What strikes you the most in these images?
Anything familiar? Maybe something you’ve experienced first-hand or heard from someone? It’s a common story – women are meant to do the housework, and daughters are groomed to believe and adhere to this maxim.
One of the first home chores I was made to do was – Laundry. Gawd how I detested the mere mention of ‘washing clothes’, still do. I was taught from a young age how to separate the whites from the coloured clothes, the delicate from the rough, the amount of powder to use and the duration to set on the washing machine. I abhorred washing clothes the traditional way – using a bucket, but even using washing machine made me cringe. Doing this did come in handy when I shifted to a hostel for a while – had to face my nemesis – washing clothes in the bucket at that time but survived it somehow.
Thankfully, my parents aren’t the kind of ones who ever said “You need to learn how to wash clothes ‘cause you’ll have to do it after marriage”. Instead I’ve always seen my father helping with household chores whenever possible, especially laundry – he’s a pro at it! 😀
Not many girls are as fortunate as me to have parents who set a good example of sharing the load at home. I’ve heard women complain that their husbands just sit while they clean up the mess in the house, wash the clothes, put them to dry, fold them and keep them in the cupboards afterwards.
I’ve heard mothers rant about how clothes are thrown anywhere, and how their kids constantly ask them “Where is my green sports shirt, where’s my P.T uniform, where have you kept my red dress?” etc.
All this while the husbands are nonchalant about what’s happening around them.
Why is there such disparity in sharing the load at home? A look at statistics conducted by a third party survey for Ariel shows an alarming state of affairs:
You know what stands out the most from this survey for me?
The fact that 2 out of 3 children think that household chores and washing clothes is a mother’s job. It is well known that children learn from parents. They look up to parents to guide them through life. When they see their mothers alone doing the housework while the father is busy with office work or a personal errand it gives them the message that that’s how it is in the world. This then is what they learn.
Take a look at any of our detergent ads today. How many of them feature men doing household work or promoting a washing powder?
Got you, didn’t it?
So, from real life example to reel life example, children see that women are the ones who do the housework in both real as well as in onscreen.
There has to be a shift in the distribution of housework between partners. Each home has unique situations but there needs to be a basic understanding and acknowledgment when it comes to doing household chores.
HOW YOU CAN SHARE THE LOAD TO REDUCE GENDER PREJUDICE IN GEN NEXT
- Parents should take account of each other’s availability, energy, and ability to perform household tasks.
- The chores can be distributed equally between them according to their schedules and preferences.
- Involve your child in small household tasks – try to make it entertaining and interesting.
- Impart right values to your child on gender equality, household equality, and appreciation of work done.
- Watch videos or movies that reinforce supportive family values and equality at home, with your child.
- Support, acknowledge and appreciate your partner for their help and efforts – there is no stronger valuable example you can set for your child than this.
So, are you all set to share the load and share right family values with your child?
Be a Role Model that your child will follow! Share the Load today!
Imagine if, like this father in the ad below, 20 years down the line you see your daughter doing all the housework while her husband watches the soccer game or your son sitting idle while his wife runs around managing the house. Would you feel good about what you taught them?
It’s not too late to share the load…