I have been privileged to be raised with 3 sisters and no brothers. It meant we got everything family and home could offer us without the limitations of our gender. There was never any talk of us being inferior to boys. Instead, we were giving every imaginable responsibility because ‘I don’t have a son who can do that, so you have to,’ as my father was fond of saying.
So, we did the gardening, we washed the car and ran errands in town. When we came of age we learnt to drive. If your grades permitted efforts were made to send you to college. Of course, because we were girls our freedoms were limited. Curfews were strict, and outings alone we considered too dangerous for girls. ‘If you were a boy, it may be different,’ my mother would say after yet another refusal to attend a party.
It is in the home that the girl first encounters the gender ceiling. How biased the family’s outlook is will largely determine how she steps out into the world. Often girls are limited by their perception of themselves and what they can be. And that is built up mainly in how they are treated in their families. Its easy for me to oppose gender bias because that is not how I was raised.
I am now raising two girls of my own. I want to raise them to not limit themselves because they are girls. I want my girls and other girls in my sphere of influence to live their lives to the fullest potential. I want them to never doubt their own mental or physical strength. Anything a boy can do they can too. Despite everything the world may say or deprive them of, their self confidence should carry them through.