Center for Women's Global Leadership

{Photo credit: Todd Shapera. Rwanda.}Photo credit: Todd Shapera. Rwanda.

“Please just cut to the chase! What do I need to know?” my son Jack asked.

As the mother of a 13-year-old boy, I’m witnessing firsthand how Jack and his buddies are adopting cultural male norms that neither one of us fully understands or endorses.

I’m also dealing with my own emotional dichotomy. Since my teens I’ve worked fervently to support women and girls equality, while more recently I find myself sympathizing with my son’s feelings: being left out of the conversation when it is focused solely on giving girls support. Imagine my surprise when said son (Jack) asked me about the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence” campaign.

This was a teachable moment that I knew I had to seize.

You need to know some numbers, I said, how widespread the problem is, and why this campaign matters:

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