I don’t want condescension, I want empowerment | Opinion

Today is International Women’s Day and, as usual, several reflections arise; classic mistakes also appear in these reflections, such as the confusion between equality of opportunities and result, or in the face of the realization that one thing is the law, another is its application. But there is a question that remains central: do we live in a society with structural sexism? It seems important to me to add a new angle to this discussion: how does Social Security look, in particular, at women and children?

Social Security and early childhood support were designed to support women, even during the Estado Novo, from a charity perspective; already in a democracy, it remains a boon given to women. The Welfare State was designed, as specialists say, around the figure of the “breadwinner man” and the “housewife woman”. Our provision was designed assuming that women would be part-time workers or without a stable employment relationship. Nurseries are not seen as a right of children, as a source of development, as training and the right to early childhood, and the strong participation of women in the labor market is not recognized.

We can verify this structural policy option by looking at the fact that day care centers are under the purview of Social Security and not the Ministry of Education, and what that means. It may seem like a detail, but it is very significant because it goes to the substance of political rationales. Specifically, this organic reveals that the concern for the woman is welfare, and a support rationale, and does not have a perspective of child development. It is, or should be, essential to ensure that children, especially the most disadvantaged, reach compulsory education with equal opportunities. For this change to happen, productivity arguments and political rationale can contribute, based on the importance of early childhood rights.

Nurseries should have as a priority focus the comfort and development of children. Create and guarantee the existence of happy environments, adequate stimuli and, as in preschool, ensure that the facilities and monitoring are of the highest quality, in order to create a contrast and break the cycle with the context of disadvantage and even the poverty in which many of the children live.

Another example, of a practical nature, of what the transfer of crèches from Social Security to Education could mean is to think that primary schools have, as a result of the “demographic winter” in which we live, few children. Could these emptier spaces not be adapted to receive younger children, optimizing the school park and expanding the network of nurseries? Furthermore, there are schools with cycles in which dual guardianship creates bureaucratic obstacles and added difficulties – why not make a better integration?

Early childhood should be a priority for the education system. As a society, we must be ambitious on this level. The influence and weight that the early years have on personality development, on enhancing school success and on development at various other levels is widely agreed upon. And, therefore, also the need to create and guarantee a school context that especially benefits the socioeconomically most disadvantaged children.

The marking of days like this should serve to take a few steps and truly move towards the necessary change, and not just for mere reflections of circumstance.

Nurseries and the presence of Social Security as a guarantee of well-being and social cohesion are a structural theme, which goes far beyond what is inscribed in the law, in which political options and examples are relevant. Are we ready to debate issues of change such as, for example, daycare centers leaving Social Security and integrating the education system, under the Ministry of Education? Are we ready to discuss the rights and unequivocal importance of early childhood? Are we ready to readapt the institutions and promote another vision about children and the role of women in society?

On International Women’s Day, it is essential that we remember the urgent need to act on the issues of the role of women, early childhood rights and the real needs of children from disadvantaged backgrounds: not more condescension, empowerment!

The author writes according to the new spelling agreement

Leave a Comment

I want to Sell this domain contact at [email protected]