Breaking the Gender Stereotyping

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‘Women are physically weak than men’- these are the lines that we have heard since ages. Gender stereotyping has always been a great hurdle for the women. Women are always taught that they are inferior to men because men are physically strong than women folk. Work that requires strength is only meant for men and the lighter or the easiest jobs are for women. But the reality is different for the working class who depends upon their labor to make their ends meet. There are women who negate these gender stereotyping theories and comes out of their comfort zones tocarry the burden of the majority population to earn a living.  We have always seen men carrying loads but there are women porters on the streets of Darjeeling town that has been carrying the loads of several thousand populations since ages. These women porters between the age group of 40 – 52 are seen on the streets of Darjeeling carrying several kilograms of loads in their head. They start their day with the usual household chores and comes to work at around 9-10 in the morning. They work late till 6-7 in the evening. There is no fixed wage for their work. Sometimes they earnRs.200 in a day and sometimes they return empty handed. Since, they belong to the unorganized sector they do not have any job security. In the evening they return back to their rented rooms and do the usual stuffs of cooking and cleaning. So, as a matter of fact they are carrying the double burden that is the work burden as well as the burden of the household. They have no time to rest. Every day is a challenge for them. They are sending their children to good schools with a hope that they do not have to work as they do. They have no idea till when they can work as a porter. With this uncertainty of life they always wake up with a hope to carry the loads and burden so they can earn bread for their living. To kill the burden of their daily life they are bound to carry the burden of other people. It is high time we need to stop the age old belief that women are less than men because they aren’t!!!

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