UN Women Director: Feminism needs men too

María Noel Vaeza, the UN Women program director, argues that without male participation, gender equality will not be achieved.

 Maria R. Sahuquillo
Maria R. Sahuquillo EL PAÍS, Spain
Source: EL PAÍS
UN Women Director: Feminism needs men
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María Noel Vaeza, Concordia Summit, Twitter

Why this story matters:

“Not all men are predators. Many don’t want to be tarred with the same brush,” says Noel Vaeza, who argues that many men also want change.

The expert in gender issues is promoting a modern feminism with a wide-ranging agenda that also counts on the support of men. “They also want to take part,” she explains.

At a time when women’s movements all over the world are taking off, the UN agency –- which invests hundreds of millions in projects to promote equality all over the world –- wants to encourage these mobilizations. “Fostering them. But not in the elitist feminism tradition. It should be a young feminism that includes men; young, dynamic men who are seeking a new masculinity,” the Uruguayan explains.

Vaeza admits, however, that the path is, and will continue to be, tough, given that many men do not want to give up their privileges.

Details from the story:

  • “If economic growth is stagnating worldwide it’s because women are not participating, and, until they do, there won’t be growth.”
  • “Our society continues to be patriarchal. Out of 200 countries, there are just 11 female presidents.”
  • It is estimated that it will take 89 years before women are on an equal economic footing with men.
  • The "He for She" initiative, which is being promoted by UN Women is counting on men to get involved, and has already recruited 10 presidents from different countries.
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