Earlier this month, the Pink Ladoo Project promoted gender equality one sweet treat at a time at William Osler Health System’s (Osler) Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General Hospitals.
Ladoos are traditional South Asian sweets distributed among friends and families during times of celebration, like engagements, weddings and births. Traditionally, however, only male births have been celebrated with ladoos, which are made of sugar and flour, and usually yellow in colour. The Pink Ladoo Project hopes to inspire families to celebrate the birth of boys and girls equally by delivering pink-coloured ladoos to all families celebrating the birth of a child.
“In most cultures, pink has traditionally been associated with girls,” said Gurwinder Gill, Regional Director, Health Equity and Inclusion, William Osler Health System. “The regular ladoo is golden or yellow and the pink serves as a distinct reminder that females are equally important and should also be celebrated.”
The change is slow, but sure, adds Sundeep Hans, Diversity Projects Coordinator. "Neither my sister or I had ladoos delivered in celebration of our births. We voiced the unfairness of the custom when boxes upon boxes were delivered for both my brothers," she says. "Cut to two years ago when my sister had her daughter, and it was my parents insisting on getting the ladoos ready for delivery!"
The week-long campaign launched at Osler on October 11 in celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child. Throughout the week, men and women wearing pink shirts handed out more than 50 pounds of ladoos to new parents, families, patients, staff and physicians at both hospitals. On October 16 alone, the volunteers delivered 30 boxes of ladoos at Brampton Civic and 25 boxes at Etobicoke General.
Given that Osler hospitals serve a large South Asian population, Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General were the perfect places to start a new ladoo tradition. Support for the project was overwhelmingly positive. Patients, visitors, staff and physicians left messages of support and personal wishes on support trees on display at both hospitals.
For more information on the Pink Ladoo Project, visit www.pinkladoo.org