Pulkit Bhasin is currently in 11th grade. He thoroughly enjoys reading, writing, and playing cricket. He has volunteered at other organizations as well where he has taken up a plethora of roles from database management to teaching underprivileged children. He relishes the opportunity of public speaking and has participated in various debating competitions. He holds some experience in computer programming as well.
Raising Gender-Sensitive Children
The primary cause of gender inequality is a lack of awareness amongst individuals from a young age. In order to ensure the development of mature individuals, we must begin to teach them the importance and prevalence of gender inequality in a format they can understand. For them to believe in the cause, we must make them a part of it. Institutions have the luxury and responsibility of sowing the seeds for gender equality in young minds to shape their development in the right direction, and through team exercises and projects, we must all unite in this movement.
1) Project Female Sanitation
The issue of the lack of female sanitation is increasingly prevalent within developing countries. Young girls and women have no access to clean toilets and menstruation pads. The primary cause – a lack of awareness. Young children can utilize their platform to try and create small-scale awareness and money collection programs, where they can rally at different public locations near their school. This would not only help them learn more about the issue but would also instil a feeling of responsibility within them, encouraging them to make a difference as global citizens.
2) Project Unequal Education
Another efficient method to drive the students towards the issue would be to help them link the issue to their world. Help students to draw a parallel between their life at school and the lives of millions of girls across the globe who are being robbed of an opportunity to receive the luxury of education. Allow the children to come up with ideas independently. Do they wish to run a drive and collect used books, stationery, and other items for collection? Or do they wish to start a small venture (such as a lemonade stand) to collect money for the cause? Or do they wish to spread awareness regarding the issue around their school and homes? The ideas must originate from them. Your task is merely to provide a platform for them to execute their idea.
3) Project Role Model
During this activity, each student must research about a famous personality of the opposite gender and present an oral report on them in class. While researching, students would discover the numerous achievements of all genders, showing that hard work, talent, perseverance and not gender, determine success. It’ll ensure that boys and girls grow up to respect individuals of the opposite gender. The understanding that each individual is capable of achieving great heights can be judged by the stories they tell.
4) Assignment Gender Diversification
Initiate a research assignment to educate the students about the various existing genders. It is a common misconception that genders merely exists in two binary states- male and female, and hence, it is often difficult to change the rigid mindset of individuals as they grow up. If we begin to teach children such information from a younger age, we’ll help develop well-informed and open-minded individuals. Through the assignment, students would not only learn about the various genders and sexes that exist but would also realize how perfectly normal it is. However, ensure that this research assignment is curated and moderated by parents and teachers to prevent the children from accessing information they are not quite ready for at their age.
5) Activity Express Yourself
An important task is to encourage children to be able to express themselves. This should be a weekly activity, where each student comes up to the stage and shares an internal or external conflict/emotion that they’ve experienced and wish to talk about. This will not only make children more expressive but would also make them more accepting and respectful of others’ feelings. The primary objective is to eradicate the stigma surrounding boys expressing emotional weakness. All human beings have emotions and suppressing them leads to mental instabilities in the future. It is this fallacy that we’re trying to correct and create a world where everyone feels comfortable to be themselves.
Opinions are of the writer.