People share a common nature but are trained in gender roles.Lillie Devereux Blake
Gender roles vary considerably throughout cultures. As Women’s History Month approached, I reflected on the role I was taught to have as a woman growing up in the Caribbean. I’d like to believe the keyword for life as a girl, for me, was “safe.” The message that surrounded this word was walking on the safe side, gaining an education, securing a job, finding a good husband who would take care of me and bearing his children. Those aspirations were meant to keep me safe, content and basically in my comfort zone.
Taking risk was not something my culture entertained especially for women. Until recently I took this as a negative thing but learned the people who love you want you to be safe and never have to go through hard times. Taking risks is like going through hard times in their eyes because the outcome is never guaranteed.
I Wondered if what my culture taught me was the same throughout the world. This led to the idea of interviewing four women from four different cultural backgrounds to see how similar or different gender roles are.
After reaching out these women and conducting the interview, I was able to conclude that as much as our cultures may differ and our roles have evolved there is a central idea of preservation. Preserving the woman to me means preserving humanity. I believe that women can be any and everything they want to be and in recent years we have been doing that.
These five outstanding women come from Asian, American, African, Caribbean and Indian backgrounds. Click on the links to read their interview on Cultural Gender Roles: