On September 20 last year, Emma Watson gave a widely acclaimed speech at the United Nations, launching the HeForShe campaign – one aimed at starting a broader conversation and building a broader coalition to promote global gender equity.
Gender equity is important, but can be difficult to talk about in public forums. Having broad conversations about gender equity is particularly important because allies are critical to progress. Active support from male allies is important to combatting sexualization, sexual harassment, sexual violence, disparities in economic and political power, and other issues facing women. Similarly, female allies, particularly within the gender equity movement, are needed to bring men’s issues, including high suicide rates, declining educational achievement, disparities in family and criminal law, and lack of social support for male victims of sexual violence, into mainstream consciousness. Allies within the male-female gender binary are important to addressing equity issues facing LGBTQ individuals and others with non-binary gender identities.
To kick off this type of broad discussion on The Tête-à-Tête in a Canadian context, we reached out to several Canadian experts on gender equity issues, from a diverse array of perspectives, of which three graciously agreed to participate. Each author contributed an article (here, here, and here) addressing the question, ‘What changes can we make to our social, political and legal institutions to improve gender equity in Canada?’ Before posting, the authors provided each other with detailed and constructive double-blind peer reviews, and then revised their own articles in response to the comments they received.
We want to hear from you too. What changes to social, political, and legal institutions do you think are most needed to improve gender equity in Canada? Please let us know in the comments, or pitch us an article or essay of your own. With your help, we hope to build understanding, trust, and common ground – the foundations of a coalition – and to inspire continued progress toward an important goal.