Male Role in Female Empowerment This paper looks at the issue of womens empowerment, the role of men in empowering women, women and feminist reaction to their involvement, their own reaction as men, how they can be efficiently and effectively involved and the way forward. Until the 19th century, women accepted their mediocre status in society as they lacked the educational and economic resources that would enable them challenge the prevailing social order. Attempts to right the inequalities between men and women necessitate the empowerment of women economically, socially, politically and culturally. Women must be given the educational and economic resources that will free them from mens domination, patriarch, oppression, violence and servitude. Like the case of vaccines where weakened or dead microbes of the kind that cause a disease is administered to stimulate immune system to produce antibodies against that disease, if men are seen as the perpetrators and the cause of women problems, then it is simply wise to effectively and efficiently involve them in solving societal inequalities that exist between men and women. Once feminists, advocates, activists and women in general view men everywhere as inherently part of the problem, efforts at empowering women must involve and engage men, hence the proliferation of an interest in men and masculinities in recent years. The lives of men and women are interdependent and any benefit from women empowerment will go a long way to benefit both. Hence, there was a call on countries in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) to promote mens support in the struggle for gender equality and encourage their involvement and shared responsibility in all areas of family life and reproductive health. Research has shown that, partnering with men is an important strategy for advancing womens empowerment. Again, the need for the involvement of men has been precipitated by a series of global processes such as the 48th session of the United Nations Commission on the status of Women (CSW), which discussed the role of boys and men in achieving womens empowerment and gender equality. This need for mens involvement is underscored by the fact that mens power over women in many contexts necessitates working with men to change the conditions of womens life; for mens power in society is exercised from personal decision regarding family size to the policy and programme decisions taken at all levels of government. Again, men as perpetrators arouses the need for their involvement, that is in treating the disease of womens disempowerment, ignoring the cause will only make the fight, a back and forth unprogressive agenda and as such to remedy the situation , the real cause-men, must be involved in the whole process. Also empowering women, calls for the pulling together of many resources for its accomplishment and these resources unfortunately are largely controlled by men who determines its distribution, beneficiaries and accessibility and hence it makes greater sense to pull them along on the pathway of womens empowerment to be able to assess and enjoy the resources needed in the process. Last but not the least, it is important to involve men due to the fact that, they are largely the leaders in society serving predominantly as decision makers, opinion makers as well as public figures who the younger generation both male and female emulate as part of their socialization and as such for womens empowerment to be achieved, men as leaders must be reached, encouraged and mobilized to become committed to gender equality in all aspects of human interactions and relationships to serve as good examples to the younger generation to acquire a wholesome socialization that view both men and women as equal and not as one being superior and the other inferior. It is worth noting that the exemplary life of men as leaders in the socialization of boys and girls is very vital in achieving and ensuring gender equity on the backdrop that they (boys and girls) are more susceptible to change and mental restructuring. It is therefore against these backgrounds that mens involvement in womens empowerment is deemed as very crucial and influential. On the assumption that humans in general are resistant to change, particularly to their norms values and belief systems, it is not surprising that some men have and are still fighting against the notion of womens empowerment based on the hidden reason of trying to defend their privileges and power because of fear of the loss of authority and economic benefits that they perceive womens empowerment would involve and also their resentment of what they see as attention and resources being given disproportionately to women. For some other men, the blame-game strategy of some feminists and seeing them as so evil deters them from changing their personal masculinities and also join in the struggle for women empowerment. On the other divide, the attention being paid to men on their involvement in addressing their superiority ideologies, over-emphasized masculinities, violent and abusive behavior in stimulating changes in their relationships with girls and women has been met with the feminist ideology of on our terms/conditions indicating a limited space for mens involvement and tangible participation. Although male involvement in womens empowerment has been of recent concern, many women working in the field remain unconfident, uncertain, antagonistic and very hostile to the idea that men might be or are partners in the fight for gender equality. Thus the emergence of men as advocates for womens empowerment has been received with a lot of suspicion, within some feminist circles; they are viewed as competitors for the limited funds available for womens rights and not as a supporting initiative. Some argue that men were coming to take over with the aim of wiping out feminist movement whilst others see men as competitors in empowering women rather than complimentary to their efforts and advocacy. Interestingly, in the mens fraternity, men working as aids to womens empowerment are seen as betraying their fellow men and sometimes referred to as men who are sat on by women in their communities. Mens role in the promotion of womens empowerment has therefore become topical and yet contested in various quarters among feminist and women who work in the field. Many feminist have viewed the involvement of men in womens empowerment with so much suspicion emanating from the distrust for men and their fear that men will try to use subtle and deceptive means to defend and maintain their privileges and power because of fear of the loss of authority and economic benefits thereby undermining the fight for womens empowerment. Men have been seen as the cause and perpetrators of the down trodden image of women and therefore it is quite uncomfortable for some feminist at involving them in their fight. Perhaps questions like why these men should be involved in the first place, how are they to be involved, whether they are willingly and will be truly committed to the fight, why on earth will men be interested in empowering women considering the superiority, power and autonomy they enjoy, and what solutions, measures and prescriptions do they have to offer in empowering them as women repeatedly clouds the minds of many feminist. This suspicion also arises from the issue of whether men will really welcome the idea and state of women being equal to them in terms of status, power, and leadership and decision-making, are men really determined to work with women without setting or prescribing boundaries and limitation to how, which form and the extent to which women can be empowered. It is therefore against this background that many if not all women view mens involvement in their empowerment with much suspicion, hostility and hesitations. For some their hostility arises from the fear that the involvement of men in their empowerment would overshadow their efforts with them selling out to a watered down agenda. Again, in working with men to empower women, most development institutions lack the needed determination and focus of working towards a more equal world where men will not be seen as superior to women. Certainly the way in which work with men has been taken up by development institutions has often been lacking in ambition and devoid of political intent, preoccupied with creating more equitable men, rather that galvanizing mens activism for a more equal world.