Chile de cuatro días – Gender Roles

6 Apr

It’s day four of the “Together” Network Conference: “Think Global, Act Local.”

Today we completed presentations on the organisations we were all from. I have learned good things from listening to these presentations, and learnt more about the social needs in other countries. (Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Poland and Chile.) Out of the presentations today, I was particularly interested in Guatemalan company ‘Connectivo No’j,’ part of which promotes expression through drama and performing arts. This is exactly what I want to do: I want to help people who have difficulties expressing themselves through performing, under the safe guise of acting pretense and a supportive atmosphere.

After an AMAZING lunch of humita, (mushed onion and corn with sugar or salt), we set about our afternoon on the topic of ‘Gender Equality.’ We were set the task of having a group discussion then creating 5 photos to depict what we had discussed.

I learnt that there is a lot of diversity world-wide in the roles of women, to give one example that we used: It is permissible for a woman to go out and work whilst her husband stays at home in the Dominican Republic, but in Chile this is not accepted. In Europe women’s rights are greatly discussed. We felt that the fight which has emerged  for equilibrium is sometimes damaging, and actually discriminatory against women who DO choose to take a traditional role in the home instead of competing with men, in what was (in Europe) a man’s world.

We agreed that it is important to offer choices not impose them, and that we must value the role of women as maternal, since this is being lost in modern societies of today. It would be terrible if we saw this imprinted – in a negative way – in the next generation. We all agreed that childhood is crucial for  individual’s development; motherhood should not be undermined, A.K.A. seen as a cop-out, or as settling for a boring ‘under-the-thumb’ life.

I must admit that I in the past have bought into this; passing through a feminist stage, I believed from the media that true happiness was in career success. This meant that I competed against men rather than accepting them as family members. This is not gender equality. However, more and more I am discovering that happiness comes from the equilibrium of good relationships and family building, particularly since finding a faith and building an understanding of  God. This new way means both genders working together in mutual respect instead of competing, or maintaining un-balanced status-quos.


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