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Gender Equality Begins at Home

The distribution of tasks and responsibilities at home and the various activities and games families perform with children profoundly impact how they learn (or not) the notions of gender equity.

The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou

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According to the 2021 Global Gender Gap Index, gender parity decreased from 68.6% in 2019 to 68.0% in 2020. Nevertheless, the good news is that nowadays, more families promote gender equality in their daily lives.

Indeed, experts from Oxfam, an international organization that works to reduce social and economic inequalities globally, point out that stereotypes about male and female roles tend to be perpetuated from home because minors internalize them from their earliest years of life. How? Through the example, kids obtain from the behaviors and attitudes of their parents, from the games or recreational activities that they develop, and through the domestic tasks entrusted to them.

For this reason, caregivers must reflect on how they are promoting gender equity in their children and begin to eradicate, from home, those beliefs that pigeonhole responsibilities in the sphere of the feminine and the masculine.

How To Promote Gender Equality in Daily Life?

-Notice signs of violence: Seek help and support if you or someone you know is suffering in an abusive relationship. According to the United Nations, less than 40% of women who experience violence seek help. Domestic violence is physical and psychological, and both are considered a crime.

-Share the household chores: All adults living in the same home should take responsibility for the household chores and children's care. Traditionally, women were in charge of doing housework. However, the roles usually assigned to women are also the responsibility of men.

-Scold chauvinist and racist attitudes: Do not keep quiet when listening to comments that belittle women, black people, indigenous people, the LGBTQ community, and other groups. Stand up for others, especially kids and vulnerable groups. And don't ignore public harassment or assault.

-Vote for women: Find out who the female candidates are, especially those from underrepresented communities and give them a chance. Maybe you'll connect better with their ideas and causes.

How Do You Teach Children About Gender Equality?

-The game, a powerful tool: As a first step, you should ensure that the games are inclusive, that is, that they do not generate any differentiation of genders and that, in addition, they respond to the interests of your children.

-Raise children who care: Women often perceive that they bear all the responsibility and demand greater participation of men in the care and attention of their children. To avoid this from happening in the future, teach your boy to help at home.

-Build household chores equity: Sometimes, the tasks and responsibilities assigned to minors perpetuate stereotypes. For example, girls are the ones who accompany the mother in cleaning tasks, while boys learn with their father to change the tires of the family car. It is crucial to promote spaces in which girls spend time with their fathers and boys with their mothers. In this way, they learn to generate empathy with the opposite gender and get involved with both responsibilities: A boy can do grocery shopping with her mother while the girl can learn how to fix a car with her father.

Also read: CULTURAL BELIEFS REGARDING PREGNANCY

-Teach by example: The attitudes and behaviors of fathers and mothers build the model they project toward their children. This requires that the couple generate agreements and that both value the efforts made by their counterpart.

-Management of emotions: Finally, recognizing and validating feelings is another way to promote gender equity. As with games and household chores, emotions should not be limited or repressed because of being a boy or a girl. Instead of repressing, it is the parents' responsibility to teach their children to recognize and manage their emotions by talking about the factor that caused them and looking for alternatives to solve the problem.

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