Feminize family life and early education for a gender equitable society
Many people believe skewed sex-ratio, faulty up-bringing and rearing practices in homes, unattached adult population, cut-throat competition, role-reversal, lack of value-oriented role models, objectification of women by consumer society and gender insensitivity in governance are responsible for ever-increasing sexual crimes on women.
THE ONGOING protests and social uprising due the brutal attack on Jyoti Pandey and her consequent death is a wake-up call for both societal and governmental institutions. They should sit back to think and implement seriously the social, educational and governance reforms for this comprehensive and complex problem of alarmingly high rate of occurrence of sexual crimes against women.
A beginning should be made with the families and schools which have become all the more patriarchal and masculinised. These two social institutions should be based on cooperation and gender equity as social values. Nurturance, caring and sharing, which are main feminine qualities, should be the basis of rearing and education both.
Research has proved conclusively that the age of 9 to 11 years is the most rapid period of mind-making or mind-set formation and both social conditions in which the rearing and education takes place must foster both rational thinking and basic human values. Mahatma Gandhi believed that if criminal activities increase in the society, it implies that our education system has been criminalized. The sexual assaults on girls in schools and campus violence are the manifestation of rotten learning environment, irresponsible teachers, bad role models and masculine-aggressive teaching methods.
We need to feminize both the family life and early school education to develop children with the right kinds of attitude or mindsets. There is a need for family life education for parents and feminist psychology-based teacher education for prospective teachers.