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#GirlontheStreet: What are some of the Gender Stereotypes You Experienced Growing up?

Updated: May 13, 2020

This week, we are exploring the issue of gender stereotyping and discrimination in the family unit and its impact on the identity of young women and girls today.

According to a report on ‘Gender Stereotyping in Family in the Pakhtun culture’ by Muhammad Hussain et. al., it was discovered that “gender stereotypes are primarily developed in family in early ages and then strengthened by gender socialization, differential parental treatment, and parental role model of behavior toward children. These stereotypes have long-term effects over the lives of individuals such as their education, employment, and other spheres in which they participate. Therefore, it is essential to sort out gender stereotyping at the earliest age, thereby changing parents’ psyche and attitudes.”

The findings of this report reiterate that as more young girls are stereotyped as weaker, unwanted sexes at home, these young girls grow up to be women who are not aware of their self-worth and value to society. In the same vein, more young boys grow up with the superiority complex and a sense of entitlement over the female gender.

According to Muhammad Hussain et. al., “to prevent children from adopting gender stereotyping belief systems requires conscious efforts from parents to challenge stereotypes and also for the roles and behaviors adopted by adults themselves to become de-gendered”.

Investigating deeper into this issue, we hit the streets to speak to young girls and women to understand their experience with Gender Stereotyping and discrimination at home:

Rita, 27

My younger brother never did the dishes or cooked any meals when we were growing up. In fact, my Dad would get so upset anytime he saw ‘his son’ in the kitchen. I never knew it was even a gender issue until I grew older.

Abike, 20

My mother’s favourite line was “Is this what you would be doing in your husband’s house?”. Everything I did pointed back to what I would do in my “husband’s house”, but my brothers could get away with anything.

Nkem, 28

I went to play football with my brothers one evening. When I got home, my Mum scolded me and said nothing to my brothers. She said I was ‘too rough for a girl’. I never understood that incident until now. It was all Gender Stereotyping.

Kasheefa, 25

We were three girls in our family. When my Mum finally gave birth to our last boy it was a big celebration in the house. My mum, dad and even all three girls treated him like the golden child. In my mind it was because he was our last born. Nowadays, I’m beginning to see that it was because he was the only son in the family too. Apparently, I and my sisters were never really enough.

What has your experience with Gender Stereotyping and discrimination at home been like? Let us know in the comments.

Make a change today. Call out and correct any form of gender stereotyping and discrimination you see in the family unit today, let us build a world with more confident girls and better disciplined men.

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