"Real men don't fear women" says General Assembly President

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Sam Kutesa, President of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

"Real men don't fear women", the President of the UN General Assembly told a meeting on gender equality on Thursday.

Sam Kutesa participated in the Barbershop Conference organized by Iceland and Suriname to focus on the role of men and boys in promoting gender equality.

He said that historically, women and girls have led the fight against gender inequality and gender violence bringing such issues to the forefront of global discourse.

Yet increasingly, he added, the world has come to recognize that men and boys have a critical role to play in achieving gender equality.

He recalled the HeForShe initiative launched by the UN last year to empower men and boys to join in solidarity to end all forms of inequality and discrimination faced by women and girls.

"I am happy to add my voice to the Barbershop initiative and have made gender equality and empowerment of women and girls one of my key priorities for this General Assembly session. To this end, I hope you will all join me for a high-level thematic debate on this matter on 6 March. As I said at the HeForShe event, real men don't fear women. If you want to be called a real man, do not draw your strength from oppressing women." (29")

Mr Kutesa said that the Barbershop Conference will contribute to transforming gender stereotypes, largely influenced by social norms and beliefs regarding gender roles.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations

Duration:  1’28″

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