Barbershop Conference

feb2Recognizing that achieving gender equality will require the active participation of men and boys too, in January the UN held its first “Barbershop Conference,” aimed at dispelling stereotypes, promoting non-discriminatory and non-sexist male attitudes, promoting gender equality, and ending violence against women and girls. The name was created to give the impression of a comfortable, safe place for a man-to-man conversation (but women were there too!) Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson said that he and the Secretary General “are convinced that this has to be the century of women and girls.” Head of UN Women Mrs. Mlambo-Ngcuka echoed that “it is not enough to be a good boy and a good man in a bad system. Our challenge is to change the system, because a bad system can bring a good man down.” Check the recent UN initiative called HeforShe (He for She) that encourages men and boys to participate in the global discourse on ending discrimination and violence against women…find it at