For a Gender Equal Partnership!

SADRAG
Posted December 7, 2020 from India

We all stand against gender inequality and are, individually and collectively, working to end it.  We have made it a mission of our life in the hope that soon, women would be respected and acknowledged for the quest for Equal Gender Partnership. While accusing the Patriarchal system, we  assume that our message is loud and clear and would mobilize the men to come forward and extend an equal hand in making this world a gender equal space for women and men to equally grow and prosper in all walks of life. 

It is easier said than done. I have been interacting with men, women, girls and boys on issues of gender through out my life. In discussion forums, offline and online sessions, meetings and conferences, I talk of gender and its implications on society. Here, I am reflecting on the male perspective  that I have heard during such engagements and would like to share a few.  

1. Sex and Gender:  Men are often unaware of the basic difference between sex and gender. They do not understand the social process of sex becoming a gendered category that changes the WORLD of women and men, slots them, compartmentalize them and differentiate them from the time the child a born. When explained to them, men often nod their heads and there is a  remark like - ' Well! Thats how it has been.  We need male and female spheres of life for a conflict free society. Why change it'. 

2. Women are Goddesses: During a recent engagement with youth, I heard from an elderly male faculty member that women in India are the goddesses and are worshipped. They are empowered so there is no need to talk about women empowerment. When I talked about the  status of women in terms of development indicators, the  fallacy of his words was explicit.  

3. Unmindful of women's contributions: Men  often say that women are privileged because they get a special seat in local bus and train, they are pampered by the family, they get all the comforts while the men fend for money. There is no mention about the women's contribution in home, family, care of his parents and hosting his relatives and friends. If asked, the reply I got was, So! Whats the big deal! If women dont do this, what else would they do? How I wish, we could actually monetize women's contribution and deposit the amount in a bank. 

The list of such observations is very long.  But I would like to say is that we must take into account our observations on male perceptions and views in our fight against gender inequality. Times are changing so we assume  that we are moving towards development and progress. What we tend to forget is that male perception may have been stranded in the same web of gender discrimination as it had been before. 

For a gender equal partnership, our engagements with youth must include practical scenarios which they can relate to their family, neighborhood and the community. Sharing our ground observations are more  likely to hit the nail on the wall. Our educational institutions  these days, follow the co-education system where girls and boy study together. The ground observations would resonate more with them and their understanding of gender concepts would be strengthened. 

Comments 33

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Olanike Adesanya
Dec 08, 2020
Dec 08, 2020

I am still smiling at your perspectives about women in India.
Nothing so close to all that in Southwest Nigeria, I am sure of.
Women are almost next to "slaves".
If you're educated, you ignore the effect and enjoy the riding elites status, otherwise, it is worse.
You continue to bear it.
Did I hear you say "special seat for women? Not in Southwest Nigeria, except she is physically challenged.
Seeing pregnant women walking with sticks going to fetch water from the streams or brooks is a very NATURAL in my region.
After all her womb is not located on her legs...if you understood what I meant? The feotus isn't growing in her legs or her head, so she could still be pregnant and carry the water on her head.
As simple as that.

SADRAG
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Hi
yes we have dedicated seats for women and girls in bus and trains. Though men detest the idea but these measures go a long way to women security and ease of travel.
Girls need to be taught not to comply and bow their heads but Question Question and Question as to Why they should remain quiet and voiceless!

love
mala

Olanike Adesanya
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Interesting... though,but still strange to my culture.
Whenever men talk, women listen in silence...
Yeah.
It's a serious matter we are trying to correct. I hope we get there soon.

Hawwah
Dec 12, 2020
Dec 12, 2020

Tell me about it sis

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Dec 08, 2020
Dec 08, 2020

Greetings Sadrag,
how are you my dear? Surely many of us can relate to this topic of gender equality.
It is unfortunately a cultural normality in many developing countries on the planet.
We must educate the youth of both sexes for a change and change we shall continue to advocate for. Another unfortunate occurrence is ignorance being passed down from generation to generation on so many topics other than gender equality and rooting back to
cultural norms, behaviors and habits, etc.
Together we teach "change" for the better.
Thank you for this important share.

Mama Queen

SADRAG
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Dear mama queen,
I am very fascinated by your name. Cheers!
Yes we must catch them young. Thats the key to a making a gender egalitarian world in the coming years.
Best

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Thank you, sis Sadrag, Bravo!

SADRAG
Dec 11, 2020
Dec 11, 2020

Love
mala

Olanike Adesanya
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

You're right there Sadrag.
Change is the THING.
"Culture".
"Passed Down"
"Generation to Generation"
Thank you for those terms

SADRAG
Dec 11, 2020
Dec 11, 2020

Hi Olanike
yes lets simplify the terms for all to relate if we want to bring change.
love
mala

Olanike Adesanya
Dec 12, 2020
Dec 12, 2020

Sure Sis.
Together we shall bcos
Yes! We can.
I am so inspired and motivated.

