Gender Equality at Home
Let me today share a small incident from my life .My domestic help left for the summer vacations to her native village .Generally I make do on my own when she is away as I am very finicky about how my work is done.
As my bad luck would have it , one day while cleaning the house , I stretched myself a little too far while trying to reach a difficult corner and suddenly felt a sharp pain in my back .I managed to complete the chores somehow but as the day progressed the pain started to get sharper and my back started getting stiff .Being a doctor myself , I knew that this could be a slipped vertebral disc and started taking medicines .Also I should be avoiding any further strain to my back so it was mandatory that I take absolute bed rest .
In the evening when my husband came back from his office he found me lying in bed .Then I shared my fear of a possible disc prolapse .He was all action there from .He ordered me to stay in bed unless for emergency measures and asked me to leave everything upon his able shoulders .
I was skeptical, to say the least, for he had been raised in a very orthodox family, where men never ventured into the kitchen or even cleaned their own underwear .In fact if a man was found so much as washing his underwear , his wife was immediately assumed to be a sloth or the man assumed to be hen-pecked!
They ordered take away that night!
“So much for his able shoulders!” I mumbled to myself.
The next day I was taken up by surprise when I was woken up with tea in bed by my husband .My young son, all of five years, took a duster and started dusting the furniture .My daughter started mopping the house.
“Please leave all your clothes in the laundry basket and I shall wash them tomorrow,” I shouted out to my busy family members.
“Oh that has already been taken care of,” announced my husband with a small flourish while pointing to the washing machine.
Later he along with my daughter cooked up a full meal and fed me before leaving for work. Thankfully the school was closed for the children and thus I did not have to worry about homework and picking up the kids from school.
My back is better now, in fact all thanks to my family, I am quite fit and fine. I think it was only possible because my husband never really subscribed to the orthodox views of his family where his mother had to do the chores even when she was ailing as the men were just not supposed to do them .I came from a family where such stereotypes were never encouraged and similarly I made sure that both my kids learn to be independent and do chores as per their age not as per their sex .So my son dusts and helps me in cooking while my daughter goes to shop or submits bills or vice versa too.
Gender equality and sensitization is very important if women have to venture out to study and have fulfilling careers .Little goes a long way, so start early when the kids are young and everyone will be thankful later.