Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water

This phrase is often a reference to an era when families would have a shared weekly bath.

A time of extreme poverty, no birth control, poor housing conditions & large families.

The stories I’ve heard from this time were typically on a Sunday evening a tin bath would be placed in front of the fireplace for the family to share. The routine would be the man of the house would have his bath first, followed by his wife, then followed by the eldest child & so on. Hence the phrase ‘don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

This firmly demonstrated a hierarchy, placing men’s needs first, women second & children’s needs last.

Whilst there has been some progress, women & children remain a long way from equality.

We are in the 21st century yet 80% of the global population (predominantly women) still cook on traditional stoves. This is predominantly in Asia & India. These stoves require long cooking times & give off toxic fumes which is equivalent to 100 cigarettes a day.

Not only is this a disaster for our environment, it also means that globally, women are spending most of their waking time cooking, and in poorly ventilated spaces away from employment, leisure or education. More invisible women who also face catastrophic health implications as well as being hidden away in kitchens.

Their young children are often living in these spaces too, in close proximity to their primary care giver (usually their mother or grandmother) which means their developing hearts & lungs are absorbing this toxicity day in day out as they grow.

So if you hear this phrase… consider this history but also the current global inequalities for women of all ages & the children being raised by them.

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