Zimbabwe: Parents Reinforce Harmful Gender Stereotypes
Loverage Nhamoyebonde – All Africa – 15 August 2012 (originally published 10 Aug)
Gender, gender, gender! Gender equality hullabaloo is heard all over public spaces in this country. Yet those who champion gender equality and the need for it usually do not have it in their own family. It is all grandstanding. Which Zimbabwean family really treats sons and daughters as equals?
Charity begins at home, so they say. As far as gender equality is concerned, the socialisation that one gets from a family after birth leaves a lot to be desired. It remains fact and not fiction that in modern day Zimbabwe, if a daughter comes home late at night, her parents will not treat her the same way as her twin brother who arrived home at the same time. Why?
In many families across Zimbabwe male children are socialised to be masculine, hard, tough, combative and confrontational, while girls are socialised to be fragile, delicate and feminine. This has a direct bearing on how we perceive women and men later on in life . . .
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