Something that I have notice whilst being here in Ecuador is the importance of defining gender. I never knew how much of a female dominant presence I had in my own family home until I arrived here. Yesterday was very interesting because all the females during dinner had red mugs, and the father of the house was the only one with a blue mug. Gender restrictions go as far as inanimate objects which I was quite interesting. Even notebooks here have a gender!
The societal norm is for women to stay home, cook, and be that emotional support for children. However, in my family due to the lack of male presence my grandma and mother took the initiative to be that dominant presence in the house. They were the bread winners, they were the ones all the children looked up to, and allowed me to gain the confidence I have today because of how strong they are.
The most influential women in my life day by day prove to me that you don't have to go with the societal norms set before us. This is shown through my mother not liking to cook, and being the only provider to ensure my brother and I have the best path possible. For my Auntie Eva she has more of a dominant role in the house even though she is the only female present in that immediate household. For my grandma she was able to allow me to realise that women have a right to get the best education possible to ensure the best possible outcome for your children, and your children's children.
However, in Ecuador most women drop out of school as early as 13 preventing them from being able to pursue a full education, and through this the women end up cooking and cleaning in the household whilst the men provide money for the family. I am so blessed to have exposure to this because I didn't really realise the role of gender until I started to compare experiences here, to the experiences back home.