Feminism isn’t just a women’s issue. On International Men’s Day, here’s five ways in which it also helps men.
1. It boosts the economy
The empowerment of women has strengthened the economy in multiple ways, from increased tax revenues to boosted family incomes to increased purchasing power. In addition, McKinsey’s research has down that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 per cent more likely to perform better than their national industry medians respectively.
And there is still so much more potential to be realized. In its 2015 report, The power of parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth, McKinsey has also demonstrated how the world could add 11 per cent or $12trn to annual gross domestic product in 2025 if it narrowed the gender gap. For the UK, every 10 percent increase in gender diversity sees an increase in EBIT (Earnings before Interest and Taxes) of 3.5 per cent – growth which will impact on everyone, not just women.
2. It enables men to spend more time with their children
“Men too want to bathe their kids, attend their sports days and play as full as role as possible as an involved father. Furthermore men without children also want to be able to have a rich life outside work with time to pursue hobbies and interests,” says Jeanine Prime, Senior Vice President Research at Catalyst who leads its ‘Engaging Men’ work.
There are many ways in which feminist campaigns have enabled men to spend more time with their children, from increased paternity rights and shared caring responsibilities through to flexible working opportunities.
3. It gives men more reproductive control
Accessibility of birth control and abortion rights aren’t just good for women, they’re good for men also. Men also bear the consequences of having children, and therefore the expansion of reproductive rights affects them also – giving them more control over if and when they have children.
4. It has ensured that the burden of war doesn’t fall entirely on men’s shoulders
Opening up the armed forces, including the frontline to women, means that no longer are men are wholly responsible for national security, and that the military can maximise the full breadth of talent available.
5. It has helped bring a smile to men’s faces
Contrary to what you might believe, dividing household chores more equally between men and women has been proven to make men happier. Add to this more money, more time with their children, more control over reproduction and no longer being entirely responsible for war – and it’s easy to see lots of ways in which men’s happiness increases as a result of women’s empowerment.