Egalitarian societies are more prosperous and their individuals are happier, freer and capable of living healthier relationships. The researchers show that individuals who live in egalitarian societies perceive greater well-being than those who live in societies with a greater degree of inequality.
Women are 50% of the population: we are daughters, sisters, grandmothers, mothers and granddaughters. We are victims of stereotypes, the perversion of language, education in inequality, the wage gap, gender violence and glass ceilings. Beyond equality on paper, since we are born, we are treated differently, we are educated differently and things are expected of us that are different from what is expected of children, boys and men. This not only affects us but to the entire society in which we live.
Fortunately, we have come a long way. Barely a century has passed since women’s voting suffrage. We have experienced the increased presence of women in the political sphere, advertising campaigns rethinking gender roles, the me-too movement and massive demonstrations protesting court rulings or, on Women’s Day, vindicating the progress made to not give one step back. All this contributes to awakening the awareness that we still have a long way to go.
Being aware of the difficulties and questioning what we have learned, perhaps even the education received, is the first step to achieve it. Undoubtedly, in the process, we will see ourselves, challenging for what we understand as “normal” or “proper”, when thinking about the tastes, preferences, reactions and attitudes of boys and girls, when relating in society.
- We could rethink the use we make of language when referring to children: the different adjectives we use to motivate them, our compliments, what we highlight about them, perhaps is the first big step for an education egalitarian. What we say about them, about others and about the reality that surrounds them, becomes their inner voice and the basis for the construction of the image they will have of themselves and of the world.
- Not distinguishing or making decisions based on gender would also be a good turning point. Proposing activities that are far from stereotypes usually reveals hidden hobbies and gives rise to fun moments. For example, promoting women’s sports, interaction between boys and girls: mixed teams, groups of friends, parties, joint activities… far from what girls’ or boys’ parties are “supposed” to be.
- Reflecting together on romantic love, fairy tales and gender stereotypes that include cinema and literature, will give us great conversations. Growing up in the conviction that love does not hurt or mistreat, but supports us, helps us grow and takes care of us, will undoubtedly be one of the best bases for the self-esteem and confidence of our sons and daughters. In this sense, asking ourselves if certain behaviors, minimized and socially accepted, suppose gender violence can be of great help.
- Openly dealing with sexuality, and the received cultural conditions, as well as family reflection on the obligation of explicit consent, prior to any type of sexual relationship, becomes a matter of vital importance, not only to educate in non-violence but to lay the foundations for a full sexuality.
- Searching and discovering, in textbooks, the great female figures of history, music, science, literature and politics, highlighting their great contribution to the progress of humanity, will help the female empowerment of our daughters, and a most egalitarian and real account of history for all.
From the perspective of schools and educational centers, it is essential to contribute through, curricular plans and teacher training that work on gender equality, as well as regulations and codes of conduct aimed at coexistence, from respect, non-discrimination and acceptance of difference as a value for a richer and more plural society.
The school must guarantee spaces of educational and learning freedom in which we can question the reality in which we live and build a more egalitarian society.
The reward is precious: the construction of a better world for future generations and, specifically, for our sons and daughters, undisputed protagonists of the 21st century, where equality between men and women will once again be the thermometer of history to measure social development.
El Petit Panda