Growing Up as Boys and Girls: NCERT 7th CBSE Social Studies Civics Chapter 04
Question: What is the important part of one’s identity? What teaches us the acceptable behaviour?
Growing Up as Boys and Girls – Answer:
- To be a boy or girl is an important part of one’s identity.
- The society teaches us the kind of behaviour acceptable for girls and boys.
- We often grow up thinking that these things are exactly the same everywhere.
Question: What do we generally learn about women and men?
- We learn that most societies value men and women differently.
- The roles women play and the work they do are usually valued less than the roles men play and the work they do.
- We also learn that inequalities between men and women exist in the area of work.
Growing up in Samoa in the 1920s
Question: Where is Samoa? Briefly write about the life of children there.
Answer: Samoan islands are in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. According to a research Samoan children did not go to school. They learnt to take care of younger siblings and fishing. They learnt these at different stages of childhood. Fishing being important, they learn long fishing expeditions.
Question: Describe the life of the Samoan people in 1920s.
- As soon as babies could walk, their mothers or other adults no longer looked after them.
- Some children at 5 years of age, took over this responsibility.
- Both boys and girls looked after their younger siblings.
- At the age of nine years boys joined the other boys in learning outdoor jobs like fishing and planting coconuts.
- Girls continue looking after small children or do errands for adults till they were teenagers.
- After becoming teenagers girls had much more freedom.
- After the age of fourteen or so, girls also went on fishing trips, worked in the plantations, learnt how to weave baskets.
- Cooking was done in special cooking-houses, where boys did most of the work.
- Girls helped with the preparations of the food.
Growing up Male in Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s
Question: Give an account of the growing up in Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s.
Answer: Grooving up in Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s:
- From class VI onward boys and girls went to separate schools.
- Girls school was designed very differently from the boys school.
- They had a central courtyard where they played in total seclusion and safety from the outside world.
- The boys school had no such courtyard and the playground was a big space attached to the school.
- Every evening after the school, the boys watched as hundreds of school girls crowded the narrow streets as they looked very purposeful.
- The boys used the streets for different things like to stand around idling, to play, to try out tricks with their bicycles.
- For the girls, the street was simply a place to get straight home.
- The girls always went in groups, perhaps because they also carried fears of being teased or attacked by boys or other bad elements.
Question: Do we all grow in a similar manner?
Answer: Examples of children from Samoan islands and Madhya Pradesh makes it clear they that we all grow differently. Even within our own family the childhood of our elders would be very different from ours.
Question: How does the society make a distinction between girls and boys?
Answer: From the young age society make a clear distinction between the two genders. Boys are given cars and girls are given dolls.
Through the toys the difference starts. The girls are dressed differently, are asked to speak softly. Boys on the other hand play different games, are considered to be tough.
Through this the children are conditioned to play the specific role when they grow up. This even affects our subject and career choices later in the life.
Question: Is there a equality between the genders?
Answer: In most societies including ours the work done by men and women are not valued equally. They do not have the same status in society.
My Mother does not Work: Growing Up as Boys and Girls
Question: What is the story board about?
Answer: The given story board is about understanding the importance of house work. Shonali wants her mother to volunteer for school excursion. According to her friend Harmeet’s mother always comes because she doesn’t work.
Question: What happens at Harmeet’s house?
Growing Up as Boys and Girls – Answer: Harmeet and his father were of the opinion that Jaspreet is a housewife and does not work. Jaspreet decides to go on strike for one day.
Next day there was chaos at their house:
- Children got up late missed their school bus.
- There was no water as pump wasn’t switched on.
- Harsharan, Harmeet’s father had no breakfast and had to drop kids to school.
- The children went without lunch. Their mother gave them money for the canteen.
- In the evening there was no tea for Harsharan and house was also untidy.
This made them understand that housework is also important and should be valued.
Valuing housework: Growing Up as Boys and Girls
Question: Why is the work of men and women not valued equally?
Answer: In most societies the work of men and women is valued differently.
- Men work outside the house.
- Women do all the household chores like cleaning, washing, cooking, care giving etc.
- These works are not considered real works and are not recognized as work.
- It is assumed that these come naturally to women. These do not have to be paid for.
