Teaching Children About Gender Equality

We live in a society which is full of gender based stereotypes. These stereotypes are deep rooted in our society.
– “Girls wear pink”
– “Boys don’t cry”
– “Men are stronger”
– “Cooking is feminine”
For the educated people, these statements do not make any sense and if children are kept away from these pre conceived notions; it might help to eradicate these stereotypes. The sad part is that it does not happen. Most of us have experienced these when we were given dolls or cars to play with and the walls of the room were painted either blue or pink. Children are the future and what they learn today will directly have an impact on how rationally and responsibly they behave tomorrow.
The term GENDER EQUALITY is often used in the women empowerment movement. Women empowerment is a part of it but no one ever talks about the stereotypes a man faces. Growing up boys listen to statements like “boys don’t cry” or “you need to be masculine”. If young boys are taught that it is okay for them to not like football, it’s okay if they feel like crying and that they have the right to wear pink as much as everybody else on this planet, the world would be a much better place.
It is the collective responsibility of the society and most importantly the parents to educate their children about gender equality. Children imbibe what they see. We need to set an example for them. Let boys and girls bear equal share in household chores and no activity be limited to any gender.
Gender equality has to be included in children’s day to day life and should be a part of their curriculum. This is the only way the social stereotypes can be broken and we can achieve equality in its true sense.

By Arya Srivastava, XI-H2

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