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Suppose, as a mother, you cook for your family and take care of your kid daily. Suddenly one day, you fall ill, and your spouse comes to your rescue and does all the chores. Do you know what the first question your kid will ask you is? “Mumma, why did papa do all your work today?” Differences in one day will never change the world; it never has. Gender equality lessons start from home. Once your kid learns to see his parents equally, they will never develop any bias towards genders. Before teaching them equality, work hard to create a sense of equity. Teaching gender equality is a slow process that you have to build bit by bit.
What is Gender Equality?
Gender is a complex idea which is no more confined to males, females, and transgender. Some people are biologically female but identify themselves as male and vice versa. So, gender equality definition has changed across the world over time. Gender equality means that people of different gender get the same facilities, exposure, and opportunities. There should not be a bias for any particular gender.
Difference between Gender Equality and Gender Equity
Suppose your child has scored very poor marks in an exam. What will be your usual reaction? Will you get outraged and start scolding him or try to understand the reason behind his failure? If you support the latter, you will quickly understand the meaning of gender equity. In order to achieve gender equality, you have to focus on gender equity.
While gender equality means everyone should have similar opportunities, gender equity addresses the obstacles that hinder women and gender-diverse people from opting for those opportunities. Gender equality in India can be established when gender equity comes.
Why Teaching Gender Equality Is Important?
Gone are the days when anyone could say, “Women look good in the kitchen only.” Nowadays, these kinds of statements are criminal offences. Do you think that this victory came in just one day? There is a long struggle behind everything women are achieving today. If gender equality in education has decreased even by a per cent, it is because of that remarkable struggle period. So, our responsibility is to pass on that knowledge to our children. Do you know why you need to teach gender equality to your children? Here are the reasons:
Awareness of the Gender Bias
We do not live in Syria does not mean that Syria does not exist. Staying out of violence or negativity is our privilege, but we must acknowledge that violence exists. So, even if you teach your children, “Everyone is equal and deserves equal rights.” they must know that some people do not consider the same. Creating an awareness of gender bias is the first step. When your child can address the trouble, solving it becomes easier.
Usage and Importance of Inclusive Language
As I mentioned, gender is a vast concept nowadays. Therefore, you must be very conscious when addressing someone. Language plays a vital role in establishing people’s identities. On the one hand, it can make people closer to you, on the other hand, it can make them isolated. So, teach your little one the usage and importance of inclusive language. The correct use of language can help your kid to make people feel included and loved very quickly.
Knowledge of Acceptance
Taking differences can be challenging for adults too. If you give your child two biscuits every day in the evening as snacks, he won’t accept one biscuit if you randomly give him one. If one learns the art of acceptance in childhood, he becomes a better human being with patience and compassion.
Conduct Good Behaviour
You cannot make your son respect women by just saying so. You must instil the sense organically. Children must feel that sharing equal opportunities is a usual factor. Normalise things like buying the same kind of toys for your daughter and son. Do not make toys, colours, or behaviour gender-biassed, kids will automatically learn about gender equality.
How to Teach Gender Equality to Kids at Home?
The sense of gender equality comes with time. Home is the best place to start anything. The lesson for gender equality is no exception. Gender equality for kids is not an abstract concept, but regular practice of some habits can develop a sense of gender equality in children.
Do not treat daily chores as gender roles. In most Indian households, the lady of the house does all the chores while other members do not contribute to it. Both parents should contribute to the chores, and they should alternate their roles as well. So, there is no preconceived notion about gender in the child’s mind.
Stories entice children more than anything! Why don’t you try telling them stories about gender equality? Unfortunately, we only have a few stories in the collection, but you can show them movies like “Up” that show a narrative of gender equality.
Try engaging them in a role play where they can be doctors, chefs, cleaning staff, or plumbers. These different roles will help them develop no stereotypes about genders.
Some of these simple efforts can help your child thrive as an individual with thorough knowledge of gender equality. Take a step ahead, and you can contribute to a better world. It is our children who keep hope alive. Be the guiding light of that hope since their childhood.