It’s become increasingly difficult to ignore the gender inequalities plaguing our society. This isn’t an issue solely reserved for women, men need to play a role in combatting these problems. In light of the murder of Sarah Everard, and the re-opening of clubs, national consciousness surrounding the public safety of women of all ages has been placed under the microscope. This leads many to ask what more can be done to minimise instances of harassment and worse.
‘Beyond Equality’ is a crucial organisation behind these calls for change. It aims to create safe spaces which encourage open dialogue with young men and boys allowing them to understand how they can help towards creating safer and more inclusive communities.
Eight years later – and after a slight rebranding – ‘Beyond Equality’ has transformed its engagement, reaching out to a greater number of other organisations and communities, as well as continuing its work within academic establishments across the UK. It promotes open dialogue about masculinity.
‘Beyond Equality’s’ vision: to create a ‘world based on respectful, positive and equitable relationships’
Its initial mission was to engage men and boys in conversations, questioning what masculinity meant to them on a personal and societal level. ‘Beyond Equality’s’ vision: to create a ‘world based on respectful, positive and equitable relationships’.
Though their vision remains the same, their workshops have been adapted to comply further with their aim for gender equality and safety. In particular, the university programme creates an open space where attendees can engage in challenging conversations.
Each workshop aims to cover four main topics – equality and equity; allyship and inclusion; mental health and wellbeing; and sex
These sessions aim to impact the participants both on an individual and collective level. Each workshop aims to cover four main topics – equality and equity; allyship and inclusion; mental health and wellbeing; and sex. This includes consent culture and healthy relationships.
Whilst it’s impossible to discuss all these topics in extensive detail within the two-hour allocated slot, the trained facilitators run the workshop in a way which is informative and beneficial for all participants.
The success of the project speaks for itself and I think it should be adopted in every university.
Of the 38 universities ‘Beyond Equality’ has worked with in the past twelve months, 92% of participants stated they would recommend the programme to other students. The success of the project speaks for itself and I think it should be adopted in every university.
With the country gradually opening up and the return of ‘normal’ student life, including life on-campus and the re-opening of clubs and bars, there appears to be an undercurrent of unease. What should be a time of excitement and enjoyment has resulted in many asking questions regarding the safety of themselves and other students.
There are also concerns that the safety of women and non-binary people have been pushed down the agenda by Coronavirus related anxieties. Discussions about these concerns are therefore vital.
‘Beyond Equality’s’ university workshops aim to help towards building a more inclusive and safe campus culture. This is by allowing people to explore their emotions and question their attitude towards sex, relationships, inclusion and allyship.
‘Beyond Equality’ says its “Working with men and boys towards gender equality, inclusive communities, and healthier relationships.”
Surely this is something we want to see at the University of Nottingham?
For more information on the work that Beyond Equality do and how to get in touch with them please visit:
Website – www.beyondequality.org
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org (Universities Project Lead)
Instagram – @beyond_equality
Twitter – @Beyond_Equality
Featured image courtesy of Element5 Digital via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.
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