Gender Equality is something we have all been talking about for a while now! It’s strange that even at a time when women are leading many high profile companies and government establishments, there’s still a section who are not aware of their rights or have to fight to get what they rightfully should!
Just today, one of my friends was telling how, in spite of being highly educated, Kerala’s women are facing many issues even at home. She was attending a conference on the same and was sharing these thoughts! In fact, most of the women, despite being educated, are unemployed! Has unemployment got to do anything with violence against women? Do the men feel superior and empowered to suppress the unemployed women at home? Does merely being a woman make them vulnerable at the office? Or is something else adding to their agony?
It’s high time Gender Equality becomes a habit. Then women will no longer have to fight for it and men won’t be forced to practice it! But how does something as important and as despised by many become a habit?
From what I have understood, women need to realize their strength and hone them. And the men should realize the worth of the women they deal with every day. But how does it happen? It has to start from home! Both parents have to take initiative to treat each other respectfully. Respect each other as individuals, share the responsibilities, give each other some personal space, let both have their own likes and dislikes, realize and accept that each one is different. When things are not said and done because one is the wife and the other is the husband, they become equal. When the kid grows up seeing both parents sharing their responsibilities and not interfering the others space, they also start respecting their peers. It becomes a norm and a habit.
It will no more be – the husband HAS to be the only earning member and the wife ONLY HAS to manage the household matters. When the kid grows up in an environment where both his or her parents come back from work and share the household matters, they will also learn to manage work and home naturally. If that’s what they have grown up seeing, it becomes natural for them to treat the other gender equal and expect it in return too.
Now there’s the issue of unemployment among women which make them feel inferior which automatically make their men feel superior! To those women, always remember that it’s good to be independent financially too. Learn some skills, use them to work part time or use it to help the underprivileged. Even if you make no money, what matters is that you hone your skills. To the men, it will be good to know that you are able to enjoy your freedom and financial security because she was ready to forego her ambitions. Because she stays home and takes care of the kids and household matters, you don’t have to bother about those matters.
In fact, unemployment makes many women dependent on men and there starts the issue. One feels inferior and the other feels superior and it reflects in their behavior at home and in the society. But we cannot generalize it. The society plays an important role too. But there’s very little you can do outside the house. So better practice it at home and insist that your child makes it a habit of respecting the other gender and demanding it in return too. It has to be mutual if we are talking about equality!
Respect and freedom should not be connected to your gender, social status or financial security. Teach your son to respect every woman and teach your daughter to earn and demand that respect.