January 12, 2018
The last few years have seen more and more women joining traditionally male-dominated spaces. Thanks to an increase in female participation in the job market and better access to education, technology and politics, society has slowly become a little fairer than before. Nevertheless, this process requires men to commit in favor of gender equality.
The importance of equality has been addressed in discourse, but in real life, women still face daily discrimination which calls for a renovation of the concept of masculinity. A new perception of masculinity entails active participation of men in the effort to achieve gender equality. To rebuild the concept of masculinity requires all of us to expand our horizons, and abandon the gender roles that culture compels us to follow.
Many men, especially younger ones, are questioning traditional models of masculinity. There is growing awareness of injustice and of the negative consequences conveyed by a patriarchal system. More people are mindful of the fact that sexism limits the development of human beings. Sexism discriminates and oppresses women as well as it holds men back.
Masculinity is held up by a series of values, attitudes and myths. How many times have we heard that real men should be strong, unemotional, competitive and the successful bread-winners of the household? The truth is, not all men are comfortable trying to achieve these expectations. New masculinities challenge the traditional model. More and more men are willing to rid themselves of toxic burdens and unnecessary pressure as they commit to gender equality.
Gender shouldn’t define our paths to happiness and personal fulfillment. New masculinities offer a dynamic and genuine road that reconnects men with their true human essence. While women have ventured into traditionally male-dominated spaces, men begin to claim the freedom of expression and the right to find realization in new activities without being socially judged for doing so.
It’s time to overcome a male-dominated perspective that has put women down. We are faced with the challenge of building a fairer society where men are eager to rewrite a concept of masculinity which promotes equality. Such change will pave the way for discrimination-free, conscientious generations to whom sexism is a thing of the past.
I celebrate the men who have begun this process. Let’s walk together, shoulder to shoulder, with the knowledge that we were born with the same human rights. Only through cooperation may we achieve real change.
Angélica Fuentes, Founder Equal Invest
Angelica is a well-respected Latin American business woman and philanthropist, who has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of Mexico’s most influential women. Ms.Fuentes was appointed CEO of Grupo Imperial in 1992 and quickly positioned the company as a top player in Northern Mexico’s energy sector. Under her leadership, Grupo Imperial’s annual growth rate increased from 5% in 1992 to 9.5% in 2005.
Prior to joining Grupo Imperial, Ms.Fuentes served as CEO of Grupo Omnilife-Angelissima-Chivas from 2007 to 2015. Under her leadership, the company became one of the top 100 corporations in Mexico. Previously, Ms.Fuentes served as President of the Business Energy Network of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Agreement (APEC) from 2002 to 2004, and as President of the Mexican Natural Gas Association from 1996 to 2000.
Throughout her career, Ms.Fuentes has dedicated significant time and resources to NGOs, international organizations and professional groups that champion women. Her work in this field has been recognized by numerous honors and awards including in 2015, when Ms.Fuentes became the first female CEO to receive the Women’s Empowerment Principles CEO Leadership Award for championing gender equality in the private sector.
Ms.Fuentes established the Angélica Fuentes Foundation in 2014, the philanthropic culmination of her lifelong commitment to improving the lives of women across the globe.