Parenting Without Gender Bias: Part One

Gender inequality is a big problem which contributes to a disproportionate amount of responsibility in child-rearing and other domestic tasks, unfair wages and chance of employment or financial independence for women, harmful practices like female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage, and even rape culture. According to the United Nations, Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. 

Regardless of where you live in the world, gender equality is a fundamental human right [1]. Advancing gender equality is critical to all areas of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection and the well-being of girls and boys. Investing in education programmes for girls and increasing the age at which they marry can return $5 for every dollar spent. Investing in programs improving income-generating activities for women can return $7 dollars for every dollar spent. Basically, gender equality for women is good for everyone. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, healthcare, fair labour (and financial independence), and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will contribute to sustainable economies. True gender equality will benefit societies and humanity at large. Implementing new legal frameworks regarding female equality in the workplace and the eradication of harmful practices targeted at women is crucial to ending the gender-based discrimination prevalent in many countries around the world.

Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash

Until we treat women as equals, there is the issue of a superiority complex by many males – this is of course, not the case for all men but there is clearly an issue when one in five women and girls, including 19 per cent of women and girls aged 15 to 49, have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last 12 months. Yet, 49 countries have no laws that specifically protect women from such violence. [2]

By not raising our children to think that all genders are equal, we are contributing to the problem. 

Photo by Cengizhan Konuş on Unsplash

Additionally, by raising boys to adhere to incorrect male stereotypical behaviours, we are encouraging them to bottle up their emotions, and by doing so, we are contributing to potential mental health issues or even encouraging (gender-based) violence. We should all aim to raise emotionally healthy boys and girls, and let our kids be who they are and who they want to be, instead of imposing incorrect stereotypes on them. We should forget what we think society wants them to be and just let kids be kids.

Check back tomorrow where I’ll share some tips on how to raise gender-neutral children without imposing typical (and harmful) gender stereotypes. I’ll also share my recommended reading list of children’s books which encourage gender equality.

Sources:

[1] Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

[2] Gender Equality: Why It Matters

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Jitna

I'm a mother, wife, travel addict, bookworm, survivor, feminist, artist, black sheep, and challenger of the status quo. Founder of https://shewillsurvive.com

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