|   Apr 01, 2016
Everyone talks of gender equality but no one really works towards achieving it! This is the sorry state of our attitude towards social causes. I firmly believe that it is we who have to take the first step as mentioned in my previous article – ‘NURTURE GENDER EQUALITY'. 
Our first goal is to attain gender equality at home!
# Parents have to believe in this concept of gender equality first before advocating it to others. This should reflect in their lifestyle.
# No abusing, ill-treating or taking for granted the women at home!
# All the decisions in the family, however big or small should be taken with mutual consent. 
 The children at home should be able to sense this. A couple of years ago, I remember my little one making an observation and telling his granny – 'In our house, if we ask Papa anything, he will always say ask Mama; and when we ask Mama, she will definitely say , check with Papa!  What should we do? Double work for us!' 
So the child had realized that for any issues or any permission he seeks, he will have to get the consent of both of us as both his parents had equal stakes in any decision. This is true equality nurtured in the family and the minds of your children. (the issues can be as small as ordering pizza for dinner, going for a school picnic or plans for the weekend!)
# Husbands should not shy away from helping in household chores, especially in the presence of guests! Nowadays, people no more look down upon such things. In fact, helpful husbands are in great demand these days  and are admired by all the ladies in the neighbourhood!
Husbands can help in a number of simple ways. They can help kids with their home works, packing bags, clearing the room, getting them ready for school etc. They can help with the laundry – start the wash/dry the clothes/fold the clothes whatever the need maybe. If they are good at cooking, they can lend a helping hand. If not good at cooking, then please practice during weekends under the guidance of Mr. Google! This is possible in joint families too. My husband is known as the best dosa maker at home – a tag given by my ‘mom - in - law'!
Wives too should help the husbands in fixing bulbs, taps, computers etc. They can hang around, observe, pass the required tools and gradually learn the job. No skill is a waste – will come handy later! When free you can take over the bank, school and market-related activities too. At times, you can take the car or sooty for repairs and servicing! You can take your son for a haircut too. Gender equality after all...
Once all of the above are achieved, then you qualify to start developing the same kind of mindset in your kids. You have to be their role models.
(The word kids in the sentences below mean son and daughter – if you are lucky to have both.)
# Encourage your kids to get up at the same time in the mornings.
# Give your kids equal academic opportunities.
# Give the kids equal extracurricular opportunities at school.
# Give your kids equal time to play or hang out with friends.
# Give your kids equal pocket money.
# Give your kids the same deadline time for returning back from play or outing with friends.
# Encourage them to help with simple household chores like shelling peas or boiled eggs, watering the plants, keeping the garbage can outside, filling water bottles for the fridge, loading the washing machine, drying out small clothes on the stand etc. This will only make their life easier as they grow.
If you as parents follow the above tips at home, I am sure that the kids growing up in such environment will definitely be able to liberate our society from the shackles of gender inequality!


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