I am Generation Equality: Jerry Azilinon, HeForShe champion, youth activistBillions of people across the world stand on the right side of history every day. They speak up, take a stand, mobilize, and take big and small actions to advance women’s rights. This is Generation Equality.
I am Generation Equality because…
Three things you can do to be part of Generation Equality:
- Learn about gender issues and women's rights
- Educate boys to make them understand that women have equal rights as men and should be respected
- Refuse to be an accomplice or silent bystander in actions that violate women's rights
I realized that in the world we live in, the rights of women are violated every day. In many of our countries in Africa, we aspire to development while muzzling half of our population. It’s like a football coach who wants to win a game while using just half of his team, it doesn’t make sense.
I decided to get more involved to play my part. Enabling women to enjoy their rights is not a favor, it is not a heroic act, it is just normal.
Educating men and boys is essential
I decided to educate men, so they understand that we have been living with privileges that we do not deserve. We must relinquish these privileges so that we can start over with equal opportunities between men and women.
Violence against women is one of the biggest issues we face. I believe this is mainly because we lack information. There are so many people who hear about rape but minimize it because they do not realize the proportion of the problem.
I often do school tours where I chat with boys to make them understand the concepts of gender, gender-based violence and women's rights.
We need all men to support women’s rights so that we can move forward more quickly.
Small actions can yield big results
“Enabling women to enjoy their rights is not a favor, it is not a heroic act, it is just normal.”
You don’t have to declare yourself a feminist right away or go out with signs to protest. You can start by taking small actions, recognizing women’s merit, understanding that everything that men can do, and access, should be available to women.
At home there are many simple actions one can take: understand that housework is not reserved for your sisters, wake up and clean your own room every day, help in cooking, respect girls at school.
If we see that one of our friends harassing a woman and it makes her uncomfortable, we can intervene and ask him to stop.
Fighting for women's rights must be a way of life, we must live it every day.
Jerry Azilinon, 23,is a HeForShe Champion for UN Women in Senegal and also a champion for the One Campaign against extreme poverty.. He is part of UNICEF Youth Council in Senegal and in his spare time he serves as Vice-Coach of an all-female soccer team.