In recent years, a lot of intense conversations are happening around gender equality. Many
international governments and communities are also undertaking conscious efforts to erase
gender inequality. However, the onus of promoting gender equality also lies with people as
socially responsible citizens. The best way to do is to start it at your home.
Here is how you can educate your children about gender equality.

Talk About Gender Equality
Sit with your kids and discuss gender equality. Find out what they know about it and what
views they hold. This will give you a broad idea about the balance you need to bring to your
family.
You can explain with simple examples that that gender equality refers to providing equal
rights, opportunities and responsibilities to men and women/boys and girls. Make them read
books, play games or watch movies/television shows that celebrate gender equality to drive
home the concept.
Walk the Talk
Children model their parents’ behaviour. So, if your actions don’t reflect gender equality,
then it would be unfair to expect children to understand it. Make sure that you as a couple
or family are encouraging gender equality by sharing household chores, child care and
elderly care; discussing finances, etc. When children see their parents doing so, they will
accept is a normal part of their life.
Give Equal Treatment to Children
It is very common in Indian households to ask daughters to help in domestic chores and put
some restrictions on the way they speak or act. However, there are no such rules for boys
assuming that ‘boys will be boys’. Do you see this happening in your family? It’s time to
address this immediately.
Divide the responsibility equally between the siblings. Involve your sons in household work,
be it cooking, cleaning or anything else. This will also help them look after themselves in a
female’s absence.
Let your daughters know that they are free to voice their opinions, express their emotions,
and speak up if they feel something is being unfair to them at home. They have an equal
right to participate in any activity or choose any career of their choice. Similarly, you should
also allow your sons to cry openly instead of letting them bottle their feelings inside on the
pretext that ‘strong men don’t cry’.
Avoid Stereotyping Thoughts, Toys or Games
Pink for girls and blue for boys. Cooking for girls and soccer for boys. Barbie for girls and bat-
ball for boys. These are just a few examples of how most people unintentionally end up
creating gender biases. So, if your son wants to play with a kitchen set or doll, and your

daughter wants to become a footballer or a race driver, encourage the role reversal to
happen by all means. Don’t label anything and don’t be afraid of what other people will
think.
Teach Body Positivity
Tell your children that every type of body is beautiful, irrespective of its shape, size, gender
or age. They should learn to love their bodies as well as respect others’ bodies. Have an
honest conversation about periods and puberty with both sons and daughters. Do not shy
away from discussing these body image issues as they go a long way in instilling gender-
equal values.
Gender equality calls for a paradigm shift in mindset. It is a change that can’t happen
overnight or in a few months. What’s more important is that you begin the change in your
family to lay down a strong foundation for the future.

About Smita Omar

Smita is an ex banker who voluntary said adiós to a high flying career to explore the rocky yet beautiful terrain of motherhood. When she is not busy juggling between her naughty daughter and foodie husband, you can find her donning the hat of a freelance content developer-editor to keep her sanity intact. She has been a Work-From-Home-Mother for 8 years and turns to meditation when the going gets tough.

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2 Comments
  1. Priyanshi Singh 2 years ago

    As mother of a son, I need to put extra efforts in raising a boy who believes in gender equality.

  2. Rishika Nanaware 2 years ago

    I liked that this blog is not female-focused, but it also talks about gender neutrality from a boy’s perspective too.

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