HeForShe Campaign Launch in India at Rendezvous Festival

The responsibility of men and boys to promote women’s rights and gender justice, both as advocates and stakeholders Supported by UN Women, at Dogra Hall, IIT New Delhi, on October 18, 2014 at 3.00PM

Date: Friday, October 17, 2014

New Delhi - UN Women is launching the HeForShe campaign in India during the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi ) Rendezvous Festival in which this year’s theme is SHE, a social awareness campaign. UN Women believes that it is critical to engage all stakeholders in support of women’s rights, including the active participation of men and boys.  On Saturday 18th October 2014 at 3pm, at the campaign will be officially launched in India by the H.E Minister Mrs Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Ministry of Women and Child Development.  This will be followed by a panel discussion themed, ‘Men and boys’ responsibility in promoting women’s gender justice, both as advocates and stakeholders’, composed of leaders from the gender justice movement and UN Agencies.

Minister for Women and Child Development, Mrs Maneka Sanjay Gandhi emphasized the need for sensitizing the youth on issues related to gender equality. She stated, “when a father respects the mother  and  other  women  in  the  house,  the  children  learn  to  respect  women  as  a  part  of  their upbringing. The Ministry of Women and Child Development has started many initiatives over the last four months to empower women including: the one stop crisis centers for women, the national mission on malnutrition, and the beti bachayo beti padhayo campaign."

A street theatre and singing performance with the theme of gender equality and women’s empowerment will be held at 10am and 2pm, at the Seminar Hall.

UN Women Representative, Dr Rebecca Tavares stated, “We need boys and men to work with us. HeForShe is a global solidarity movement to end gender inequality by 2030. The goal is to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change in the effort to achieve equality. When women are empowered, the whole of humanity benefits."

UN Women works with partners to increase public interest through compelling public outreach and advocacy efforts and is partnering with MenEngage, an acclaimed international forum that mobilizes men and boys from around the world, to advocate for gender equality.  MenEngage will be hosting the 2nd Men Engage Global Symposium ‘Men and Boys for Gender Justice’ which will take place on the 10th-13th November 2014 in New Delhi, India.

Dr.Abhijit Das, from Director, Centre for Health & Social Justice, shared that “masculinity is a burden on men and boys. We need to break this mind-set and this is the aim of the MenEngage.”

A UN Women booth is designed to get students to pledge their support for gender justice by signing up to the campaign.  The HeForShe Campaign is a solidarity movement for gender equality developed by UN Women to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights. The campaign encourages them to speak out and take action against inequalities faced by women and girls. The campaign was officially launched on the 20th  of September 2014 at the UN General Assembly. Since then 100,000 men have pledge support with 4000 in India.

UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Lise Grande stated, “We hope that men and boys raise their voices against inequality and commit themselves to equal partnerships. This is how progress will be made.”