Empowering our sons

Empowering our sons

A past column with the Asian Journal answering the question of supporting South Asian males to be more empowered.


How do I teach my son to treat women with more respect, honouring them
as equal partners? He is surrounded by males, who don’t pick up their
own dishes and have their mothers/sisters do everything for them.

It is always difficult to change behaviour when the environment does
not support it. It is important to acknowledge that the dynamics of
the women serving the men has been culturally imbedded in those
individuals from centuries so it will take time but it can be done.

Encourage your son to support himself by making it fun. Have rewards
for washing dishes, cleaning up after himself and acknowledge when he
speaks to others with respect.

You can show him by example of how to talk to others by exhibiting
that behaviour as well. Do you treat others with respect? Do you speak
highly of others? Do you treat yourself with respect and say positive
things about yourself?

We will treat others poorly when we treat ourselves poorly. It really
does start with how you treat yourself and the other members in your

Become aware of your behaviours so that your son sees a good model.
The more he respects you, he will respect other women too.