Why its not easy to teach "Gender Equality" to children in our homes
|   Mar 03, 2017
Why its not easy to teach "Gender Equality"  to children in our homes

Anya and Arnav were playing, when their father calls out for Anya. There is a guest in home and he wants her to bring water for the guest. Anya reluctantly went to the kitchen to get water thinking, " Why do I have to do this always? Why can't Arnav Bhaiya bring water? What is the big deal?" Then she remembered her mother's words . "It's a girl's or woman's job to do household work. No matter what you become in future, doctor, engineer or anything, you have to do household work, know how to cook, clean and do other house stuff".

Meanwhile Arnav was busy in playing thinking how cool it is to be a boy, as you don't have to do any work and nobody ask him for a glass of water every now and then like Anya. Boys don't do such work. After all his father also didn't do any work at home. I am sure most of you can relate to the story one way or another, either you were brought up with a brother like this, or have seen someone brought up like this, or may be in spite of you wanting otherwise, your children are getting same message from olders and friends.  If you want to change this, you are either called too modern or someone who doesn't want to do her work i.e, you are lazy. We talk about gender discrimination, but when it comes to our home, we are still in those patriarchal practice.  Few more examples in homes, which contradicts gender equality are :

  • Women doing all work at home, and men relaxing and watching TV. Whether a woman is working or housewife, housework is her responsibility. When children see this, aren't we teaching them that men are superior, and that's why they can lounge around in home, while women work all day.
  • When men do participate in household chores it's called "help", a favour, so it's like the superior gender is doing a favour to us.
  • Sons are brought up believing , that when he will get married all his responsibilities of washing his cloths, cooking, taking care of him would be his wife's responsibility. It's like marriage is not about companionship, but household work and cooking.
  • Men always eat first. It's a tradition being followed in many families even now. No matter how hungry woman of the house is, until men has eaten, a woman can't eat too, even if she is starving. 
  • The tradition of a woman fasting for long and healthy life of her husband. There is nothing wrong in doing it, but the message it gives is "a man's life is more important than a woman". No one tells the children that women have the strength and heart for doing something like this, they deserve more respect for this.

We can find more such examples, which contradicts gender equality. So, if we want to teach gender equality to our children, we have to start at our home. For that, not only today's parents, but the older generation will have to understand that times have changed, and they have to help shape our children into becoming a good and responsible person, in this ever changing world.

p.s : These are my personal views, and my intention is not to hurt anyone's personal and traditional beliefs.

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