While on one hand, women are standing up for their rights and constantly trying to break the glass ceiling, on the other hand, we have government magazines taking gigantic steps backwards, and suggesting grinding chakki and doing household chores as easy tips for WOMEN to stay healthy.
We wish we were kidding.
Shivira, the Secondary Education Department’s monthly magazine in Rajasthan, printed the suggestion, out of several others as a part of their list titled ‘Swasth rehne ke saral upaay’ or ‘easy tips for staying healthy’. Apart from grinding chakki, filling water pitchers and sweeping and mopping the floors were also suggested for women in the 52-page November issue of the magazine.
The particular tip in question said while early morning walks, running, cycling, horse-riding, swimming or any other sports are good for health, women can also stay fit by doing various household chores.
Now, we’re all familiar with these conventional methods of staying fit, and we don’t disregard it. Household chores can aide in keeping fit, but whatever was the reason for it to be deemed as something that women can do to stay healthy?! Haven’t we escaped the neck-deep sexist rut of women doing household chores and men not being a part of them? It’s 2017, and we are still finding ourselves being exposed to the age-old system of women being confined to the ghar-sambhaalna aspects of a family, while the rest of us, with our hardworking potential, and aspirational visions for our future, read on with disappointment.
When asked for a comment, the director of Secondary Education Department, Nathmal Didel, who is also the Chief Editor of the magazine, said “There are many men who sweep and mop the floor themselves. I don’t think women are lagging behind men in any manner, they are equally competent. The intention of the department was never to undermine women”.
Whether the department meant to undermine women or not, the example was a huge step backwards in the face of gender equality and the various leaps of progress that women are making in their successful careers. How far have we really come from the past, and more importantly, how much longer should women be fighting for equality - something we should’ve been granted a long time ago?