I joined CHSJ one month back with an intention to have a deeper understanding of the issues and ongoing work related to gender equality. On the first day in CHSJ I had a query in my mind about the working strategies at CHSJ.
I was glad to know that a proper and timely orientation will be given as I am a new family member of CHSJ. As different rounds of orientation sessions went on I learnt several new things related to the work strategies of CHSJ. At the outset, I was oriented to this new thought of ‘involving men in gender equality’ but with a question remained as in ‘how’.
The rigorous orientation, interactions and discussions with staff members and slight involvement in the ongoing activities helped me develop my understanding on involving in gender equality. I was able to understand that a man can make a big difference in his and as well as rest of the family member’s life. Man, in any family is the key person and has the decision making power. Men’s in household chores create a friendly and pleasant environment in the house hence men need to change themselves positively.
Attitude is the first barrier which prohibits men to take a part in the household chores. Values and social norms, especially, based on gender makes a man reluctant to provide support to the female family members – mother, sister(s), wife, daughter(s) – in their daily house-work, health care, crises, etc. Ignorance about the importance of gender roles, especially because of masculinity, in the household chores is another cause behind the absence of male participation in the house chores and responsibilities toward the family members.
Now I understand that attitudes can be changed, the values and the social norms can be re-designed, and a man can make a difference by taking part in the household chores. Information and awareness, behaviour changing exercises, and guidance need to be made available to men as a start to get men involved in the household chores.
When a man takes care and provides support, his family members, especially females- a mother proudly shares it with the society, sister(s) enjoy the support and a better life, children have a caring friend, a wife gets handholding support, a wife’s pregnancy becomes safer, and the home environment become more pleasant.
The overall orientation process gave me another opportunity at a personal to also review of my past and present behaviour and has provided me a direction for the future.
By Ravish Ahmad