The term ‘gender equality‘ states that a person, irrespective of their gender, has equal rights and opportunities and the basic need to fulfil their desires. For example, if a transgender person is working in a school with children and their parents are against them, then the school that hired them should support the teacher. They see capabilities that others didn’t see in them and that is why they got selected as a teacher. Thus, the school must give them the opportunity to show how they can make children feel comfortable around them and engage with them.
So, I believe that we should raise our voices when we see any violation against any person because they are not just questioning their gender but also their capabilities.
We usually see gender inequality in our homes, in books, news, society, at our workplace, religious places and cultural spaces, etc. Gender equality empowers all genders. It does matter where we live. Equality is critical to all areas of a healthy society to reduce the poverty and create awareness about health, education and security.
Reasons Of Gender Inequality
In India, child marriage is one of the reasons in rural areas where some people do not let their children get an education or think about their future, due to which most girls are forced into marriage at an early age and end up as housewives or young mothers, whereas they should be learning at that age. Even though the law allows only women who are 18+ and men who are 21+ to get married. However, in rural areas, this law is not followed strictly. At present, we can see governments taking steps to educate children, including transgender kids, for free.
Gender-based violence is, unfortunately, a common phenomenon. One in three people globally faces physical or sexual assault, violence due to dowry, child labour, slavery, child marriage and many more. Our Constitution offers the provision for people to raise their voices against any of these issues and organise themselves in campaigns and movements.
Another reason for gender inequality is our society’s mindset. Society does not want women to be free; it wants to bind them. This can even lead to suicide or depression. People are not open to confronting their opinions with anyone due to the generation gap, different perspectives, rituals.
In India, 77% of people are in favour of gender equality, while almost 36% support increased diversity; 21% of people do not oppose a more important role for religion.
How We Can Teach Gender Equality To Children
If we ask four-year-old school-going children about gender, most of them will give similar statements, like: “Boys don’t wear pink, girls talk a lot” etc. Most of these stereotypes come from watching cartoons, reading pop culture books that perpetuate society’s biases and stereotypes. Children get influenced by these sources and learn them to be true.
Through different activities, we can teach them gender equality. For instance, we can divide the class into groups with two peers each and they can identify and list out places where they see gender inequality in real life. In this way, all the students can be involved in the conversation and discuss their perspectives.
Students can even play a role-play as someone from the other gender. For example, the teacher can indulge them in a kitchen set activity where boys are cooking and girls also help them. In this way, they will easily understand and develop their opinions about gender and its stereotypes.
We can also screen movies as children like to watch movies that are gender-sensitive. Some of these are: Pixie Hollow (age 4+), The Lorax (age 5+), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (age 7+).