It’s International Men’s Day today and we thought we should jot down some of the awesome men who’ve fought for equality, showcasing true feminism. From fighting for women’s rights to filing for a divorce, to equal pay for their female co-stars, here are a list of 8 men we’d like to honour and appreciate for their unwavering voice and fight for equality. Scroll down to check out the list!

1. Raja Ram Mohan Roy

Sati was widely practised among Hindus—this practice meant that the widow sacrifices her life by sitting on top of her deceased husband’s funeral pyre and burning herself to death. And it was Raja Ram Mohan Roy along with British Christian evangelist, William Carey, who voiced their opposition to this practice. The Bengal Sati Regulation was enacted in 1829 that declared the practice of Sati punishable by the criminal courts.

2. B. R. Ambedkar

We all know how Ambedkar fought for a casteless nation, and it still seems like a long way to go before we achieve his dream. But apart from fighting for untouchability and casteism, he also fought to reform the Hindu personal laws to become progressive. They included legalising inter-caste marriages along with giving women the right to initiate divorce. Imagine living in a time when you cannot file for a divorce just because you’re a woman!

3. Jyotirao Phule

Jyotirao Phule definitely worked as a saviour for women’s rights in his time. Apart from being a pioneer for women’s education in India, he also encouraged and championed widow remarriage and eventually became the advocate of this idea.

4. Benedict Cumberbatch

Not so long ago, during the premiere of Patrick Melrose, Benedict Cumberbatch did not shy away from urging the film industry to say no to collaborations and projects that paid the female actors lesser than their male co-stars. In an interview he said,

Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism. Look at your quotas. Ask what women are being paid, and say: ‘If she’s not paid the same as the men, I’m not doing it’.

It’s as simple as Cumberbatch put it, TBH!

5. Farhan Akhtar

After Pallavi Purkayastha‘s murder—a Mumbai lawyer who was brutally killed by her watchman for fighting him when he tried to sexually assault her—Farhan launched his campaign called MARD. It stands for Men Against Rape and Discrimination and aims at raising awareness against discrimination of women and rape.

6. Channing Tatum

After the victims of Harvey Weinstein‘s sexual harassments and assaults started coming forward, Channing Tatum did not just speak out but also pulled his film as it was being developed with Weinstein’s production company. It’s always great to see men come out and speak in support but actions like these stay etched forever and truly create an atmosphere that encourages change.

7. David Schwimmer

The Friends star has been very vocal about sexual harassment and also produced a series of short films which was a part of his campaign called #ThatsHarassment. The short films were actually based on real stories of sexual harassment at the workplace.

8. Ashton Kutcher

It’s no secret that the heartthrob Ashton Kutcher has been working to improve gender equality in various ways. He’s been quite vocal against sexual exploitation as well as trafficking which affects women every year. And he’s also used this fame to bring forward the issue of the gender gap and is a vocal advocate for women’s equal rights as well! Ashton and Demi Moore are the founders of Thorn organisation, formerly known as DNA Foundation which is an international anti-human trafficking organisation. It works to bring light on the sexual exploitation of children and fight it!

While we have incidents of the typical, male chauvinists making headlines every other day, let’s not forget to appreciate the ones fighting endlessly for equal rights and using their fame and power to put the message across. If you too know of any such men in your personal life, be sure to appreciate them for being a feminist and let them know you hear them.

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