The patient was seen lying helpless on the operation table, while the doctor was busy performing the much required operation. The patient was the son of the doctor, but the doctor was not the father of the patient! How can this riddle be solved? The answer is simple… but, not that simple. The doctor is the mother of the patient!
The answer becomes slightly difficult because people, in a patriarchal society, are not accustomed to think that a lady can perform operations, professionally. Still, some established (mis)conceptions about the roles of women and men exist in a patriarchal society. Those conceptions have been encouraged, practiced and held in store by the existing norms of the society. As the patriarchal conceptions influence the educational system, too, modern syllabus fails to sensitise school children about the Gender Inequality…
The eastern Indian city of Kolkata recently hosted a seminar on Gender Inequality at school level. Participants explained how football became men’s sports and why the society discourages girls to play football. During the event, the principal of a local high school stated that the presence of gender equality in the environment helps children take it as usual. Else, they tend to exhibit gender bias at an early age, and accept the patriarchal conceptions about the society.
One should take a cue from the principal’s statement and try to follow his advice not only in schools, but also in other institutions. Otherwise, the learning institutions would become isolated islands, where pupils would learn some unrealistic social mannerism. It is important for a family or for the society to set an example for the children by establishing Gender Equality, as Charity begins at Home.
A child may easily find the name of the first female astronaut in a book… but, s/he should see a lady driving a car or a bus in order to accept the fact that women, too, can do whatever men can. It’s not enough to see gorgeous young ladies going to colleges or offices, parks, restaurants… the civil society, as well as the political society, would have to make a serious attempt to overcome the established patriarchal (mis)conceptions, if it really wants to ensure Gender Equality in a modern society!
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