Part 15: I will raise my voice..

After review of the previous IBT, Samjhana asked us the question us “What comes immediately when you heard about the women or men?”. We did not know what to say, until she gave a few examples, and after that we shared our own examples with the other women and men. Some said that women are shy, some said that women are tolerant, some talked about idealism and cowardness, some said that men are brave, some said “who goes out”, some talked about bread winner, and some talked about courage.

After this, Samjhana asked “Can’t women be courageous or can’t men be tolerant or a coward?”. In this way, women and men are differentiated/ discriminated in terms of food, clothes, jobs, behaviour etc., and all this has been created by our community, which could be changed. It is not done by nature. This situation created by the community/society is called “gender”. Therefore, it is very essential to bring changes in our attitude and behaviour. Until the responsibility of women doing the household is minimized.

While she was talking, I was thinking about myself being a single mother, and how difficult it was. Then again, Samjhana told us that only women and men’s sexual and reproductive organs are different. All other organs are the same. This biological or physical construction is called sex. Because of their physical construction, boys belong to the male sex and girls to the female sex.

These biological or physical differences are created by nature, and these differences are the same in every family, community or country. Biologically, a boy is the same everywhere in the world, and a girl is the same everywhere in the world. The other difference between boys and girls is their clothes, behavior and education. The attitude from the society towards them is all social or cultural differences, and it is not the same in every family and every society.

These social and cultural definitions of men and women are called gender. For example, is it the society that makes rules for a girl to stay in the house, a boy can go out, or a girl should be given less time to play than a boy. Gender is socially constructed. Gender is changeable and varies from one place to another. The responsibilities of men and women are not based or decided by sex but are imposed by the society.  Therefore, as a mother/woman, you have to change your attitude and habits to bring change in society. If you discriminate your children, it will never change. You must treat your son and daughter equally. Ask both your boy and your daughter to help with household, not only your daughter. Raise your voice so that everyone hears this and think about it. Commit yourself to change your behaviors towards your daughter. While Samjhana was talking about this, I was committing myself that I will raise my voice, if something goes wrong in the society.