Read the ALL OF US case study for ideas and links to resources on gender identity, gender expression and gender rights. See GENDER WATCH BINGO for the difference between gender equality and equity.
See the section ‘Understanding Gender’ in UNESCO’s 2018 Guidance for Comprehensive Sexuality Education for developmentally appropriate learning objectives and the relationship between gender norms, gender inequalities and gender-based and sexual violence.
Read and watch the Welsh Government #thisisme campaign which is all about recognising how gender norms and gender inequalities can have an impact on our lives.
Show the class the four images from the #thisisme campaign as prompts to discuss the themes of safety, fairness, equality and equity. For example, how societal norms around gender can often impact on: how we feel about ourselves and our bodies; what we can do with our bodies (e.g. sport); who we can form relationships with (e.g. friends); how safe we feel; what jobs we might want to do; other people’s expectations of us etc. Invite them to discuss examples of each one in small groups, and share with wider group.
Take one of the examples and invite children to think about how noticing and advancing gender equality involves the support of all of us. Introduce the role of ‘activist ribbons’ and their history. State that awareness ribbonsare symbols that unite people in their collective support for a cause. Different colours and patterns are associated with different issues (list a few and ask children to share). Explain that our activity is using lots of different colours to highlight the diversity of gender expression and how societies, laws, popular culture etc. all play a part in making gender equality matter.
3: Rainbow Ribbon
On their own or in groups invite children to think about a positive moment where someone or something has helped take the pressure off people having to conform to gender norms or has helped address gender inequalities? (e.g. gender inclusive uniform policy, a supportive comment from a friend to play with a non-stereotypical toy; a TV show or advert, a role model). Pick a colour ribbon, and name, draw or write a message to share with others.
4: Sticking up for Gender Equality
Using the sticks, ask children to tie or tape their ribbons, leaving a gap between each ribbon. Cover the tops of the sticks in glue and dip into the glitter*. Next, swap their ribbon-stick with the group next to them. Keep rotating until all the children have had a chance to read and talk about the messages on each stick. Find a large space (school hall or playground) and in their loudest voices, flying their ribbons on sticks, invite them to shout out: “we’re sticking up for gender equality” OR “we’re making waves for gender equality”, or even better they can come up with their own slogan.
5: Flagging the importance of Gender Equality for #allofus
Choose different places around the school to secure the sticks (e.g. near reception; in the playground or outside area; on corridor walls etc.) to raise awareness of your rainbow ribbon flags for gender equality. If possible, leave a tray of extra small pieces of ribbon so that everyone can support your cause.
Make gender equality fly!
Invite each group to make a simple kite (see here).
Write the rules that need to be changed to make the world a more gender-safe and gender-fair place to live.
Tie the ribbons with affirmative messages to make the kite’s tail.
Find an outside space, catch a breeze, and let your kite soar!
Make a short digital story of the process, invite other children around the school, and parents and governors to read the ribbons and spread the word across the school and into the community.
Awareness raising ribbons have the potential to bring people together to support and raise awareness of a cause.
*Anyone who has ever used glitter knows it gets everywhere. So why glitter? Glitter’s capacity to linger long after an activity has happened, can be its power in this case!. Every time you spot some glitter, it will connect you back to how you were getting creative with making Gender Equality matter.