered on gender norms. In a recent event, a male-professor speaker led a conversation around masculinity.
In 2016, the San Francisco Chapter conducted two events in support of the movement. The chapter honored five Bay Area men who have broken the gender barriers to empower women and girls in their community and beyond. Further, the City Hall in San Francisco was lit in magenta, a color that signifies the passion and excitement of HeForShe. The chapter also organized Global Voices Film Festival, featuring seven short and two feature-length movies. The purpose of the event was to highlight the need to support women in the film industry and help the discourse of gender representation in film.
In support of HeforShe, the LA Chapter hosted its first L.A Media Summit in support of HeForShe. The event was held in #YouTubeSpaceLA and was attended by well-known people as Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Arquette, writer and director Joss Whedon, Executive Director of the ACLU for Southern California Hector Villagra, and CNN reporter Carol Costello, addressing achieving gender parity in the entertainment industry.
Sustainable Development Goals
By supporting the UN Women’s HeForShe campaign, USNC -UN Women is directly contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality in US and abroad.