Kika Katchunga
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Hello my sister SADRAC,
Thanks for sharing, you had done a great job my sister, you had my full support. Good luck in your plans for change

SADRAG
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Thanks Kika for your support

Jill Langhus
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Lovely to have you both back on the forum:-) XX

SADRAG
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Hi Jill

I am always there. My thoughts are always with you all.

love
mala

Jill Langhus
Dec 11, 2020
Dec 11, 2020

Hello, dear,

Glad to hear it:-)

Hope you're well, and that you have happy holidays.

XX

SADRAG
Dec 11, 2020
Dec 11, 2020

Thank You
LOVE
MALA

OGA PRECIOUS
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

This is what we are actually fighting for gender equality, I can say that in India that women are even privileged to have been enjoying special seat, here in Nigeria their slogan is no brother in jungle. They don't care if you are a woman or not they believe we should carry our cross and should not by any means impose it on anybody. This is were we are really agitating for change, women ought to be respected and not to be stepped on, that's why we should keep raising our voices for this change to be made.
Thanks for sharing Sadrag

SADRAG
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Dear Oga
More power to Nigerian women to fight for their rights!
love
mala

ARREY- ECHI
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Dear Sadraq,
Thank you for this beautiful piece on gender equality partnership in India. I had to agree with some of the points above especially on the point of monetising women's domestic input. I have always said many governments know they can never pay women for their labours withing the home and so they minimised that and termed it domestic work.

I think it is a bit of an irony that for a society which claims to revere women, they have the highest rate of gender based violence against women from femicide, rape, dowry deaths etc.

Like you, I also hope the little changes such as co-educational systems for both boys and girls would resonate more for a more gender balanced generation.
Keep going with your amazing work.

SADRAG
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Thanks Arrey
love
mala

Caroline Bokwe
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Dear Sadrag, what a great input you have here. Thanks for sharing the work that you do. I like how your teachings are focused on practical life's scenarios, as a way of enabling your audience to relate to the topics of discussion. Maintain your focus sister, and with baby steps, we are getting closer to where we would like to be.

SADRAG
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Absoutely Caroline
These baby steps would take us to our goal. These baby steps should be firm and grounded so that the world in front, is strong and very strong.
love
mala

Sabiha Hasan
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

About situation of Indian women sacrifical goat from birth till death, dowry plus new form of dowry is working woman who will earn throughout the life.

SADRAG
Dec 09, 2020
Dec 09, 2020

Yes Sabina

When the old is resisted, newer forms of exploitation emerge.
We need to be at guard 24 hours.
love
mala

Nini Mappo
Dec 11, 2020
Dec 11, 2020

Hello Sadrag,
What really inspired me about your post is your reference to how women complain against/accusing patriarchy, expecting that they understand the position of women and are therefore empowered to be sympathetic towards it. Your post makes it clear how far from the truth that is, and how engaging men and boys in gender dialogue is the only way to get them to see us.. what we do as in the home or at work, its value, why it should be remunerated or acknowledged, and that accusing patriarchy without educating it is really like a dog barking at the moon. While this realization and its urgency gives hope, It is also daunting as to the amount of work to be done to shift perspectives and inch towards gender equity. Thank you for your insightful post, both on the local cultural perception, but also how it applies to the broader vision of women empowerment.
It's all jolly where I am so I also send you a warm Christmas cheer!

SADRAG
Dec 11, 2020
Dec 11, 2020

Hi Nini

Accusing patriarchy without educating it is really like a dog barking at the moon --- Absolutely! very well said.
With You
love
mala

Sister Zeph
Dec 12, 2020
Dec 12, 2020

My global sister first of all thank you for your amazing work. I belong to Pakistan so I can say that you and I have to face almost same challenges as we belong to a same cultural background so reading your story is like I am learning how to over come the stereotypes in my society when it comes to discuss the gender equality

SADRAG
Dec 30, 2020
Dec 30, 2020

Sister Zeph, yes we share the same region and culture. I am so happy to connect with you.
love
mala

Hawwah
Dec 12, 2020
Dec 12, 2020

Dear Sadrag,
Your story reminds me of what I am always told.
That I am lucky to be Muslim because Islam has given Muslim women rights since the time of the prophet.
When in actual fact, all my life all those alleged given rights have never been given to me or any woman I know.
The irony is still glaring and painful. ANd the same lame excuse remains.
But we shall continue to push the boundaries until justice and equality prevail.
In love and sisterhood,
Hawwah.

SADRAG
Dec 30, 2020
Dec 30, 2020

Yes Hawwah,
Rightly said - we push the boundaries till they budge and equality prevails.
Patriarchy prevails over religious sanctions - a typical example of women's suppression.
Our little little efforts would become such an overwhelming ocean that there would be no escape.
One Voice is what we have to keep reiterating
love
mala

rebecca.tang
Dec 15, 2020
Dec 15, 2020

Thank you for sharing and bring the awareness in your country. Your observations is essential and we also need to take into male perceptions into accounts. We cannot completely view it from our own aspect.
Hope the situation will improve in India in near future! Keep the great work on!
May Almighty God bless you all!

SADRAG
Dec 30, 2020
Dec 30, 2020

Absolutely Rebecca. I agree that the gender discourse is incomplete without the inclusion of boys and men. We make sure that men attend our sessions in corporate sector, community, universities and schools and address their questions very seriously. Change is inevitable.
love
mala