We often talk about gender equality and also feel proud in saying that we never differentiate between a boy and a girl, both are equal to us, our daughter is just like our son and so on. But, honestly, do we really follow it?
If no, then it is high time that we start thinking and doing something seriously in this regard. And if yes, even then we need to rethink the ways by which we are upbringing our kids.
Gender equality does not mean that a boy is equal to a girl or vice versa, it simply means that though both of them have different physical characteristics, yet both of them are equally responsible for everything that surrounds them, be it some household chores or some outside job.
Whenever kids are asked some very basic questions such as who cooks food, or anything related to household chores, kids always reply with the most expected answer “Mummy”. Similarly, questions related to outside work or jobs are proudly replied as “Papa”. And we as a society also applaud to these quick answers as this is what was expected from them. But now, things are completely different as most of the moms are working. Then, why mothers are still only known for cooking and other household things? And that is why, we need to make our children learn that work is not gender specific, anyone can and should do any work which is required to be done.
In India, boys are given special treatment and preferences but in order to do so, we, parents, are making them dependent on the mother or any other female in the house. Girls are more independent in doing their daily work and hence no doubt how they are getting excel day by day in each field. We need to make our boys self dependent as well.
Actually, we, parents and society, are the ones who knowingly or unknowingly biasing the kids for the stereotyped behavior which they show. Every single child should have the right to enjoy whatever activities they choose, pursue any path of life they desire, and protect themselves against harmful stereotypes that might hinder their progress. Limiting our children to gender “preferences” is not only crushing to the individual but it is divisive to our communities as well. Until, both boys and girls are given a full range of opportunities and experiences, neither can meet their full potential.
Though parents are probably the most influential models to provide the guidance, yet at Little Leaders, the best play school in India, we personally want to make sure that we do everything we can to encourage our learners to be their own unique selves and follow their dreams despite what society tells them is “appropriate” or “desirable” for their respective gender group. Helping out children understand equality is critical for developing positive self-esteem, confidence, and respect for others. When children are taught to truly respect each other and value gender equality, they are less likely to commit gender-based violence throughout their lives.
Thus, as a society, it is our collective responsibility to nurture kids in a way where biasing on the basis of money, caste, and gender must be completely illicit. Only then we can hope for a better future of both, our kids and our nation.