UN: UN official urges men, boys to promote gender equality

New York, US (PANA) - UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa on Thursday stressed the
need for men and boys to continue to promote and enhance gender equality, in order to check
discrimination and violence against women and girls.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day meeting on gender equality tagged "Barbershop
Conference: Changing the discourse among men on gender equality" at the UN headquaters
in New York, Mr. Kutesa said that historically, women and girls have led the fight against
gender inequality and gender violence bringing such issues to the forefront of global
discourse.

He, however, said, the world has come to recognize that men and boys have a critical role
to play in achieving gender equality, as well as for them to support the cause.

He recalled the 'HeForShe' initiative launched by the UN last year to empower men and
boys to join in solidarity to end all forms of inequality and discrimination faced by women
and girls, and urged participants to remain committed to gender equality and engaging
men and boys in promoting it.

"I am happy to add my voice to the Barbershop initiative and have made gender equality
and empowerment of women and girls one of my key priorities for this UN General Assembly
session.

"To this end, I hope you will all join me for a high-level thematic debate on this matter on
6 March. As I said at the 'HeForShe' event, real men don't fear women. If you want to be
called a real man, do not draw your strength from oppressing women," Mr. Kutesa stated.

He also said that the Barbershop Conference will contribute to transforming gender
stereotypes, largely influenced by social norms and beliefs regarding gender roles.

PANA reports that the Barbershop Conference was organized by the Permanent Missions
of Iceland and Suriname to the UN, to focus on the role of men and boys in promoting
gender equality.
-0-  PANA AA/AR 15Jan2015

15 january 2015 19:21:47




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