Five Ways Men Benefit From Women Empowerment
By William Petroceli
What’s the most important thing men can do for themselves? The answer seems clear to me: work for the empowerment of women. For the last 20 years I’ve described myself as feminist. This sometimes raises eyebrows. Women occasionally look at me skeptically, thinking maybe I’ve grabbed a phrase that I know little about. Men often take it as an indication that I’ve abandoned the “team” - some probably think I’m using it as a pick-up line. And, of course, I started describing myself as a feminist just about the time that the popular media gave up on the term and moved on to something else.
When I wrote my novel The Circle of Thirteen, which is in large part a story about women’s empowerment, I wanted to explore this idea without being preachy about it. I did sneak a few sentences past my editors, however, that try to make the point. The speaker on Page 196 is Aayan Yusuf, one of the thirteen title-characters, who is speaking to the others:
There are some social problems that only women can really solve. The clearest example is overpopulation. For years governments tried all kinds of programs to reduce excessive birth rates that were undermining the economic well-being of their countries. But none of these top-down programs worked. The only thing that has worked has been the empowerment of women. In countries where women have gained in education, economic opportunity, and legal rights, the birth-rate has gone down to a manageable level. Male-run governments could not solve this alone - in fact, men were quite literally propagating the problem. It wasn’t until women were empowered enough to control their own bodies that we could see any progress.
3. Protecting women’s rights is the key to protecting everyone’s rights
4. Women’s empowerment is good for the economy and the environment