I Am a Male Ally, Ending Violence.
Giancarlo Modesto, Youth Network Coordinator
The importance of respecting women’s rights, their freedom of choice, and their freedom of expression should be recognized by every person who is concerned about the issue of gender-based violence. As a man, in my daily life, I’ve dealt with the consequences of machismo, and I see how it affects women in society when I am at work.
A few days ago, a woman came into my office. One night, she had asked her husband for money to purchase a present for her son and prepared a dinner that was not to his liking. He responded by assaulting her, verbally and physically. He broke her nose. After she told me her story, I immediately sought help for this woman, and informed the authorities so that she could be safe.
Interactions like these have had a profound effect on me, and help me to better understand the issue of gender-based violence. Maybe it's also due to the fact that my family is mostly comprised of women. The desire to end the suffering that women who have been subjected to violence experience drives me to raise awareness of the issue and provide sensitivity training. The desire to end the suffering that women who have been subjected to violence experience drives me to work harder to reduce the rates of violence in the district where I live.
I empower women who have experienced violence so they do not feel alone, and assure them that there are organizations where they can get the help they need. I encourage women to file a formal complaint and provide support to them throughout the process.
We need to be reminded that equality is synonymous to freedom, and every girl and woman deserves to be safe. Being a mother, a wife, or in a romantic relationship does not mean that women should put up with abuse. All human beings have a right to be free, and in order for that to happen, men must show respect for all women, and fight actively against violence.