My contribution on how we can Raise Boys who Champion Gender Equality is on one point "Mind-set change" of the boys as they grow. The evolution of how boys should treat women should start from their homes. When a Male child is growing, the parents should be able to expose that child to equal house responsibilities such as House Chores. They should grow to know that girls are not supposed to do everything at home while boys just watch. For example they should learn that boys can wash plates after meals. Know that it is normal for a boy to clean the house and cook just like girls do. It should not be taken as a taboo for a man to cook for his woman. This can only be taken so if it is instilled in men from childhood.
This should start when a boy is as young as seven years or earlier than that. The boy should be made to clean his room, wash his cloths, and make his bed. From then he will have a responsibility to be doing that every day and a boy brought up in that manner is likely to grow into a man who will be able to know that women are equal to men. Women should be given time to read, study and get education. A man is not supposed to take a woman as a slave or anything lower than him. For example, God didn’t create Eve for Adam as a house worker, but a person he had to take care of. Biblically, a woman was awarded with a responsibility of supplementing a man`s effort but not as his slave.
I believe, the brutality of a man towards a woman has everything to do with the man`s background. The culture, values and principles he was made to believe since childhood. In Africa we have some traditions in which men are taught from childhood that a woman is just good at house chores and childbearing. Hence, when men in that environment see women standing out and doing what men do, they feel intimidated and less like men. Therefore, such men become brutal to those women because they feel challenged. But we can change this if we change the mind-set of men from childhood. In addition, children learn through imitation, due to that, they can as well imitate from their parents how to respect women. They can be taught that women are human beings with their own strengths and can do things even better than men. Both women and men are equal human beings.
I say so because I passed through it. I grew up among females and they could do almost all the house chores as we (boys) watch and go to school. They would cook, sweep the house and wash plates. But one thing was different.
In my Upper Primary I was in the same class with my immediate elder sister and we used to do the same class work. In my society, it was believed that girls were not better than boys at Mathematics and Sciences. To my surprise my elder sister was better than me at Mathematics and mostly I would face challenges in the subject and only she would help. She didn’t want me to fail anything in class and hence we could do class exercises together. She taught me Mathematics even though sometimes when I tell my friends they could not believe. Today, I have the reason why my friends never believed that my sister taught me Mathematics. That was because the society they were in portrayed discrimination between men and women. It was a society in which women were considered neither equal nor better to/than men.
I once believed that there were things that only men can do that women cannot. That gave me a mind of superiority towards men. But, with time, I came to realize that I grew up with a single parent (Mother) who could do physical works which earlier I thought only men can do. This later changed my view towards human beings in terms of sex. My mother could do small businesses with me. She could put food on the table for almost all of us. I came to learn from her things that I could not see in other men.
I appreciated more the importance of women and why they deserve respect when I met Madam Wendy Stebbins- the founder of I AM ONE IN A MILLION. She taught me that women are equal to us. We used to meet as a group with girls. Sometimes she would suggest that girls should just sit and allow boys to prepare food for everyone. We would prepare food and serve to female members of the group. This act made ladies notice their importance and made me realize that a woman deserves respect and has to be treated in such line. Above all, Wendy Stebbins is hard working at working Smart. She taught me a lot of success principles which I am applying in my life today. She is a woman but her story is inspiring to a lot of men. She stands as my inspiration and scale of what I have to do every day to reach my dreams. Today I don’t just sit and watch a woman do everything or worship me. It's my duty and responsibility to come in and make that equality between us. I realized this through my King-Women.
In conclusion, it is a responsibility of every parent with male children to assign equal responsibilities to the children of both sexes. Boys as they grow should be taught that women are equal through making them do the same THING at times like house chores. These boys will grow knowing that males and females are equal. And know that every evolution that begins with children goes a mile and remains in them forever. Hence, for this equality to come in, it needs the mind-set change spearheaded by parents/guardians.