“Gender inequality present in our society can be a cause and consequence of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence” #THISISME@livefearfree
“Although gender is one (important) analytic lens and a difference that matters, we acknowledge that it is how it works in combination with other differences (such as social class, sexuality and ethnicity, in particular times and places) that gives it meaning and power” (Thomson, Berrimanand Bragg 2018)
“The ‘doing’ of gender is much more contradictory and much more of a struggle, than popular representations on children’s gender identities and experiences might suggest” (Renold 2013).
The notion of ‘assemblages’ helps us to explore the dynamic, divergent and contested ways in which gender is produced in the world.
Research has found that
How gender shapes children’s lives can be both constraining and empowering in different institutional, environmental and online contexts.
Gender binaries are often strongly felt and upheld in childhood, particularly middle childhood, as they entanglemore visibly with sexuality (Renold 2013)
‘Doing gender’ differently... in non-normative ways – involves grappling with powerful socio-historical legacies, all of which will be experienced differently when social, economic, cultural, religious and other markers of difference come into play.
What is Gender Equality?
Gender equality means that regardless of sex group assigned at birth, gender identity or gender expression people realise the same social, economic and political rights, resources, opportunities and protections.
What is Gender Equity?
Gender equity refers to the different needs and interests that people require to ensure and achieve gender equality.
2. How Gender Jars for Primary School-Aged Children
Researchers from Cardiff University (Emma Renold, Vicky Edwards and Catherine Phillips) asked 50 primary school children in South Wales (age 10-11) what JARS them (positively or negatively) about gender equality/inequality today.
I would like to change how the world will be
Stop stereotyping! Start getting used to things!
I want to change the way people think about girls and boys
I am part of the LGBTQI community and I’m proud of it
I hate the cruel things about stereotyping!
I wonder when stereotyping will stop?
Dare to be different
We want change!!
Just because I am a girl I have to hate mud, but I love it!
I don’t like the fact that I get criticised by my dream job!
I feel affected by men being paid more for the same job that men and women do!
Just because I am a boy I can’t like make up. Just be you!
It does not matter if you are transgender
All genders should have rights
Don’t be scared to share your own ideas
No one needs a partner to be happy
3. What if…
The researchers also asked them to imagine a world without gender stereotypes.
If there were no gender stereotypes in the world …
What is a stereotype?
Stereotypes come from, and are rooted, in deeply engrained attitudes, values, norms and prejudices. They will vary across culture, place and time.
Three classes of children age 10-11 were then invited to explore the four images from the Welsh Government’s #THISISME gender equality poster campaign.
Each group discussed which stereotypes they thought the campaign was trying to raise awareness of or challenge. Some children went on to create their own poster.
We talked as a class about how advancing gender equality and freedom of expression involves the support of all of us and is harder for some people than others to achieve.
5. Re-assembling the Rules 4 Gender Justice
We watched the short film of young people speaking out about gender justice at Wales’ Youth Gender Equality Assembly in City Hall in Cardiff.
Inspired, we wrote on rulers what needed to be changed to make the world a more gender-safe and gender-fair world.
We created a line of action. It kept breaking! Every time it broke it made one of us think how “there are so many gaps in gender equality around the world” and we need to “do something about it” (Girl, age 10).
We rattled the rule(r)s. We took ruler-relfies. And we danced to the rhythm of new rules in our corridors and on the playground and field.
6. Our Rainbow Ribbons
Ribbons have an activist history. Awareness raising ribbons have the potential to bring people together to support and raise awareness of a cause.
We used our ribbons to share a moment when someone or something has helped address the harmful impact of gender norms and wider inequalities.
We used lots of different coloured ribbons to highlight the diversity of gender expression across the world.
7. Making gender equality fly!
Each group was given a kite that you could graffiti your own slogans for awareness or messages for change. Each ribbon was stapled to the tail of our kite.We taped them to a long bamboo stick, and we took it in turns to run with our gender justice kites, and make gender equality fly!
8. Lovegender equality
Some of us spoke our own messages for change with some ‘record your own message’ cards, which we decorated and shared at the Primary AGENDA launch.
Throughout the workshop and afterwards we shared our thoughts and comments in a rainbow post-box:
For more information, training and resources on advancing gender equality and equity in schools and society, see: