Your father waits for his morning tea as your mother brews it in the kitchen.
Your brother waits for his dinner plate to be whisked away as he gets up to wash his hands.
Your husband asks if you’ve made the grocery list or not.
See something amiss here?
No, right? That’s because this is how we’ve been taught to live all our lives. When it comes to household chores, men aren’t seen as equal contributors, instead they’re seen as occasional helpers.
However, if we’re aiming for gender equality, shouldn’t it start from the basic things first?
My mother taught me and my sisters the basic skills – cooking, cutting things, cleaning – things we’d need to survive. Not survive an apocalypse or a possible stranded-on-an-island situation, but the skills to survive life ‘as a woman.’
Because shaadi karke kisi ke ghar jayegi toh kuch toh aana chahiye.
But thankfully, with no sons to teach ‘manly’ things to, we were also taught how to screw and unscrew things, how to fix a broken plug, and fix things that sometimes needed urgent fixing.
Would the scenario be the same if I had brothers instead of sisters? Would they too be taught to cook and clean and do other ‘womanly’ things? I think not.
According to a UNICEF report, girls between the age of 5 and 14 around the world spend 550 million hours on household chores. That’s 160 million more hours than boys in the same age group. The data only proves that there is a wide gender gap when it comes to basic household chores.
If we are to educate our boys about gender equality, it needs to start young.
If they grow up in a house where women do all household chores, we’re telling them that this is the norm. It makes them feel entitled and before we know it, unintentionally, we’ve sown the seeds of gender bias.
After all, doesn’t everything start young?
From swimming to cycling, we teach our kids everything in their formative years. Because what you learn at a young age stays with you the entire life. It molds you for the person you will become in your adulthood. Therefore, it’s important that we teach our kids that household chores are not just a womanly duty. That it’s as much a man’s job to wash the dishes as it is a woman’s.
It’ll not only make them woke individuals but better contributors to the gender equality debate as well.
Women have been campaigning for gender equality since time immemorial. For the right to vote, the right to inherit, equal pay, and what not. The campaign never seems to end. But with woke men who’ve been raised right, gender equality will not be just a campaign. It’ll be the way of things.