18 Feb, 2013 Last updated: 30 Mar, 2015

By Jerril Rechter, VicHealth CEO

This letter to the editor was first published in Sunday Life magazine on 18 February 2013.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter

Thank you Emily Maguire for highlighting the crucial role of men in the struggle for gender equality (Sunday Life, We Can Do It! 3/2).

In 2013, it's not a question of whether men should be involved in the struggle for gender equality but rather, what more can they do?
We can only achieve equality if more bystanders speak up about men's attitudes toward women.

VicHealth’s research shows men are far less likely than women to take action against sexism when they see it. They are less likely to challenge a sexist joke in the office, or to speak up against sledging on the sports oval. And they are less likely to challenge friends or family members who are treating women unfairly.

Yes, some men are involved in building gender equality, but we need more of them. We will only see real change when men lead other men to take action, when men encourage other men to keep their attitudes in check.

- Jerril