( Cornwall et al, Dialogues on womens empowerment). Gender equality work with men cannot expect to participate in efforts to secure gender justice simply on the basis of men being the other half of gender but an interdependent part. Personally, for the empowerment of women to be achieved, the role of men can never be overemphasized due to the fact that the lives of men and women are intertwined such that whatever affects one directly or indirectly affects the other. It is worth noting that men even in the most traditional and patriarchal societies believe and support womens empowerment and would want to see their mothers, sisters, daughters and wives live in a society where equity and justice is paramount. Many more men in our view are ready to lace with their women folk in their empowerment- this can clearly be seen around us with the increase in the number of feminist men who have joined in the battle. However if women and feminist want men to be truly committed and involved in their empowerment, then these men should be seen as allies and not competitors, thus men should be seen as complimentary to their efforts rather their challengers or rivals. Again, the tagging men as evil and destructive must stop; otherwise men will continue to be defensive and resistant to the changes that women desire in them for their empowerment. If we want to reach out to men to influence change, we cannot portray men as evil, since no man identifies himself as such Instead, non-judgmental messages which can provoke thinking and reflection among men for change must be employed. Also, feminist suspicion of men on their involvement in the fight for womens empowerment must give way to trust through restructuring of their thought pattern and channeling their energies in reaching, encouraging, empowering and mobilizing men to become part of the movement which is committed to womens empowerment. Furthermore it is important to educate and sensitize boys in their formative years through both formal educational system and in informal setting through peer programmes and also efforts must be made to incorporate attention of men and boys in legislation, policies and programmes on womens empowerment and to develop ways to ensure active participation. Last but not the least, many more men can be brought on board if they are encouraged, expose and educated on the need to empower women by their peers. It will be an easier effort if men speak to men on womens empowerment because men feel more comfortable discussing such issues with their peers and are more convince when their peers informs them on issues. Despite all the drawbacks and challenges outlined above, no responsible man would love to see the children and wife become paupers or marginalized. Considering the important role women play in the development agenda, it is only proper men get involved irrespective of how some women activist view it. Women have the primary task of child rearing and therefore need all the resources to execute this task in other to break the cyclical transmission of poverty from generation to generation. Women transmit values to the next generation therefore, to make the biggest impact on development; society must empower and invest in its women. The lives of men and women are interdependent and any benefit from women empowerment will go a long way to benefit both. Hence, it is no wonder that when the call was made on countries in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) to promote mens support in the struggle for gender equality and encourage their involvement and shared responsibility in all areas of family life and reproductive health many men accepted. With mens power in public and private life, their cooperation is indispensable in the domestic and community spheres, national politics, finance and governance. Consequently, the empowerment of women is very crucial for the development of any society considering the roles they play in society and the fact they form more than half of the human resource of a nation but their empowerment cannot materialize without men being involved. Men have been at the centre stage of the issue of societal inequalities and hence remedying the situation requires their involvement. However, some feminist have met this development with much suspicion, hostility and distrust for these men. On the other hand, some feminist are advocating for the involvement of men as a way of addressing gender inequalities and mobilizing resource for womens empowerment. Accordingly, there is the need for those who work in the field to reach, encourage, empower, and mobilize men to become part of the fight to achieve greater success.
Nicotine as a Means for Weight Control: Tobacco drieth the brain, dimmeth the sight, vitiateth the smell, hurteth the stomach, destroyeth the concoction, disturbeth the humours and spirits, corrupteth the breath, induceth a trembling of the limbs, exsiccateth the windpipe, lungs, and liver, annoyeth the milt, scorcheth the heart, and causeth the blood to be adjusted." Tobias Venner Via pecta ad vitam Longam, 1693 (Fielding, 1992) Introduction: Since around the 1950's-60's, smoking has been a target of attack for the scientific community and rightly so. Smoking, as well as other forms of tobacco use, has been proven to be linked with serious health problems and diseases such as lung cancer and emphysema. Research has become so extensive that actual causal and not simply correlational relationships have been proven. Yet, smoking remains the number one preventable cause of premature death and disability in theunited States (390,000 death per year.) (gopher:flminerva.acc.Virginia:70/00/p ... ubstancetfacts/substance/drucl/tobacco.txt.) So after all the negative evidence of smoking and other uses of tobacco products, why do people insist on continuing? The presence of a substance called nicotine partly answers this question, Nicotine effects in tobacco products are associated with addiction, tolerance, and motivation reasons for use. One motivation less focused on but none the less very important is the use of nicotine as an appetite suppressant. Many people, especially young women, associate nicotine with weight loss and dietary control. Two questions arise: Is the claim that nicotine as a means to control weight grounded in factual evidence, or rather the product of an image portrayed by the tobacco industry?... ...nce Abuse, 5, 391-400. Richmond RL- Kehoe L-, & Webster IW. Weight change after smoking cessation in general practice. Medical Journal of Australia, 158, 821-2. Schwid SR., Hirvonen MD., & Keesey 13E. (1992). Nicotine effects on body weight a regulatory perspective. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 55, 878-84. Seah Mi., Raygada M., & Grunberg NE. (1994). Effects of nicotine on body weight and plasma insulin in female and male rats. Life Sciences. 55, 925-31. Winders SE., Dykstra T., Coday MC., Amos JC., Wilson MR>, & Wilkins DR. Use of phenylpropanolamine to reduce nicotine cessation induced weight gain in rats. Psychopharmacology, 108, 501-6. Winders SE., Wilkins DR. 2d, Rushing PA., & Dean JE. (1993) Effects of nicotine cycling on weight loss and regain in male rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior, 46, 209-13.
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