CBSE Class 7 Political Science (Civics) Chapter 4 Notes - Growing up as Boys and Girls

Growing up as Boys and Girls Class 7 Notes Political Science (Civics) Chapter 4 - PDF Download

In today’s age, being a girl or a boy can be considered a very important step for the identity of a person. The society which is all around us always tries to teach us that we are expected to have a certain kind of behaviour as boys and girls. In other words, society tells us what girls and boys can do or cannot do. While most people might think that these expectations from boys and girls are pretty much the same everywhere else, this might not be the truth. Do all these societies tend to have the same rules for girls and boys? In order to find the answer to this question, students can take help of the Class 7 Civics Chapter 4 notes.


There are two different case studies which are mentioned in the Growing Up as Boy and Girl Class 7 notes. These case studies deal with the bringing up of boys and girls in different societies. This will definitely help the students in understanding the entire process which is known as socialization and how it is not uniform. In fact, there are some changes in the rules over different time periods.

Access Class 7 Social Science Chapter 4 - Growing Up As Boys & Girls Notes in 30 Minutes part-1

Access Class 7 Social Science Chapter 4 - Growing Up As Boys & Girls Notes

  • Gender is a very important part of our identity and as we grow up, society around us teach what we as boys and girls can or cannot do. Over the years, we also tend to believe that these gender roles are same all around the world. But is it really same? Understanding the different roles is very important in shaping young girls and boys for their future roles as men & women. Often, the work of women is valued less than that of a men.


Growing Up in Samoa in the 1920s

  • The Samoan Islands is among the big group of small islands in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean.

  • In the 1920s, there were some research reports that brought to light that children in the Samoan society do not go to school. Instead, they tend to learn how to take care of younger children and doing household chores from other children as well as grown-ups.

  • Fishing was also an important activity in Samoan society. So, they were first taught how to undertake long fishing expeditions. They also learnt a variety of skills at different points in their childhood.

  • As soon as babies had started walking, older children, as young as five years old, took care of the little ones. Both boys & girls were responsible for taking care of their younger siblings.

  • By nine years of age, boys joined older ones for outdoor jobs such as fishing and planting coconuts.

  • Girls were also expected to look after children and do small tasks for adults until they reach their teens.

  • Once, they were teenagers, they were given lot more freedom. Around fourteen years of age, they accompanied their families for fishing trips, worked in plantations and learnt how to weave baskets.

  • Boys did most of cooking work while girls helped in preparations.


Observation of Growing up males in Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s

  • The following observations are from a account of the experience of being in a small town in Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s.

  • From Class VI onwards, boys and girls also used to go to different schools, and their schools were also designed differently. The girls’ school had central courtyard where they played in total isolation from outside world. The boys’ school had no such courtyard. Their playground, on the other hand, was big and open space attached to the school.

  • After school was over, as girls crowded the narrow streets to get home, they looked so purposeful unlike other boys, who were mostly idling and playing on the streets.

  • Girls went in groups, as they feared being teased or attacked.

  • Above examples show that there is no single way of growing up. Our experiences could be very different from the experiences of our parents. The childhood of our elders was different from ours.

  • The examples also show that there were clear distinctions between girls and boys, which start from a very young age. E.g. boys are gifted toy cars while girls get dolls and kitchen sets.

  • While both toys can be equally enjoyable for both genders, such distinction becomes a way of telling children that they will have different futures as men and women.

  • These differences can also be seen in the smallest and most everyday things. How girls must dress, talk and walk, or what games should boys play – all these are ways of telling young minds what roles they are expected to play as grown-ups.

  • These gender ideas are also deep-rooted and also affect the subjects and careers chosen by most boys and girls. In most societies, roles men and women play in society and the work they do is not valued equally. There is often a difference in their status as well.


Valuing Housework

  • Across the world, the main responsibility for housework & care-giving generally lie with women. They are often expected to look after the children, the elderly and sick members. However, it is mostly taken for granted & not recognized as real work. Society thinks caretaking comes naturally to women and therefore they need not be paid for it.


Lives of Domestic Workers

  • In towns and cities, many of the households have domestic workers. They also do several chores in the house, like sweeping, mopping, dusting, laundry, dishes, cooking, and looking after young children and the elderly. Mostly, these domestic-helps are women but sometimes young boys and girls are also employed.

  • Wages for the domestic workers are low as their work is not valued much. In many houses, they are not respected even after working fourteen to fifteen hours a day.

  • When Melani, a domestic worker in Delhi, shared her past experiences, she revealed that memsahib would often shout at house helps, gave them two dry rotis and a cup of tea in breakfast, and two rotis in dinner. She also jever gave them the third roti or allowed them to wear slippers – even in freezing cold winters of Delhi.

  • Housework involves various tasks that require great strength and heavy physical work, like in both rural and urban women and girls have to fetch water.

  • In the village, women & girls used to carry heavy head loads of firewood in order to do everyday chores like washing clothes, cleaning utensils, sweeping, and picking up the loads. All the tasks require bending, lifting and carrying. Also, cooking involves standing for long hours in front of hot stoves.

