Sewing, ironing and cooking, are some of the very basic tasks that most people learn at home. Many men think that running a house is a woman’s job. However, this is entirely different when a school offers to teach household tasks as an additional class, so the students, particularly boys, start building values regarding equality, and break the stigmas that they face when doing these activities, and that is exactly what the Monte Castelo School of Spain teaches its students under their school motto, “Equality is learned with actions.”
In 2018, situated in the city of Vigo, this school announced that it had included lessons in home economics among other subjects. During these classes, the male students are taught to do tasks such as ironing, sewing, cooking, etc. along with other manual activities such as masonry, plumbing, carpentry and electrician skills.
All of these classes were taught voluntarily by various people, from teachers to school campus representatives, to some of the fathers of these same students.
The coordinator of the establishment Gabriel Bravo, went to explain that all these activities were carried out as “it seemed very useful for our students to learn to perform these tasks so that, when they form a family, they are involved from the beginning and know that a house is a matter of two, it’s not a matter of the woman cleaning, doing the dishes, and ironing. This will allow them to become aware and learn to handle themselves at home.”
It is only when the school administration was searching for ways that could promote gender equality criteria for their students that this idea was born, and then the project was communicated to both parents and students. It was the parents who didn’t have any reservations about accepting the idea, while the students were very uncomfortable when they got to know about the sewing and the ironing.
However, when the students started doing these simple tasks, their resistance slowly dissipated, as they soon realized that sewing and ironing are simple activities that both men and women can do if they only follow a few simple steps.
In an interview, Bravo went on to say that “For some, it was the first time they had held an iron, it was fun and instructive at the same time, we are quite surprised, and the parents are very happy.”