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Closing the Dream Gap: Empowering Girls to Pursue Their Aspirations

In many households, it's a common sight to see boys and girls being raised differently. From early childhood, they are indoctrinated with the belief that they are inherently different.

by Sundas Behroz - 02 Apr, 2024 1633
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In many households, it's a common sight to see boys and girls being raised differently. From early childhood, they are indoctrinated with the belief that they are inherently different.

They are molded with distinct habits; their clothing colors, sports, schools, and even toys are dictated by their gender. Boys are handed cars and toy guns, while girls are given dolls and miniature kitchen sets, encouraging them to play house. By the age of five, girls internalize the notion of their inferiority to boys, believing they cannot aspire to be presidents, scientists, or CEOs.

If a girl expresses an interest in becoming a pilot, she's often discouraged with remarks like, "Pilots are for boys; you should aim to become a doctor." Even if she pursues medicine and dreams of becoming a surgeon, she may face opposition, being told, "Surgeons should be men; consider gynecology instead."

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Similarly, if she excels in science and dreams of becoming a scientist, societal norms may steer her towards more "suitable" professions, reinforcing gender biases and stifling her ambitions.

This early introduction to gender disparity taints their dreams and aspirations, hindering their potential. Termed as the "dream gap" in English, it signifies how girls' aspirations are obstructed by ingrained biases, preventing them from realizing their full capabilities.

To address this issue, the 'Barbie Dream Gap' project was initiated. It's a global endeavor aimed at challenging gender stereotypes and dismantling the prejudices that hinder girls from reaching their fullest potential. Since 2019, the Barbie Dream Gap project has collaborated with various partners annually to empower girls and encourage them to pursue their aspirations.

While 'Barbie Dream Gap' operates on a global scale, it prompts reflection on whether we, at the household level, respect our daughters' wishes and allow them to pursue their interests without gender bias. It advocates for nurturing an environment where girls are assured that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.

So, do you respect your daughters' aspirations and empower them to pursue their dreams?