Is there an ideal age for children to adopt and endorse the values linked to gender equality? The experts in pedagogy affirm that it is, and that these should be inculcated before the age of twelve, since at a later age “adolescents are vulnerable to the perpetuation of stereotypes and the formation of discriminatory thoughts”, they explain from the Ginso Association.
For specialists, it is still important to raise awareness about gender equality since many aspects of society continue to perpetuate stereotypes. sexist. “Unfortunately, behavior models, stereotypes and sexist thoughts have not changed and continue to be perpetuated among the new generations. Gender inequality has not disappeared but also presents an added value: cruelty and harm,” he explains. Maria Leon Torrepedagogue and expert in Education and Sexual Orientation at GINSO.
But how to instill these values of gender equality among young people? The expert provides seven recommendations:
Teach to identify micromachismos
In other words, helping kids to recognize attitudes, behaviors and behaviors that may seem subtle but that perpetuate gender discrimination. “For example, a sexist joke, condescending behavior towards a woman, or assigning chores exclusively to women.”
Be critical of language and adopt a non-sexist one
Raise awareness about the importance of language in the construction of stereotypes and gender roles, promoting inclusive words that do not discriminate against women and that reflect diversity and gender equality. “Instead of saying ‘men and women’, you can use ‘people’ or ‘everyone’.”
Use educational materials made by women and men
The educator recommends that young people have access to a variety of sources of information and knowledge, including those created by women and that address the gender perspective. Some examples of educational materials produced by women are the book the second sex by Simone de Beauvoir or the film the suffragettes Directed by Sarah Gavron.
Promote equal relationships
The specialist recommends addressing with them a culture of relationships based on respect, equality and communication, in which there is no violence, control or discrimination based on gender.
Encourage criticism of unequal models
Teach young people to analyze and question those models that perpetuate gender discrimination, encouraging critical thinking and the analysis of gender structures and roles that still persist in society. “For example, question why men occupy the majority of management positions and why women continue to be overrepresented in precarious or low-paid jobs.”
Empowering young people who believe in equality
“Give a voice to those people who consider that the fight for equality is necessary to live in a more just and egalitarian society, participating in actions that claim the rights of women, to raise awareness.”
Promote the participation of adolescent girls
“It is essential that adolescent girls have access to spaces for participation and leadership in which they can develop their skills and abilities, and contribute to social change in favor of gender equality. For example, promoting their participation in sports, political, cultural or social activities”, points out the pedagogue.
Likewise, the pedagogue insists on the coed work in the family, that is, that there is equality between the figure of the father and the mother. “If the ‘typical tasks’ of men and women are perpetuated and sexist messages are allowed in the home, it will be difficult for adolescents to learn the importance of equality. Each family can establish its own model of coeducational work, but it is essential that equality be a present value in all of them”.
The work of parents in relation to social networks that adolescence has currently turned into a reliable source of information, a space for imitation and a place to “be” is also important. “It is important that adults are aware that social networks can influence adolescence in many aspects and that their supervision is essential to recommend content that promotes good values among young people. We must ensure that they are critical of what they see, that they are aware that male and female models are confused through the networks and that other forms of expression are used that have nothing to do with reality”, adds María León Torre.
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