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  • Writer's pictureAdvitha

Breaking gender inequality over a Meal!

Oh what inequality? Women are strong, who can multitask and, choose whatever field they want to work in, and can take up the roles of daughter, mother, wife, friend, sister, and many more. You see, the current world has 'given' them all the necessary freedom they need so why talk about inequality and feminism? Isn't it absurd?

If freedom was "given" doesn't it mean it was "taken away" to start with? This itself addresses the fact that inequality has existed and still exists in the world when it comes to Gender. There are many many contexts for Gender Inequality, but I am going to pick the one that I have seen growing up all these years and still continue to see to date.

Equality starts from home and to be very precise on the dining table; at least according to me. Food is something that binds all of us together and over the years it is also something that has continued to show the inequality in society. It has been a common notion to find a woman standing in the kitchen of every household. And to enforce this thought -

Women are given the title of 'Homemaker', and men are called 'Breadwinners'.

These are some of the very subtle ways society has shown and enforced a woman's and man's place. And it is almost ridiculous to think of these roles being reversed.

Meals at a table usually involve the woman and the girls in the family shuttling between the kitchen and the table, serving the family, all this irrespective of their hunger and the hours of toiling in the kitchen. Like the whole fiasco of serving a meal isn't enough, there is the task of clearing the food waste and washing the utensils. In between these chores, they try to sneak in some leftover food on the plate, that they serve themselves. All this happens in many households, day in day out I am sure, and it's a normal affair.

A woman is meant to nourish the family and take care of their wellbeing but what goes unnoticed is that these are the very same women who have neglected their health, and society conveniently says -

'She sacrifices a lot for her family. This is the sign of a strong woman!'. What needs to stop is portraying these sacrifices as a badge of honor. No, it is not ok to sacrifice your health, be it any gender.

Incidences of many lifestyle diseases are common in women, and this is mainly because of a lack of nutritious meals. Amidst all the chores, balancing their plate happens to be the least of concern for most women. It is wonderful to be a care provider and nourisher and all the roles that a woman can take up, but what a woman needs first is a space on the table with the rest of the family members during meals, a plate that is equally filled as the rest of the family members and a family that equally takes up the responsibility of the household chores be it serving the meal or clearing the plates after a meal.

Nobody is assigned a specific role and nobody is born with a job description based on their gender. Inequality is what we create and nurture and is what we can break if we intend to.

Let's break the gender inequality one meal at a time, shall we?

Let a household break the gender inequality and the world will follow, or so I believe!

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