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Factors of Ukrainian men involving in men’s movements that support gender equality

Maryna Ohanesian, Tamara Martsenyuk

Abstract: In recent years, Ukraine has received more attention to the issues of masculinity, the position of men and their participation in activism in support of gender equality. In Ukraine, there are several men’s organizations and initiatives that support the ideas of gender equality: dad schools, men against violence, HeforShe Ukraine and HeforShe Congresses, profeminist schools for men, national networks of male leaders against violence, an international union of courageous dads, etc. Feminist public activists appear to talk about the benefits of gender equality. The men’s movement for gender equality in the world and in Ukraine is seen as focusing on either women’s rights or men’s rights. According to men’s movement researcher Michael Messner, institutional privileges and costs of masculinity are the aspects of the classification of male movements. As a result of the analysis of six in-depth interviews with Ukrainian activists of men’s movements, Michael Messner’s ideas were illustrated with examples from Ukrainian society. Factors involving men in men’s movements for gender equality differ depending on the type of the men’s movement. Women’s rights movements were characterized by awareness of cases of discrimination against women and a corresponding sense of solidarity and compassion. Movements for men’s rights – by awareness of cases of discrimination against men in their own experience, a sense of the need to respond to the movement for women’s rights, and the situation of men’s movements in Ukraine, i.e. factors that directly affect men. In addition, it has been found that there are common factors in involving men in women’s and men’s rights movements, such as the existence of a feminist movement, a sense of the need for change, and a desire to be involved in local or global change. Expert interviews have found that the use of personal experience is the most effective way to influence the level of men’s involvement in men’s movements for gender equality, including in Ukraine. Attention to real cases of gender discrimination against women will be perceived more sincerely and openly than statistics. Attention to real cases of gender discrimination against women will be perceived more sincerely and openly than statistics. In addition, it is important to demonstrate the experience of men who understand the benefits of gender equality for men as well. They, according to experts, will be able to serve as examples for other men to follow. Separately, experts noted the role of education in the desire to join the struggle of men for the idea of gender equality. Both non-formal education programs and formal education on equal rights and opportunities can be tools for introducing changes in men’s attitudes to discrimination.
Keywords: Ukraine / involving men / benefits of gender equality / movements / Feminist / idea of gender

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