International Women’s Day 2024

On International Women's Day, we recognize that upholding the rights of all women and girls requires collective action from all people of all genders. We join the call to amplify the voices of women and girls–in all their diversity–for an equitable and just present and future. We are committed to mobilize men and boys as agents of change for feminist gender justice.

On this occasion, we reaffirm the necessary work to be done with men and boys to be part of the movement for the rights and empowerment of women and girls in all spaces, including in decision making, within their communities, at work, at home, and beyond. 

In a concerning trend, recent studies find that an increasing number of men and boys feel threatened by the growing recognition of women’s rights and advances made towards gender equality. While gender equality has not been achieved in any country in the world, as women and girls claim their human rights and enter new spaces, a reaction occurs. For example, in the United Kingdom, France, across Europe, the USA, South Korea, and 20 countries worldwide including Japan, India, Senegal, Kenya, Colombia and Brazil, we observe with concern an increase in anti-feminist sentiments among men and boys, and anti-gender politics seeking to restore patriarchal rules of exclusion. 

This backlash appeals to men’s and boys’ experiences of challenges in a world where more and more people of all genders are denied opportunities to thrive. Online influencers play a role in this by promoting patriarchal gender norms characterized by stereotypical male aggression, dominance, and controlling behaviors. Such trends have tangible consequences for women, genderqueer communities, as well as men and boys themselves in the real world.

(Check out  “Backlash and Fundamentalism: A discussion paper of the Ubuntu Symposium” to know more about this topic). 

As MenEngage Alliance, we strive to overcome misinformation. Feminism is not a threat. It is a movement for positive change that has benefits for everyone, including men and boys. Patriarchal norms can be restrictive for all genders. They seek to keep people’s bodies, hearts and minds within strict limits. We work with feminist allies to expand critical understanding about men’s roles and patriarchal masculinities, and to empower and achieve the rights of all women and girls.

We believe that personal transformation is deeply interwoven with social change, and we call for reflection on power and privilege, as well as how we are positioned within the systems of oppression. This is particularly pertinent in the work with men and boys as agents of change for gender justice.

On this day, we reiterate our commitment to inclusion and to remain accountable to our gender equality allies as we engage men and boys in the efforts for social change and justice. By fighting mis- and dis- information about gender identities and gender norms, we can create a world where everyone enjoys the same rights. Together, we can:

  • Challenge restrictive gender norms: Break down stereotypes that limit men, boys, girls and women, allowing them to express themselves fully and authentically.
  • Involve men and boys in the pursuit of gender equality: showcase how patriarchal masculinities perpetuate oppression, particularly for women and girls, and emphasize feminism’s goal of inclusivity for all.
  • Focus on collective action and shared responsibility with our work with me and boys towards achieving a more just and equitable society