While parenting in India generally follows Indian culture and traditions, most millennial parents tend to step out of the norm in some aspects. One of the most notable changes being adopted by modern Indian parents, particularly in urban regions, is that of raising children under gender-neutral concepts.
Mothers in India are traditionally relegated to the role of homemakers in charge of domestic chores and looking after the daily needs of the family. In today’s urban India, not a few millennial couples divide and/or share tasks in raising and caring for the family. That way their children will grow up in an environment where there are no distinctions in the type of work that a father, or a mother takes on. After all, they pose as children’s primary examples of human male and female adults.
Even the kind of books they read for their children do not suggest disparity between genders; of who is traditionally regarded as more superior over the other. The goal is to instill knowledge and awareness that in the real world, anyone can take the path to greatness. Modern Indian parents regard gender neutral stories as one way of developing open-mindedness in their children when it comes to making choices, and in rejecting notions about social biases.
What is interesting though is that product designers and manufacturers have taken note of these changes, not only in India but across the globe.
Adoption of Gender-Neutral Parenting Technique Influenced Product Developments as Well
Take notice of how certain brands are following the concept of gender neutrality. Global retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Toys ‘R’’ Us and Target no longer categorize toys according to gender.
Dr. Elizabeth V. Sweet, an associate professor of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at the San Jose State University wrote a piece in Marketplace.org, about gender neutral products. She conveys that making separate gender-coded versions of a type of toy, gives a family multiple versions of the same item when looking to buy playthings for their children; without having to consider gender specifications.
In India, the gender-neutral concept in products has the support of Candidly India, an advocacy group focused on issues about gender equality. The co-founder of Candidly, Amita Malhotra says gender neutrality makes good business sense. More importantly, she believes that developing gender neutral products for children, is the first step toward gender equality in India.
The shift to gender neutral products may be new in India, but many are already into the concept.
Toymaker Brainsmith India shares the fact that about 90% of their customers no longer clamor for pink or blue. In fact Brainsmith co-founder Tejal Bajla noted that the pink versions of their products are no longer as in demand as they were a few years back. Choices are based on what colors have greater appeal, to which baby blue turned out to be a more attractive color than pink.
Online shoppers will notice this shift when they get to participate in the annual Great Indian Sale on Amazon from September 04 to 08, 2019. Avid online shoppers in India will find a mix of choices for products grouped under a general product category, whilst offered at greatly reduced prices.