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Are the statements given alongside true or false? Support your answer with the use of an example−
(a) All societies do not think similarly about the roles that boys and girls play.
(b) Our society does not make distinctions between boys and girls when they are growing up.
(c) Women who stay at home do not work.
(d) The work that women do is less valued than that of men.
(a) True. The society which we live in believes that the roles of boys and girls are different in a well-defined manner. Broadly speaking, our societies are mostly patriarchal i.e., a male is always the head of the family. On the other hand, the societies in most Latin American countries are matriarchal in nature i.e., a female is always the head of the family and the family lineage is traced by following the female’s line of family.
(b) False. Our society does make distinctions between boys and girls when they are growing up. This can be exemplified as follows: Girls are usually given toys such as dolls, whereas boys are given toys such as cars, bat & ball etc. As compared to boys, girls spend more time in the kitchen and they are the ones who help the mother in taking care of the requirements of the household. On the other hand, boys are more involved in outdoor activities.
(c) False. Though it is a preconceived notion that women who stay at home do not work, it is not true. Women who stay at home do almost an equal amount of work as compared to their male counterparts by running the household, which is not an easy task. On an average, women spend more time working as compared to men. However, their work goes unnoticed because a bulk of their work is household-related and does not contribute to the generation of income.
(d) True. Since our society considers men to be the breadwinners of the family, any work that a woman does is not valued much because it does not contribute to the total income of the family. However, it must be noted that the amount of time women spend in taking care of the householed, which involves tasks such as preparing three meals, getting kids ready for school, taking care of the general cleanliness of the household, managing rations, dealing with maids or other such domestic helps etc., and the effectiveness with which they do it is truly commendable.
Housework is invisible and unpaid work.
Housework is physically demanding.
Housework is time consuming.
Write in your own words what is meant by the terms ‘invisible’, ‘physically demanding’, and ‘time consuming’? Give one example of each based on the household tasks undertaken by women in your home.
Invisible here means something which is not noticed. A good example will be breakfast in the morning, which we eat without realizing the amount of effort put in making it.
Physically demanding means something which requires hard work. An example of this is washing clothes.
Time consuming means something which takes a long time to be done. Cleaning the house is an example of this.
Make a list of toys and games that boys typically play and another for girls. If there is a difference between the two lists, can you think of some reasons why this is so? Does this have any relationship to the roles children have to play as adults?
Attempt this question on your own and compare your answer with those of your friends.
If you have someone working as a domestic help in your house or locality talk to her and find out a little bit more about her life − Who are her family members? Where is her home? How many hours does she work? How much does she get paid? Write a small story based on these details.
Attempt this question on your own.