Gender equality is for all genders, not one above the other

Understandably so, because in most societies women have been victims of oppression sometimes without even realising it.

But in its truest form gender equality is the ‘state in which access to rights or opportunities is unaffected by gender.’

This means that it caters equally for all genders, not prioritising women over men or vice versa.

Well, then let’s talk about how we have decided that children need their mothers more than they do their fathers. Because we were socialised to believe that mothers are better carers.

Based on what, exactly?

If we can argue that women can do just about everything men can do, especially in the workplace, why is the same not true for men in the home?

Society has created a frame of mind that hinders men from taking responsibility for their children, even when they want to.

We have been socialised to believe that it is acceptable for fathers to be absent from their children’s lives.

And that is why when men even so much as feeds a child, we clap our hands.

Husbands get applauded for babysitting their own children for three hours. Why?

Because we don’t expect men to contribute much beyond financial support.

I know this because people think that it is weird that we were raised by my father, who is a man.

“It must have been really interesting being raised by a man. Didn’t your father have anyone else that could look after you? It must have been very hard for him,” they say.

No, my favourite is when I hold my dad’s hand in public and people would rather believe that he is my blesser rather than my father.

Isn’t my father as much my parent as my mother is?

Are we not, by our very perceptions, denying men the opportunities to choose whether or not they want to be the primary givers to their children?

Especially us women.

And there are many men who have this desire by the way.

I’m glad my father raised us because now my brothers and nephews grow up knowing that being a man does not make you any less capable of taking care of a child.

Xoliswa Kali

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