A strong call has been made by University of Fiji Vice Chancellor Professor Shaista Shameem as International Women’s Day is being celebrated globally.
In a statement, Shameem calls on all men to immediately put up their hands to eliminate gender inequality in Fiji.
She says it was time women alone stopped fighting for their rights and freedoms all by themselves, usually heard only during IWD.
Shameem says men can no longer pretend that gender inequality has nothing to do with them personally.
She says for far too long, women have had to take full responsibility for promoting and protecting their rights.
She adds that men will not be emasculated or lose their maleness by taking on full responsibility for gender equality in Fiji; rather, they will be strengthened by it and admired and loved even more for their innovation in calling out for equity.
She says the problem was never women; it was always men, adding that we can sanitize this problem by calling it ‘patriarchy’ or whatever anthropological term suits, but the reality is that men, collectively, have always benefited from women’s disadvantage’.
Professor Shameem stated that men should now feel empowered to take on the lack of gender equity problem as their own problem and solve it.
She says the ball is in their court to show the world how to lead by example.
The University of Fiji’s Vice Chancellor also took time to acknowledge the significant and most welcome presence of men at the Samabula Campus IWD Panel discussion.