As we approach the Women’s Day, thousands of women will participate in activist marches across the world. Street activism not only gives us visibility, it also gives our efforts a visual effect but what we should try consciously is to impact our near and immediate society with indoor activism.
A movement which does not need banners or megaphones
While we cannot take away the credit from the mass movements like #MeToo or women marching on streets for equal pay and equal rights many times our activist movements don’t bring in the result we desire. This is because our efforts come in powerful spurts. While they have brought some justice and legal changes all around the world, if we want the change at the grassroot level, then we need to start indoors.
The passive resistance against sexism and gender inequality is not against our society or the government, it is against the thinking that prevents the people close to us from helping us achieve equality. It is not against men, or in-laws or policies that hold us down, but ideas and practices which keep people from supporting our cause. Such a revolution demands persistence and long-term commitment on a day-to-day basis. So, what better day to pledge it, than the International Women’s Day.
Day to day indoor activism is essential for long-term achievements
The change in thought process will not come overnight. If we want to end sexism in our homes and offices, then we have to promote gender equality every day.
Conversations on gender equality
Firstly, women need to put their differences aside, and form a strong unit. We must learn to lead by example and learn to support each other. This also means that women should together and individually show zero tolerance for sexual harassment at workplace. By sensitising our colleagues and discouraging every inappropriate comment and advances, we can ensure that workplace harassment doesn’t claim a woman’s career silently.
Both in offices and homes, we need to initiate conversations on gender equality. Let’s not wait for our patience to wear out and our temper to give away. We can put up a resistance on a day-to-day and individual basis. This will also help us question the misogyny which we try to pass on as a part of our culture. Not only within our family setups but even in offices, certain job descriptions have gender written on them. Indoor activism is about refuting these stereotypes and bringing the opposite gender and our dear ones on same page as well.
We can start by saying a clear “No” to suffer harassment, abuse, inequality or oppression of any kind at the hands of those known to us.
Equal division of household chores
Asking for an equal division in household chores, or equal appreciation at work may not seem as humongous a step toward gender equality but chiselling away at these little things will eventually help in reducing down the size of our problem. Also, our homes are where we can impact the young minds the most. We can put an effort into nurturing a more gender-inclusive future.
So, while we do need street and social media activism, we also need the indoor activism. That is because it helps us impact the lives of those who are close to us. Indoor activism is more intimate and hence more compassionate. It gives an aspect of love to our activism.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own