Home as a foundation in promoting gender equality

Home is where an individual gets their early and much-needed lesson about good manners, positive behavior, and gender equality.

The Philippine Commission on Women, the Philippines’ primary policymaking and coordinating body on women and gender equality concerns, believes that every child should be taught that they can play with either toy guns or dolls regardless of their gender, with the help of their parents and guardians.

In an interview with the Philippine Information Agency, PCW deputy executive director Kristine Balmes, emphasized that the formation of children’s perceptions of the world we live in is established within our homes.

She stated: “Through our daily interactions with our children at home, their perspective and knowledge about equality is instilled in them. First, parents should lead by example because children are keen observers. Therefore, parents should ensure equal treatment of both men and women at home.”

Even at an early stage, Balmes stressed that children should be educated at home and that household tasks are not solely exclusive to women. She believes that the distribution of responsibilities should not be gender-based but rather evenly distributed.

This includes giving them equal treatment in all household matters, from simple chores to decision-making and career aspirations. By dispelling misconceptions and gender norms within the home, children will be equipped to treat everyone outside equally.

Camille Ramos, an entrepreneur and a mother of four girls, commits to teaching her children the respect needed for individuals regardless of their gender.

“My children are still young, I don’t even know what they will be when they grow up, but I will teach them one thing, they must learn how to respect everyone. Regardless of their state of life and gender. This way, as they mature and navigate the real world, they will be equipped to interact confidently with individuals from all walks of life,” Ramos said.

For Charisse Odong-Ungria, a first-time mother to a son, in today’s ever-changing world, it is essential to instill the principles of gender equality within the home.

“At home, it’s where our children must first learn to treat others with respect and fairness. My partner and I, often talk about equality and show it through our actions to help teach our son that everyone deserves equal opportunities and respect. We believe that these conversations at home will help our son to grow up to be a kind and respectful adult.” Odong-Ungria explained.

“Trabaho ng mga babae yan!”, “Hindi umiiyak ang mga lalaki!” and many other false statements and beliefs, are as backward as the toxic ideology of misogyny and sexism are.

Parents should continue to recognize the diversity of roles, showcasing to children that women can succeed in male-dominated fields, and vice versa, which will lead to a safe environment for discussions and inquiries regarding gender roles and expectations.

Balmes believes that the all-for-one initiative will help create an environment free from discriminatory practices and attitudes among all genders and achieve the long-term aspiration #WEcanbeEquALL for everyone. (CO/PIA-4A)

Sulong Calabarzon is a weekly public affairs program hosted by the Philippine Information Agency Calabarzon, streaming live every Thursday, 2:00 PM via the Philippine Information Agency Calabarzon Facebook page.

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