Priyanka Chopra Jonas wants every little girl to follow their dreams like she did, and she knows that starts with supportive parents. That’s why the Citadel star is asking — no, imploring — parents to take a hard look at their expectations for their sons and daughters and prioritize teaching kids to respect women. And we are standing up and cheering!
Priyanka Chopra Jonas Wants to Encourage Girls ‘to Have Dreams’
In a cover story with India-based Femina magazine, Chopra Jonas shares that many women “are raised with having many glass ceilings.”
“Unfortunately, many of us are told that there’s only that much you can do,” she said.
Chopra Jonas, who shares daughter Malti, 1, with husband Nick Jonas, reflected on the fact that many of her childhood friends “got married in their early twenties and weren’t encouraged to pursue their ambitions or professional careers.”
She continued, “They have kids that are like 16 and 17 now. And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be at home, taking care of your family. I love doing that. It’s one of my favourite things.” However, that shouldn’t be a girl’s only option.
“I think encouraging girls to have dreams is key,” Chopra Jonas told Femina. “To be able to navigate their aspirations and not set a glass ceiling. My parents didn’t do that with me. That’s the reason why you and I are here. Because we had parents that encouraged us and who didn’t treat us differently from our brothers. Who told us – you have a dream, we are here with you.”
Priyanka Chopra Jonas Tells Parents It’s OK to Encourage Their Daughters’ ‘Aspirations’
In the interview, Chopra Jonas reflected on becoming Femina Miss World in 2000, when she was 17, and seeing her parents give up their careers to move to Mumbai for her career.
“At that time, I took it all completely for granted. I was like, of course it’s your parents’ job to do that. My career matters,” she told the outlet. “And I didn’t even think about it until I was writing my book. And then it dawned on me like now I’m in my 40s. And that, if I were asked to give up my career and just move countries, I would do it without question for my daughter.”
“It is, still, a huge sacrifice. And we are so blessed to have parents who did that,” she continued. “But, there are families under societal pressures that don’t necessarily know that they can let their daughters have aspirations.”
And She Has a Solution for Raising Kids to Value Women
Growing up, people always told me that “girls mature faster than boys,” as a way to excuse boys’ immature behavior. But do girls mature faster? Or are we just expected to learn the responsibilities of the home — taking care of the house, babysitting younger siblings, acting like “ladylike” — while boys are allowed to, well, just be kids?
A 2016 UNICEF report showed that girls ages 5-14 spend 40% more time on unpaid household chores compared to boys their age. And it doesn’t get better with age. A 2021 study found that girls and women between ages 14 and 24 spent more time cooking for their families, cleaning, shopping, and looking after siblings versus boys and men of the same age group. Chopra Jonas may have been asking parents in her home country to consider their daughters’ dreams, but parents in America (and all over the world!) need to heed her advice, too.
Chopra Jonas has a solution to help. “So, I think that the one thing that we need to do is create a dialogue around parenting, around raising our sons in a way in which there is respect for women, creating opportunities in society where women are in positions of power. Not just getting jobs, but actually being decision makers.”
“I think that’s what’s going to change it for us,” she said. We couldn’t agree more.
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