In the words of Zlatan Milisic: “I urge all young men and boys to become strong drivers for transformative change”

Zlatan Milisic, UN Resident Coordinator in Tanzania is a HeForShe Champion who advocates for educating men and boys on the importance of achieving gender equality and contribute to strengthening partnerships with various actors to confront all barriers standing against women’s participation in leadership across all sectors.

Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Mr. Zlatan Milisic
The UN Women Representative in Tanzania, Hodan Addou presents an advocacy package for male champions to Zlatan Milisic after he became UN Women’s HeForShe Champion early this year. Photo: UN Women/ TsitsiMatope.

iconAcross the world, historic imbalances in power dynamics between women and men, aggravated by mounting inequalities within and between societies and countries, perpetuate discrimination against women and girls. As seen in many countries, cultural practices and traditions; and religion are often times misrepresented to restrain women’s rights, embed sexism and defend practices that disadvantage women and girls.

As a result, many women are left out of decision-making processes, which they should be included to enable influencing decisions that affect them. As men and boys, we all have a part to play to contribute to turning the tide to create a gender-equal future. 

In Tanzania, through powerful instruments such at the National Plan of Action to End Violence Against Women and Children, we have the opportunity to revitalize our programme actions and innovations, working with male champions for gender equality for a transformative change of mindset and attitudes to effectively address gender-based violence and gender discrimination.

The removal of barriers to gender equality can ensure that girls remain in school until they complete their tertiary education, and also promote women to reach their full potential, hence increasing their representation in key decision making positions across all sectors, including in the male-dominated sectors. 

Working with the Government, the United Nations’ commitment to gender equality has created opportunities for us to promote narratives that advocate for equal participation of women and girls, including those with disabilities, in all spheres of life. As male champions, we must invest our time in educating other men and boys on the importance of achieving gender equality, and contribute to strengthening partnerships with various actors to confront all barriers standing against the advancement of women.  

I urge all young men and boys to become strong drivers for transformative change and to turn their strategies into actions that will promote women and girls to fully participate and lead in various sectors.

I know that a gender-equal future will not come on a silver platter, and this is despite the fact that achieving gender inclusivity would benefit all people. It is therefore important for all male champions to continue pushing for all generations of men to become part of the gender equality movement. That would ensure that men and boys are not bystanders, and in some cases, standing against this noble cause for gender equality.

I strongly encourage all men to rally behind shared vision for a gender-equal Tanzania, and actively contribute to the creation of opportunities for young women and girls in the sectors we are working, supporting gender-equality work in different institutions, in our communities and through our social networks.