Iceland- World’s Global Leader in Gender Equality- 1 out of 20 Men Participated
“I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man… Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either.”
British actress and Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, Emma Watson, spoke about gender inequality. Watson’s speech at UN last September for global gender equality campaign, HeForShe, has been the talk of the town. The video of her speech earned fervent support with 1.62 million and 890 thousand views respectively from official HeForShe Youtube and from official UN Youtube, and 6 million views from other unofficial accounts.
Emma Watson’s speech turned her from ‘Hermione’ of Harry Potter movie series into an ‘icon of feminism’. She has been supporting the campaign not only through official events but also through her Twitter account by posting pictures of fellow actors’ pledge for HeForShe and by writing comments to other women’s gender inequality troubles with HeForShe hashtag.
Having launched in last July, HeForShe initiative drew participation from men all over the world upon Watson’s speech at UN. What helped to induce more support from general male population was active involvement of the global leaders and celebrities in the campaign: UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, the U.S. President, Barack Obama, the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, BBC drama Sherlock’s hero, Benedict Cumberbatch, British boyband One Direction’s Harry Styles, to name a few.
In the last 10 months, 315,059(as of June, 3rd) males signed the HeForShe campaign. The U.S. had the most signatures from 76,664 men followed by Britain’s 30,458. Iceland had the most participants in proportion to overall population. The total of 8,713 men, or about 1 out of every 20 males, submitted their signature. Iceland is known to be the top-ranked country for gender equality. According to the 2014 Gender Gap Index reported by World Economic Forum(WEC), Iceland ranked No. 1 among 146 countries. Inter-Parliamentary Union(IPU) reported that in Iceland, the proportion of congresswomen is 39.7%, and that 4 out of 10 ministers were women. The fact Iceland men are actively participating in HeForShe campaign shows that government policies for gender equality are influential in changing public awareness about the issue.
In Korea, 406 men joined HeForShe campaign so far. It is rather a small number of participants compared to Japan’s 1.057 and China’s 5.022. We look forward to seeing more Korean male celebrities posting proof of picture supporting HeForShe.
If you would like to take part in the campaign, simply upload a picture of proof that you support HeForShe on Facebook page for HeforShe Korea(www.facebook.com/heforshekr) and tag it with #HeForShe. You can find information on how to participate in the campaign when you log onto www.womennews.co.kr and click on HeForShe banner.
HeForShe is a global campaign launched by UN Women to appeal for a billion men out there to come forward as a supporter of gender equality on a notion that gender inequalities apply to all humans. In Korea, Women News is developing the campaign with UN Women.