The National Policy for Women is being revised for the first time in 16 years, and the Group of Ministers, headed by Sushma Swaraj, has been meeting to revise it. Sushma Swaraj said a little something-something to the other ministers at this meeting that made all of us very happy.
She said that men should be encouraged to study home science, and women be motivated to take up physical education, especially martial arts.
So exciting. She rightly mentioned that having men study home science would help dispel traditional mindsets about women. More importantly, it’ll mean that men will actually contribute to housework. Swaraj mentioned that these days, more women work outside of the home than before, but that this hasn’t really translated in women doing less work inside the home, instead leading women to be doubly burdened by both professional and household work.
I remember a study that said that men imagine that they do equal amounts of work home when the evidence says they just really do not, and this piece in The Guardian says it’s because women do more mental labour. I think it’s because the expectations on men to do work around the home are so low, that they magnify the little work they do in their minds.
Having men study home science, and having them learn both how to do work around the house and to understand that there is an expectation from them to do work around the house, will help reduce situations in which women are swamped with all the work. Plus, it’s nice for people to learn how to cook, clean and take care of themselves and their homes, regardless of gender, and this is an idea that works well no matter how you look at it.
As for women studying physical education and martial arts: okay.
In case you missed it, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has also been asking people to tweet in their suggestions for the revised policy, which you should really do if you have something on your mind. It’s pretty exciting that they’re thinking of taking in a broad range of views outside of their own circle, and it’s a great opportunity to make some varied demands known.
— Ministry of WCD (@MinistryWCD) April 27, 2017