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A family (representational image), Pixabay

– by Athina Ann Thomas

Jan 16, 2017: All parents want their children to do well in life. They even dream and plan for their children before their birth. They want the best for their children. But when it comes to girls and boys, do parents have different hopes and standards? Yes, they do!


Most parents are more concerned about their son’s education than for their daughter’s. It is sad to see that some parents though educated, subconsciously think that the daughter will get married and leave while the son will be there for them.

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Sons are considered as a blessing, the person who will carry forward the legacy of the family. At some parts of the country, it is even said that “educating a daughter is like watering a plant sowed in someone else’s garden.”

There exists a double standard in dealing with sons and daughters. Girls are trained to be homemakers and brought up with a mentality that their main purpose in life is to take care of a husband and two children.

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On the other hand, sons are encouraged to be outgoing, to take part in sports and given all the liberties that girls are generally deprived of. They are brought up with a mentality that in the future they will be earning a living for their family.

It’s not that these families do not educate their daughters, they do but their focus is more on the boys. They are not bothered for their daughter as much as the son. The saddest part is that even educated families do this. They are willing to spend a good part of the family resources on the son’s career building but are not willing to do the same for their daughter, but they are willing to spend on the daughter’s marriage.

In many countries including ours, higher education is a privilege of the boys. Parents are unwilling to send their daughters to higher classes because they are physically mature. There exists an unexplainable fear that danger lurks behind them.

Even now parents do not appreciate their daughters freely mingling with classmates especially students of the opposite sex. There is a limitation in freedom of speech and freedom of expression. There is fear that if a girl is given freedom she may revolt and go against traditional beliefs and customs of the society in which first comes marriage to a person of her own choice.

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No matter how educated a person is- these are some customs that the society follows since time immemorial. Thus I conclude by saying that even in the twenty-first-century parents do have different hopes and expectations from sons and daughters.

Centre for Social Action (CSA) is the development wing of Christ University. Set up in 1999, it believes in strengthening student community with a view to enabling positive changes in the society. Athina Ann Thomas is a volunteer at the organisation.


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