Today, I am going to discuss gender segregation in our country. Of course, gender segregation happens in many conservative countries, but I will focus on India. Gender segregation or gender separation is the physical, legal, or cultural separation of people according to their biological sex.

In schools and colleges across India, teachers separate the girls and boys into the “girls’ row” and the “boys’ row”. Many educational institutions in India separate girls and boys from each other within the same class so that female students won’t mix with male students. Boys and girls not only sit apart but barely talk to each other. There are girls-only schools and boys-only schools too. Have you ever given a thought about the consequences of separating girls and boys at such a young age? 

Boys begin to assume girls are bad influences and girls would assume the same. “Don’t talk to girls,” says the conservative mother who assumes that her son would be spoiled by the girls in his class. The girl’s mother would assume the same about boys. This irrational fear of parents and teachers that bad things would happen if girls and boys sit together, would actually result in more problems for the students in the future.  By separating the girls and boys at such a young age, the parents and teachers are creating stereotypes and biases in the minds of the children. There will be mysterious ignorance about the opposite gender. The lack of normal social interaction not only leads to children and teens becoming fascinated with the opposite gender but allows stereotypes about them and creates a fear of the opposite gender. 

The separation between boys and girls creates a feeling in the minds of young students that girls and boys exist only as sexual creatures, but not as just human beings that deserve to interact in a healthy, nonjudgmental manner. Misunderstandings would happen between the two groups as they are not allowed to interact in a healthy manner. 

During breaks in the school day, girls sit quietly and talk to each other about dolls and cute clothes while boys run around and play football. The children who dare to cross these lines — the girls who try to play with the boys and the boys who would rather participate in calm discussions than play vigorous games — are considered “weird.” They are harassed not only by their classmates but also by teachers, who call them names, like “tomboy” and “girly boy”, just because they chose to follow their instincts and be themselves.

When these children grow up and enter society, they don’t know how to interact with the opposite sex. Their only knowledge of boy-girl interaction comes from stupid movies and media that showcase girls as sex objects and boys as hypermasculine. Boys see girls as trophies to be won, while girls see boys as money-making machines. There will be a lot of misunderstanding, and judgment as both genders had no prior experience of interacting in a mature way. This will in turn lead to gender inequality and violence against women in our society. 

In developed countries, girls and boys are allowed to interact in a healthy manner since childhood. As a result, crimes against women are less in those countries when compared to countries like India.  The only way to achieve gender equality is to make sure girls and boys interact with each other since childhood, thereby creating an atmosphere of empathy and understanding between them. Boys should empathize with girls and treat them as equals from childhood. Boys and girls should be made to sit together in schools and colleges, they should become friends. Only then gender equality can be achieved. 


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