Reflections 5. – Raising Children Gender Equitably

woman running on grassy meadow in mountainous valley

This wont be a concern in some parts of the world but in India the basic equality still a girl child is fighting for is right to education , she is considered to be more of help at home and learn house chores cooking ,helping her family , learning skills that will benefit her later when she gets married .Even though times are changing, But getting educated also has not much changed her status because the main reason being she finds a suitable match .There are many factors that begin at home which unless has a changed mindset even education is not going make her equal .

More than what we say how we behave with the women in the family forms base of children’s behavior , attitude and opinion towards women. There are well educated families with women excelled in their fields yet they have their clear defined roles and responsibility of house chores, when it comes to decision related to self children or family the man has the final say, rules and norms she has to follow within the extended family and the freedom to express within a family also have restrictions. She is expected to be humble and respectful no matter how great achiever she is , nor is ever recognized for her achievements.

The first step is to take equal responsibility in the house chores so she doesn’t seems the weaker or lesser one nor does the work is termed as lower , speak to children how the women of the house are responsible for everybody’s success. Behave and speak respectfully to women in front of children and always have discussions or opinions and not impose on them.

Cultural norms and mindset related to gender creates a lot of discrimination at home between siblings of different gender from choices to make about dress to friends to freedom of speech and movement .The girl child is always trained for house chores from an early age reminding her constantly how it is going to help her in future. There is also restrictions or norms how they embrace their youth and how they needed to be guided through the phase .There are rules how she is to behave how much to talk or mingle with people socially whereas none for the boy child. There is also difference and bias in spending on them the girl can be send to a normal school whereas the boy is sent to achieve high quality education . This creates a rift among the children also sometimes a superior feeling among the male siblings for the special treatment they receive for being the heir and fuels their ego .The boy child receives unconditional pampering in terms of gifts , freedom opposed to the negativity the girl child receives for being a burden financially and emotionally as she is a wealth to be taken care of till married.

These things cannot be taught as part of curriculum and has got not much to do with academics as these form a part of the society we live in . The opinions and remarks we pass discussing about situations or problems involving women do make great impact on young minds as they listen passively. It very much shapes their opinion wrongly how women is always at fault when it comes to dressing or if she has an unpleasant encounter or episode she has been wanting it or how she is forbidden to speak on subjects that only men can . Simple talks like wearing bangles to taunt somebody as a weaker thing or if she is complaining she is the one who must have been inviting trouble or its nothing great to make an issue out of or clearly terming a women as characterless because she made a decision to speak or stand up for what’s right cultivates a wrong attitude for women .Now i don’t mean you get these kinds of talk only from the men but also from women who think this is how women are to be treated .

The point being after all this being fed passively to kids they grow up with the same thinking if not fearing the same would imply to women in their life and restrict her to live and speak with the same norms and mindset so that she gets accepted in the society. So its utmost we train them to standup for women in their life for the right and justice even if it come to standing against everybody.

Its very important to raise children gender equitably because it is more of a social responsibility where we will be building a generation they learn to respect and treat women equally both at home and outside. This mindset is very much necessary to stop crime against women both at home in society . The society as a whole needs to stop raising children with sole purpose to find a heir inherit their saving or accomplishments or carry your name or look after when you are old and a mindset all this can only be met by the male child of the family. Many a times boys or men find strength in these norms of our society to make crimes or oppress women or girls because they know how the voice of the women is not even going to be heard or given the value of it , which many a times gets suppressed in silence or is told to ignore it as it not that much of importance to talk about or will only bring disrespect or shame to family. Because girls’ or women are judged for their complains or voice they raise, nobody ever finds fault in the attacker or oppressor. We need to start somewhere just giving them education , wealth as inheritance is not enough .The need to build a safer , responsible and equitable society is also our responsibility that they are going to live in and their generations to come.

Copyright © 2020 Gayatri Bagayatkar, All rights reserved.

10 thoughts on “Reflections 5. – Raising Children Gender Equitably

  1. It saddens me to read, that little girls are still brought up to limit themselves to being homemakers and also not getting a proper education.
    It makes me thankful for my own education.
    I hope things will change for the better.

    1. Yes education and change in outlook of the girl child in home and I the society is needed .But it is difficult said than done . Unless everybody embraces change in actions not just words.

  2. Well said Gayathri..we should make sure that, at least our coming generation should live in an unbiased’s our responsibility to speak ahead of them..good job..keep going 👍🏻👍🏻
    Anu @lafemina❤️

  3. I met Charlotte von Mahlsdorf exactly 30 years ago. She grew up as Lothar Berfelde in Berlin for 30 years. And survived the war because a Russian officer recognized the young autistic person behind the lady’s coat. The gay “community” still has a lot to learn about its history from us autistic people. This is the only way to prevent exclusion.
    #leave no one behind
    #Dawn Prince-Hughes

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