Gender equality is frequently discussed in the media and is an important issue in society that deserves the attention. While boys and girls do have some inherent differences, learning that both genders are free to achieve whatever they choose regardless of whether they are male or female is something crucial for society moving forward.
Coming up on March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD) and the theme for 2015 is ‘Make It Happen’, which we think offers a great message not only to young girls and women across the world but to all of us. That is, that all children can ‘make it happen’ and that anything is possible regardless of gender.
International Women’s Day aims to celebrate achievements of women from the past, present and future in various areas including politically and socially and is even a national holiday in some countries. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get children talking about things they might like to achieve as they grow up, and to empower them to know that in our great country they really can believe that anything is possible.
Gender equality is an ongoing issue that is strongly linked to women’s rights and it’s one that needs societal change. Through our work helping to guide young people in these crucial years, we must be encouraging them to strive to achieve their goals and support one another no matter whether they are boys or girls.
As the Human Education blog says, exploring gender identity, gender roles, stereotypes, and healthy views of gender and self can begin early. Their blog recommends talking about ‘When I Grow Up’ and allowing children to identify what jobs boys and girls might like to do, then discussing why both genders can do any job. This other activity ‘Boys Like, Girls Like, Kids Like’ opens the communication up about gender stereotypes too.
Keep it light, keep it fun, but let’s make sure that we do our best to make little girls believe they can join the police force if they want to and little boys are free to be nurses – or vice versa, of course! If you can dream it, you can make it happen.
P.S. Let us know your experiences with perceived gender roles in your Centre and how you encourage gender equality in children. Join the discussion by sharing with us on Facebook.