Think of the last time you heard these statements:
- Boys don’t cry
- Girls need to learn to cook
- Men don’t belong in the kitchen
- If you wear short clothes, bad things will happen to you
- Women should always take care of their families first
- As a girl, you should play with girls only.
- Boys and girls don’t need to sit together in school.
- All married women should have children
- Men are supposed to take care of the financial needs and women should concentrate on the welfare of the home
- It is a woman’s duty to do household work.
Believe it or not, almost every person in India has heard one of these statements at least once in their life. Gender inequality starts at home, when mothers tell their daughters that they do not need to play with boys, or when fathers tell their sons that only the man of the house should earn a living and the women need to take care of their children.
The inherent problem of gender inequality lies in the fact that our childhood heroes tell us that we need to believe that men and women are only capable of doing what is in their nature. Though you may believe that this only happened in the past, you would be in for a rude shock.
In a survey conducted by Ipsos Global Trends, in 2017, 64% of Indians believe that the role of a woman is to be a good mother and a wife. On the Global Gender Gap index, India ranks 87th in the world when it comes to gender equality.
How do you change this? Well, the answer lies in your own home.
- Talk to your children: Children need to be made aware that men and women can achieve whatever they put their mind to. You need to tell them that there are certain things that are acceptable and then there are things that are not. Start by educating them about how to treat people, irrespective of their social strata.
- Set an example: Kids are like a sponge, they soak in what they see. They will replicate what they see at home, the good and the bad.
- Teach Respect: Most kids no longer understand the concept of respect. Explain to them to be kind to each other and helping out others instead of belittling them. In the long run, this is what will help create a gender sensitive society.
- Stand up for yourself: Tell your kids that they should always learn to stand up for themselves. They are just as important as everyone else and they have the right to grow in any field they want to.
- Support them: You as a parent are in a position to make or break the conscience of your child. Understand what they need and learn to support them instead of trying to get them to do what you want. Your son wants to be a fashion designer, nurture his creative side. Your sister wants to be a hockey player, encourage her to join the local league.
It doesn’t take a lot to implement gender sensitization at home. You need to start somewhere so we get to live in a society where men and women are actually equal. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. However, you need to start somewhere. So why not your own home?
Tata Tea in association with Network 18 is petitioning with the HRD ministry to incorporate mandatory Gender Sensitivity Programs at all levels in our education system. Once in force, these programs will have the potential to raise a nation where women are treated with respect and equality. So, come forward and join hands with us to make India a better place and help our women experience the freedom in the real sense of the word.
Click here to sign the petition.
This is a partnered post.
Updated Date: Aug 02, 2017 17:13 PM