  • All above-mentioned chores require great strength, they are physically demanding but we still associate all of them adjectives with men.

  • Most people do not recognise that housework is very time-consuming. In fact, the work that women do inside and outside home adds up to much more working hours than men.

  • Women also get little time as rest or leisure.

  • The table below shows of a  study by the Central Statistical Organization of India, 1998-99. It compares paid & unpaid working hours per week for men and women in the states of Haryana and Tamil Nadu.

  • The study revealed that women were paid for 23 hours/week in the state of Haryana and 19 hours/week in Tamil Nadu. The same numbers for men were 38 hours/week and 40 hours/week respectively.

  • Unpaid work also accounted for 30 hours/week and 35/week for women in Haryana and Tamil Nadu respectively. For men, these numbers were 2 hours/week and 4 hours/week, respectively.

  •  In total, women worked for 53 hours/week and men worked for 40 hours/week in Haryana. The same data for Tamil Nadu was 54 hours/week and 44 hours/week.


Women’s Work and Equality

  • The above data and accounts clearly show that women’s household and care-giving work is highly undervalued. It is a part of a widespread system of inequality between the two genders.

  • Even our Constitution mention equality as an important principle. It says that there should be zero discrimination because of gender but in reality, sexism is quite common in the workplace and in society in general. Therefore the Government is committed to understanding the reason for prevalent sexism and also to stop it from happening.

  • One obvious reason for the discrimination is that the burden of childcare and housework has fallen on girls and women.

  • This impacts if they dould attend a school or go out for jobs. It also impacts the choice of career and the kind of jobs they can do.

  • To change the situation, the Government has set up Anganwadi or child-care centres in villages and passed laws that make it mandatory for organisations that have more than 30 women employees to provide crèche facilities.

  • The crèche facility allows young girls to attend school and helps women to get jobs outside the home


Case Study 1: The Samoan Society: Growing up During The 1920s

During the 1920s, there was an establishment of a particular society known as the Samoan society. According to some reports made on this particular society, the children were not really allowed to have an education or go to school. Since childhood, the children were made to learn certain things such as taking care of the household and handling the children. Older children, whether it was a boy or a girl, were made to do household chores.


Case Study 2: Growing up in 1960s Madhya Pradesh

With the change in time, the children were allowed to go to school. However, during the 1960s, the children were separated from Class 6 on the basis of their gender. The girls’ school was meant for the girl students and the same applies to the boys’ school. The school for the girls had a very big central courtyard where they were made to play in safety and seclusion from the world outside. However, the school for boys didn’t really have any courtyard, and space for the boys was completely open. In the school for girls, the students always travelled in groups to mitigate the fear of being attacked or teased. More and more attention was paid to the safety of the girls.

When you study these two different types of case studies in the Class 7 Civics Chapter 4 notes, you can see that there are different methods and ways in which the children were raised. It is also pretty clear from these studies that there were some basic distinctions made between the girls and boys with the passage of time.


The Main Value and Responsibility of Housework

When it comes to housework, these days the main responsibility for it falls on the women. Not to mention that they are also responsible for most of the care-providing tasks in the family such as taking care of children and the rest of the family members. However, it is often seen that these types of tasks which are performed by women on a day-to-day basis aren’t really considered as work. Also, there is a natural assumption that this type of work should come very naturally to a girl or woman. Hence, women aren’t paid for the housework that they do since there is a devaluation of the work.


Understanding The Lives of The Domestic Workers

When it comes to housework, there are so many different types of tasks that are included in it. There is a great deal of physical effort needed for some of these tasks. In some of the urban and most of the rural areas, girls and women of different age groups are asked to do the following jobs:

  • Girls and women are supposed to fetch water from ponds and wells.

  • They are also meant to carry huge loads of utensils and firewood.

  • Women are also supposed to carry out tasks such as cleaning, washing clothes, picking loads, sweeping, cooling, lifting and so much more.

This cannot be denied that women tend to work very hard and their tasks are extremely demanding physically. Not to mention that it consumes a lot of their time as well. If we were to add the housework along with the work that women tend to do outside the home, they are spending more effort and time than the men and hence have a lot less time to focus on their personal needs. Students can find more details in Growing Up As Boy and Girl Class 7 notes.


Equality in Women’s Work

A very important principle included in the Indian Constitution is Equality and it has helped a lot in promoting the education of girls. The Equality clause states that it is not right to have any discrimination against men and women. With these changes, there are new laws for organizations to provide employment to women in most parts of the country.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Work did Children do in the Samoan Society in the 1920s?

Answer: In the Samoan Society, children were raised to do the household work and take care of the home.

2. What are the Jobs for Women in Rural Areas?

Answer: In rural areas, women are expected to do tasks such as fetching water from wells, carrying and washing huge utensils, cleaning, washing clothes, and other household tasks.

3. How is the School for Girls in Madhya Pradesh Different from the School for Boys in the 1960s?

Answer: There was a central courtyard in the school for girls while there was none in the boys’ school. Also, girls stayed in groups keeping in mind the safety concerns.

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