- Society devalues this work.
Lives of Domestic Workers: Growing Up as Boys and Girls
Question: Describe the lives of domestic workers as given in the chapter.
- In the given chapter, Harmeet’s mother was not the only one who did the housework.
- A lot of the work was done by Mangala, their domestic help(er).
- Many homes, particularly in towns and cities, employ domestic workers.
- They do a lot of work – sweeping and cleaning, washing clothes and dishes, cooking, looking after young children or the elderly.
- Most domestic workers are women.
- Sometimes even young boys or girls are employed to do this work.
- Wages are low, as domestic work does not have much value.
- A domestic worker’s day begins as early as five in the morning and ends as late as twelve at night.
- Despite the hard work they do, their employers often do not pay them enough on show them much respect.
Question: Briefly write about life of domestic worker Melani?
Answer: Melani worked in Delhi as a domestic worker for a rich family. She had to do all the work along with two other girls.
- They got up at 5 o’clock and got a cup of tea with two dry chapattis as breakfast.
- They cleaned the house and did all other work.
- In evening Melani cooked food. She secretly cooked extra rotis for herself and other two girls.
- They could not wear chappals in the house even in winters.
Question: What does housework involve?
The housework actually involves many different tasks.
A number of these tasks require heavy physical work:
- In both Rural and Urban areas women and girls fetch water.
- In rural areas women and girls carry heavy headloads of firewood.
- Tasks like washing clothes, cleaning, sweeping and picking up loads require bending, lifting and carrying.
- Many chores like cooking, involve standing for long hours in front of hot stoves.
- The women’s work is strenuous and physically demanding, words associated with men.
Question: Explain another aspect of housework.
Another aspect of housework is ‘care giving’.
- This aspect is related to looking after the children and nurturing them.
- Taking care of the elderly or ill people in the home.
- All this requires strong emotional aspect along with physical labour.
- In fact if we add up the work (housework) and care giving time women work much more than men.
- Now with women working even outside homes their leisure time has further been reduced.
Women’s Work and Equality
Question: What do you understand by the term “double burden”?
Answer: In today’s world many women work inside as well as outside the home. This is referred to as “double burden”.
Growing Up as Boys and Girls – Question: Why we see low value attached to women’s work?
Answer: Low value attached to household or care giving work is not a family matter. It is due to the inequality between the genders existing in the society. It should be dealt by individuals, society as well by the government.
Question: What does our Constitution say about discrimination?
Growing Up as Boys and Girls – Answer:
- Our Constitution says that there should be no discrimination on the basis of gender (male or female).
- In reality inequality between the sexes exists.
- The government recognizes that burden of childcare and housework falls on women and girls.
- This naturally has an impact on the girls attending the school.
- It determines whether women work outside the house and their jobs and careers.
- Government has set up anganwadis or child care centers in villages.
- The government has passed laws that make it mandatory for organisations that have more than 30 women employees to provide creche facilities.
- The provision of Creches helps many women to take up employment outside the home.
- It also makes it possible for more girls to attend schools.
Question: Fill in the blanks with appropriate words:
- The child centers in villages are called ……………
- Our constitution provides ……………………….. of genders.
- In Madhya Pradesh the ………………… schools were designed differently in the 1960s.
- Most of the work done by women is ……………..
- devalued / invisible.
Question: State whether the given statements are true or false.
- House work does not require physical and emotional work.
- Life of domestic worker is very difficult.
- Government has passed laws that organisations with women workers must have creche facilities.
- Domestic workers get high wages.
Question: Are the statements given below true or false? Support your answer with the use of an example:
- All societies do not think similarly about the roles that boys and girls play.
- Our society does not make distinctions between boys and girls when they are growing up.
- Women who stay at home do not work.
- The work that women do is less valued than that of men.
- It is a true statement. In most societies, the work boys do is given more importance than the work girls do.
- It is a false statement. Our society makes distinctions between boys and girls even while they are in growing phase. From the very early age, boys are taught to be tough and serious, while girls are taught to be mild and soft. Boys are given toys like cars, guns to play with while girls are given dolls.
