Gender equality: Life lessons for kids

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How do you raise awareness about gender equality in kids? Read on to find out

Gender equality

Els, the mighty warrior, who waged the gender equality war!

So the web is abuzz about the mighty eight-year old who fought her way for gender equality! Els from London was annoyed to find an exciting looking pirate book labelled ‘for boys’ in the catalogue advertising at a book fair and set up a petition to send to the firm that was signed by 80 of her friends and teachers at Bounds Green School.

As she rightly says, “Girls may not like things that are labelled ‘for girls’, they might want a monster book labelled ‘for boys’.” So now the publishing house has actually removed the ‘boys’ and ‘girls sections and has pledged to no longer publish books that declare they are for a particular gender in the title. Way to go, we say.

gender equality

Encourage kids to mingle and play with kids of the opposite sex

Clearly it’s high time we worked towards gender equality. However, as all revolutionary ideas, the need of the hour is to ingrain this concept in the young minds. After all, gender neutrality is just another way of saying that everything is suitable for, applicable to both male and female genders. 

We might have stopped color coding our children’s rooms into pinks and blues. But aren’t we all guilty of picking the Barbies for the girls and fire-trucks for the boys? Here we have some basic tips to try bring up your kids the gender neutral way:

  • Make your home gender neutral. Don’t panic if your son prefers to play with dolls or your daughter decides to cut her hair short and ride bikes. Let them live free of the fetters of so-called gender norms.
  • Offer a wide selection of gender neutral toys. Have a wide assortment of gender neutral toys such as a puppet theater, a play-kitchen set with baking gear, farm animals, building blocks, as well as tea-party fare.
  • Don’t propagate stereotypes. Avoid referring to your kids based on those common sayings or cliches that have been around forever, like ‘little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice’ and ‘boys will be boys’. Girls need not necessarily ‘sit down’ and play and boys can definitely have a soft-toy as his go-to friend.
  • Expose your child to a variety of settings. Explain to your kids that men and women can choose their careers based on their interests and not set stereotypes. A lady can be a successful engineer and a man can dominate the fashion industry as a designer. Let your husband pitch in with cooking, while you take the kids for cricket practice.
Image sourced from The Independent 

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Written by

Divya Nair