The following is the competition winning essay from our Ejisuman SHS Boys for Positive Change chapter, written by Baidoo Francis.
The need to ensure gender equality in our societies, the country and the world at large brings us to the question “how gender roles are divided”. Gender is the social and cultural differences between individuals. Gender roles are therefore the social and cultural roles played by males and females.
In my society, Edwenase, gender roles are divided according to men and women. Some gender roles performed by women are; women and girls stay at home to cook, wash utensils, wash clothes, fetch water and perform other household chores. Women also go to the farm to bring home food for family consumption. Also, women are expected to stay at home to take care of children while men go to work. In situations where there are no children to take care of, women just stay at home doing nothing.
Men have different roles to play in the society. Some of these roles are to provide for the basic needs of their wives and children. Men like women, also go to farm in order to feed the family with harvested crops. Also, men are the ones who take decisions in the homes. The pounding of fufu (a local food), is done by men. Women are only seen pounding fufu when there is no man at home.
These individual gender roles affect both men and women in diverse ways, but the women are the ones who suffer the most. For instance, when decisions are being made in society, women are not invited to share their ideas. This makes them feel less important. Also, the number of men who have attained higher education in society is more than women. Society thinks that no matter how much education a woman attains she will end up in the kitchen. Most families do not allow their men to Marry women who have attained higher education than the men, which there are not even many women like that. They think men are the heads of families and therefore higher than all other members and not equal to them. All these tendencies infringe upon the rights of women.
When there is effective public education in my society on the need to ensure gender equality and that the only difference between men and women is their genitals and nothing else. And also, when all of society is taught that “when you educate a man, you educate an individual, but when you educate a woman you educate an entire nation” as quoted by Dr. K. Aggrey. If this is done than our nation, and the world at large will be a better place to be.