- It is a false statement. Women who stay at home, do a lot of household chores. They cook food, wash clothes, sweep floor, and numerous other works; some of which are very strenuous.
- It is true statement. Women do a lot of work. The main responsibility for housework and care-giving tasks lies with women. Yet, the work that they do with the home is not recognized as work. It is assumed that this is something that comes naturally to women. It, therefore, does not have to be paid for. This is the main reason why our society devalues women’s work.
- Housework is invisible and unpaid work.
- Housework is physically demanding.
- Housework is time consuming.
Write in your own words what is meant by the terms ‘invisible’, ‘physically demanding’ and ‘time consuming’? Give one example of each based on the household tasks undertaken by women in your home.
- Invisible. It means the work that is not seen from our eyes. For example, the main responsibility for housework and care-giving tasks, like looking after the family, especially children, the elderly and sick members, lies with women. There are such works or tasks which are often not recognized as works and therefore remain invisible.
- Physically demanding. Very tough and difficult tasks. For example, women do a lot of work inside the home. Some of these works such as carrying heavy headloads of firewood, fetching water from a far-off place, washing clothes of the entire family members etc. are very tough and difficult. Still women do them regularly without making any complaints.
- Time-consuming. Household works that take much time. For example, women’s routine begins from early morning and continues upto late night. During this period they are seen busy in fulfilling the needs and wishes of their family member. They often sit with their children and help them in completing their homework. This is a good example of time-consuming work.
Question: Make a list of toys and games that boys typically play and another for girls. If there is a difference between the two lists, can you think of some reasons why this is so? Does this have any relationship to the roles children have to play as adults?
List of toys and games that boys play with: cars, guns, swords, buses, railway trains, lions, etc. (toys), cricket, kabaddi, hockey, football etc. (games).
List of toys and games that girls play with: dolls, cooking items etc. (toys), badminton, table-tennis, hide and seek etc. (games).
These games are also played by the boys. From the above description we can infer that there is a difference between the toys with which boys play and the toys with which girls play.
The reason behind this is that our society makes clear distinctions between boys and girls. Boys are taught to be tough while girls are taught to be mild. Boys are expected to do works which highlight their manly features but girls are expected to remain in limit with all feminine virtues. All these are ways of telling children that they have specific roles to play when they grow up to be men and women. Later in life this affects even the subjects they can study or the careers they can choose.
Question: If you have someone working as a domestic help in your house or locality talk to her and find out a little bit more about her life – Who are her family members? Where is her home? How many hours does she work? How much does she get paid? Write a small story based on these details.
Answer: Sharda has been working in my house for several years as a domestic help. She hails from a small village in West Bengal. She lives here in Delhi with her husband and one daughter who is in her teens. She comes to my house in the early morning at 5.30 and gets retire from the days work in the night at 8 p.m. In between she goes to her house for tw0 hours. She does every work very efficiently and skillfully. She never gives a moment of complains. Due to this fact we have developed a very cordial relations with her and her family. We regard her as our family member. We also pay her handsome amount. She gets Rs. 3,000 per month with all other facilities like foods, clothes, medicines, etc. Her husband is a rickshaw puller who also manages to earn a good amount everyday. Thus, Sharda leads a very happy life with us and her family members.
Question: What was a very important activity on the Samoan islands in the 1920s?
Answer: Fishing was a very important activity on the Samoan islands in the 1920s.
Question: How was the girls’ school in Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s designed differently from the boys’ school?
Answer: Girls’ school had a central courtyard where girls played in total seclusion and safety from the outside world. The boys school had no such courtyard.
Question: As these girls walked on the streets, they looked so ‘purposeful’. What does the word ‘purposeful’ refer to?
Answer: Their only intention was to get home safe and as soon as possible.
Question: Why do we give boys and girls different toys to play with?
Answer: We want to tell them that they will have different futures when they become men and women.
Question: What do we teach boys and girls in their early childhood?
Answer: We teach boys that they need to be tough and masculine. On the contrary we , teach girls that they need to be soft and mild.
Question: Why did Harmeet develop a notion that her mother did not work?
Answer: In our societies, the work that women do within the home is not recognized as work. It is assumed that this is something that comes naturally to women. It is therefore, Harmeet developed such notions and said that her mother did not work
Question: Why are the wages of domestic workers usually low?
