A Man’s Perspective of Woman’s Rights

By Sam Padayachee

As a man observing the progression of women’s rights, I find our collective understanding of equality both crucial and transformative. For too long, women have fought an uphill battle for rights that, frankly, should have been unquestioned from the start: the right to vote, to education, to equal pay, and to personal autonomy.

Acknowledging that I speak from a position of inherent male privilege must be the grounding force of this discourse. My gender has, historically and unjustly, been the benefactor of social and economic systems designed to favor men. Yet in recognizing this, it doesn’t diminish the role men must play as allies in the fight for gender equality; rather, it becomes our fundamental responsibility.

Considering women’s rights from a male perspective shouldn’t be about speaking for women. It should be about listening to their voices, amplifying their messages, and actively supporting their causes. The push towards a society that respects and upholds women’s rights is not just about correcting injustices, it is also about enriching our collective human experience.

In every aspect—from legislatures passing laws that protect and empower women, to the boardrooms ensuring equal opportunities and fair compensation, men must be proactive participants. When we overlook the contributions, perspectives, and leadership of more than half the population, we as a society stand to lose.

The protection of reproductive rights is a poignant example of where men’s voices are not to be the loudest but should echo the call made by women for autonomy over their bodies. It is not enough to be passive supporters of a women’s right to choose; men must engage in the political and social arenas where these rights are endangered.

Furthermore, the pernicious effects of toxic masculinity injure us all and perpetuate attitudes and behaviors that obstruct women’s rights. Confronting this is not an attack on manhood; it’s an evolution towards better versions of ourselves that respect and celebrate equality.

Men benefit from gender equality. In homes where domestic duties are shared, in societies where violence against women is adamantly opposed, men experience richer relationships and more stable communities. Moreover, in raising the next generation, it is imperative that boys are taught by example to view and treat women as equals.

In the end, discussing women’s rights from a man’s viewpoint is less about offering a different perspective and more about acknowledging our shared human rights. The pursuit of equality is a shared mission for the betterment of society as a whole. It is a pursuit that demands our action, not just in the public sphere but in the intimate spaces of personal relationships. Women’s rights, after all, are human rights.

Sam Padayachee is the Ontario Regional Representative for Human Rights