Gender equality as a team sport
Gender equality benefits everyone – including men – we are looking at you guys for this month’s feature.
Gender equality means greater personal well-being, less stress, more freedom, and greater creative expression for everyone. We all share responsibility to achieve this goal. Achieving and maintaining gender equality is not a “women’s issue”, but a human issue. It can only be achieved as a team, and we are counting on our team mates to share in this task. Below we have provided a few suggestions to get you started, and generate ideas.
Reflect on and question role models
Be aware of your unconscious bias
We all know that they exist: unconscious biases that each and every one of us carry and affect us all. The “gender bias” is an unconscious thought shortcut of our brain, based on which we make assumptions about “typical” or “atypical” behaviors and character traits of people based on gender. The only solution: regular check-ins. Check out our “Gender Bias Bingo” from May 2021 to get started!
Dare to show and verbalize your feelings
Men are also allowed to be sad, cry and laugh, show joy, love and enthusiasm. Sadly, too few of them do. No matter how you do it, strive to show your emotions, nurture your empathy for others AND yourself. Don’t repress your feelings dude, it’s unhealthy! There really is something to the claim that shared sorrow is half the sorrow and shared joy is doubled.
Be a progressive father
Develop a healthy work-family balance
Many fathers want to spend more time with their children shaping their development and encouraging their own interests. Unfortunately, very few take advantage of benefits like paternal leave, as well as flexible or reduced working hours. Equality affects all areas of our lives – including and especially our families!
Pay attention to equitable division of labor
Take responsibility for care work
On average, women perform 52.4% more unpaid care work per day than men. This applies in particular to childcare and housework, but also to caring for relatives. However, the lopsided distribution of household activities and other care tasks not only leads to everyday injustices such as mental load, lack of time for other activities or hobbies, higher risk of burnout, but also has a negative impact on women’s lower average pension.
Use gender-inclusive language
Increase the visibility of women and non-binary people
Language creates reality. Gender-inclusive language helps increase the visibility of people who are not currently represented in the generic masculine. To get started see our July 2021 monthly post on language.
Advocate for workplace equality
Reflect on and help overcome patriarchal structures in the workplace
Patriarchy is still very present in the workplace. It is often perceived as so “normal” that the injustices arising from it hardly cross our minds. To counteract these structures we must ensure diversity on panels, in front of the stage, and behind the scenes. Give women space to contribute in meetings, listen, support, refrain from so-called mansplaining and question your actions – are you really treating men and women completely equally?
Take a clear stand against sexism
Question your behavior and make changes if you observe sexism or sexual harassment
Almost every woman in Germany has experienced sexual harassment at some point in her life. This ranges from lewd or derogatory comments to sexual violence. Separately from verbal or physical assaults, sexism is a permanent accompanying melody of women’s and AFAB non-binary people’s lives.
Check in with yourself on your own behavior, be an ally for the affected communities and get involved.
Become allies in the cause for gender equality
Draw attention to and fight inequalities
Men are privileged in many ways. They are more likely to sit on boards and executive suites, do less unpaid work and emotional labor, and are less likely to experience sexual harassment. Men are often still the measure of all things and therefore move in our world with greater confidence than women or non-binary people. The reality of this position of privilege, however, is that your voice is louder and you can use that to effectively amplify the call for lived gender equality.
Men about masculinity
One can look at the conditions and problems of our society from many perspectives. Examining individual experiences gives us a chance to look at the small in the big and the big in the small. This is especially true for role models and subjective experiences of masculinity. That’s why we asked all male employees of the Federal Foreign Office to tell us what they think about masculinity, toxic masculinity, gender role stereotypes, and their personal attitudes toward gender-inclusive language.
I would like an open discourse on the topic of equality – especially when dealing with conservative opinions. I also hope that in the future, topics that are particularly aimed at male target groups (e.g. toxic masculinity, role expectations or specific male networking) will be pushed forward with the same energy as is already the case in other equality areas.
Ideal masculinity: having the courage to question your own position and role again and again – and your own reflect on behavior towards others
Society should recognize that everyone has feminine and masculine aspects and should live them out.
For equality in 2050, my idea is that – even if that may be thought of as very optimistic – it will be realized and will therefore no longer be an issue.
My children should grow up in a society where women * who run DAX companies are nothing out of the ordinary, where fathers work as stay-at-home dads without being seen as particularly “caring”, where they unconsciously use gender-neutral language and where they can work in any job industry regardless of their sexual identity with the certainty that you will earn the same wages for the same work.
Does my wife work? You bet! Multitasking with four children! I am tired of hearing about the devaluation of the work of housewives and mothers! Employment is not everything.
I wish that I no longer have to justify myself if, I as a man, want to spend time with my family and children and I wish for a more holistic working environment that also recognizes family work as an achievement for society.
It is important to provide appropriate training for boys and young men so that they learn to classify and understand equality and its meaning. My very specific positive experience is less work, more free time, equal burden sharing in the household and, above all, better quality of life. And equality policy should work more on genuine and everyday equality. Women and girls need equal access to education and consistent protection against discrimination, male violence and general exploitation. And that starts with educational content on equality at home, in kindergarten and at school.
Thanks to job sharing, my partner and I alternate in a fair and balanced way in work and family life. We all benefit from this: our little one, and of course mom and dad!
Before panel discussions, I ask those responsible whether women will also be taking part in the panel. If not, I cancel – regardless of the country.
I have seen my children grow up during a long period of parental leave. I sincerely wish all fathers to be able to take parental leave without discussions or comments from colleagues, even for 1 year. So I hope that a concept similar to that in Sweden is practiced, will also be established in Germany until 2050. If you do not take parental leave there as a father, you will not receive any tax breaks …
Equality shouldn’t be an issue in 2050 anymore, but a matter of course. Easy and natural, lived by all. I am wishing all of us – women as men – a little more courage to make this a reality.