Thursday, March 8, 2012

Panel 5-“Engaging young women and men, girls and boys to advance gender equality”

There were two overarching themes of this very eye opening session. The first one being the importance and promotion of gender equality and the second one mentioning the ways in which we can promote today’s youth to help advance gender equality.  The first panelist to speak, Edna Akullo,  emphasized the importance of  promoting gender equality through education and social entrepreneurship.  She also mentioned that “many young people do not understand the true meaning of gender equality” and that this issue needs to be quickly resolved in order to move foreword since this is a social problem for everyone.  However,  gender quality is still seen by many as only being a woman’s problem but that is not the case,  it effects men just as well.
The second panelist,  Roberto Tapia,  spoke about the importance of mobilizing youth in order to promote gender equality.  He spoke about issues regarding to televised stereotypes and the emphasis of how this problem is primarily cultural.  He also mentioned that in Chile,  many men still hold the higher positions compared to women. However, he also mentioned some hopeful information he sees around college campuses.  There have been more and more student movements as well as greater awareness of students about this issue.
Shghr Chandra also mentioned elements of positive change.  He also mentions that he has noticed more movements taking place on college campuses and more students being socially aware. In India,  more and more young men are being supportive of the women in their lives such as supporting them to continue their education.  He mentioned the importance of men being a part of the solution to improve gender equality since they are also a part of the problem,  saying that this is a “human issue.”

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