Impact of Educational Programme on Gender Differential Opinion of Rural Mothers

Gender roles are a learned attribute – not biological an inheritance. By age five, most girls and boys have already internalized the gender role expectation communicated to them by their families, schools and society as a whole, and these norms will influence their behavior and development for rest of their lives. Present study was undertaken on mothers having children (3-5 years) of both sex attending anganwadi centers to study gender discrimination in their opinion/ feelings with regard to educational provision and type of occupational opportunities provided to their children. Gender discrimination was assessed by using modified Child Gender Socialization Scale on two main aspects followed by many sub-aspects on five point continuum. Each sub-aspect was scored for sons and daughters separately. Means and standard deviations were calculated for each sub-aspect. Independent sample‘t’ test was applied to study gender differences in mother’s feelings. On the basis of pre-testing results an educational programme was planned and imparted through a series of lectures, role- plays, slogans, slide shows and discussions on these aspects. After a gap of 15 days respondents were post tested to assess the improvement in the opinion of mothers. Before imparting educational programme mothers exhibited significant differential treatment for sons and daughters in all the aspects. According to rural mothers sons are given educational experiences to prepare for earning a living and to be economically independent while daughters are given education to prepare for marriage and child rearing. Mothers had the feelings that sons should be encouraged to go to college for career & technical education. Mothers showed interest to borrow money or bank loan to provide higher study to their sons’ only. With regard to choice of occupation, Girls would be preferred by mothers to work as crèche worker, beautician and nurse as the differences were highly significant, whereas boys would be encouraged to undertake the occupation of electrician, driver, carpenter, and waiter. Mothers had the feelings to prefer occupation of doctor, teacher and tailoring for both sons as well as daughters. Post –test results revealed significant improvement in mother’s feelings on three sub aspects of educational provision and remarkable improvement was found in provision of occupational opportunities for sons and daughters. Study concluded that continuous education of mothers on gender socialization is an important measure to reduce gender discrimination in the society