Answer: It is because the work that domestic workers do, does not have much value.
Growing Up as Boys and Girls – Question: What is the daily schedule of a domestic worker?
Answer: A domestic worker’s day usually begins at five in the morning and ends at twelve in the night.
Question: How are domestic workers treated by their employers?
Answer: Domestic workers are often not treated well by their employers. Despite the hard work they do, their employers often do not show them much respect.
Question: What do you mean by the term ‘double burden’?
Answer: Several women today work both inside and outside the home. This is often referred to as ‘double burden’.
Question: Housework commonly involves many different tasks. Name some of them.
Growing Up as Boys and Girls – Answer: Washing clothes, cleaning, sweeping, cooking etc.
Question: Why do girls like to go to school together in groups?
Answer: Girls like to go to school together in groups because in group they feel secured.
Question: What did boys do every evening, once the school was over?
Answer: Every evening, once the school was over, boys watched as hundreds of school girls crowded the narrow streets. The girls walked on the streets in groups and their only intention was to get straight home. On the contrary the boys used the streets as a place to stand around idling, to play, to try out tricks with their bicycles. They never reached home in time.
Question: Why does our society devalue the work women do inside the home?
Answer: Women discharge a lot of responsibilities inside their home. They look after the family, especially children, the elderly and sick members. They manage the entire activities so efficiently. They cook food by standing for hours in front of hot stoves, wash clothes, maintain cleanliness, etc. In rural areas women and girls carry heavy headloads of firewood. These works are not considered as real works in our families and societies. The work that women do within the home is not recognized as work. It is assumed that this is something that comes naturally to women. Due to this fact, it does not have to be paid for. Our society devalues such work.
Question: Our constitution does not discriminate between male and female. But inequality between the sexes exists. What does the government do to remedy the situation?
Answer: The government recognizes that burden of childcare and housework falls on women and girls. This naturally has an impact on whether girls can attend school. It determines whether women can work outside the house and what kind of jobs and careers they can have. The government has set up Anganwadis or childcare centers in several villages in the country. It has passed laws that make it mandatory for organisations that have more than 30 women employees to provide creche facilities. The provision of creches helps many women to take up employment outside the home. Girls have also been benefited through this provision. More and more girls now have started attending schools.
Growing Up as Boys and Girls – Question: Give an account of growing up in Samoa in the 1920s.
Answer: A research took place on Samoan society in 1920s. According to the reports of the research, Samoan children did not go to school. They engaged themselves in many different activities. They learnt from their elders how to take care of children or do housework. Fishing was an important activity on the Samoan islands. Young people learnt to undertake long fishing expeditions.
Both boys and girls used to look after their younger siblings. But, by the time a boy was about nine years old, he joined the older boys in to learn outdoor jobs like fishing and planting coconuts. Girls had to continue looking after small children or do errands for adults till they were teenagers. They enjoyed much freedom during teenage. After the age of fourteen or so, girls also went on fishing trips, worked in the plantations, learnt how to weave baskets. Boys had to do most of the work associated with cooking. After they prepared the meal, girls helped them.
Question: Write a brief note on the lives of domestic workers with an example.
Growing Up as Boys and Girls – Answer: The lives of domestic workers are full of hardships. They do a lot of work in then – employer’s house. They sweep and clean, wash clothes and dishes, cook different varieties of food, look after young children or the elderly. Their day usually begins at five in the early morning and ends at twelve in the night. During this span they do not sit even for a while. Most domestic workers are women. Sometimes, even young boys and girls are employed to do all these works. Despite the hard work they do, their employers often do not show them much respect. They are often scolded by them even at a minor mistake. So far their wages are concerned, they are very low. The reason behind this is that domestic work does not have much value.
Melani is a domestic worker who leads a very hard life inspite of her hard labour. Her employer is not at all sympathetic to her. She shouts at her every now and then. She does not give her sufficient food to eat. Even during severe winters she does not allow her to wear chappals in the house. Melani feels very humiliated. As she has no other option, she has to bear all the hardships. But she, like her employer, also wishes to be respected.