The facts outlined in our #Better4Men campaign are compelling. There are many areas of life where men and boys are struggling. From the results boys achieve at every stage of education to the high male suicide rates, we can and must do better.
This doesn’t mean we should stop working to improve the lives of women and girls. Most Australians believe in equality between men and women, but they also feel we should be doing more to include men and boys in our efforts to improve gender equality.
This means taking action to tackle the inequalities that men and boys experience in areas like education, health, suicide prevention, family life, work, safety, economic security and social connection. The evidence for action is clear:
- Men account for 2 out of 3 deaths from preventable causes (under 75)
- Women are nearly 40% more likely to attend university
- Men experience 71% of disease linked to alcohol
- 9 out of 10 workplace deaths are men
- 3 in 4 suicides are men
- Private employers give dads seven times more leave than mums
- 12x more male suicides are linked to finances than female suicides
- Psychological distress is 3x higher in socially isolated males
- Governments at all levels have women’s strategies, but not men’s strategies
Taking time to consider the severity of the issues facing men and boys can be overwhelming. It’s easy to dismiss these problems as being the responsibility of individual men or to seek out a singular cause to explain away these issues, such as traditional masculinity.
Men’s issues are more complex than that. They arise out of the way we structure our society and our communities and they remain largely unchanged and unresolved because we don’t know what action to take.
The #Better4Man campaign is designed to help people, and particularly politicians and policy makers, to take the first steps towards tackling some the key issues men and boys face. It doesn’t matter where you sit on the political spectrum, you cannot create a better future for everyone unless you focus on the needs of men and boys, in addition to the needs of women and girls.
These twin objectives are not incompatible. When we help a boy do better school, or support a man to live a healthier life, or prevent a father from dying at work, we create a positive benefit for the men, women and children in his life.
Doing better for men and boys, means doing better for everyone, which is why we invite everyone interested in the #Better4Men campaign to take action to improve the lives and health of men and boys in Australia.
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