Changing Perspectives: My Journey Towards Gender Equality in the Kitchen

I come from a close-knit family in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, with most of my relatives residing in Rishikesh, Haridwar and Dehradun. Our family gatherings were always a time for us to catch up and spend quality time with each other. However, I noticed a troubling gender stereotype that prevailed in our family during these gatherings. The females in our family were always assigned kitchen duties, while the males engaged in discussions about politics and business opportunities. Whereas, my elder male cousin and younger cousins had fun by playing games or dancing.

As a younger member of the family, I was always drawn to the latter group and hardly participated in the kitchen work. However, after I got my periods, my mother started involving me in the kitchen, but I was hardly interested in it. Nevertheless, I observed that people(relatives) looked at me differently, and expected me to help in the kitchen during family gatherings. I resented this and avoided the kitchen as much as possible.

It was only when I started my law school journey and learned about equality, feminism, and the history of female struggles that I realized my mistake. I realized that household work is not inferior to outside work, in fact it requires 24×7 concentration and focus. Moreover, I understood that to change the way females are viewed in the kitchen, I needed to be in the kitchen and bring in what was missing- fun and discussions.

So, I started to involve myself in the kitchen and initiated meaningful discussions about their lives. I discussed how my aunts were irritated with their husbands’ behavior and how they did things without telling them. These discussions made me think about how life is not just about fitting in with what is presumed as important, but about involving oneself in things that really matter.

I also involved my male cousins in the kitchen work by telling them what they need to do beforehand, which helped them understand the effort that goes into making a gathering successful.

Now, when I attend family gatherings, I see a more positive vibe. People help each other and involve each other in whatever work that comes their way. This experience has taught me to respect and value all kinds of work and to include everyone in every activity. I hope that this has helped my young female cousins to have a wider and deeper understanding of how all work should be respected, shared, and everyone should be included in an activity irrespective of how fun or tiresome it is. By taking this small step, I hope to foster a greater sense of gender equality and empathy among them.

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About the Author

Ekta Sati

I am Ekta Sati, born & brought up in a very peaceful and beautiful city, Rishikesh. I am an admirer of nature and loves to spend my time on the riverside and in the forests. read more...

8 Posts | 3,048 Views

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