Education Role in Gender Equality

Rocio Valdez

Education starts at home, but kids do spend half of their day at school where they learn and shape who they become.

Here we are in a society where we are still fighting for gender equality.

Perhaps if children get taught about gender equality, there can be a change and thus more acceptance.

It’s not about one gender being or deserving more than another, it’s simply about equality and forgetting about gender norms formed by society.

According to Healthy Children, “by age four, most children have a stable sense of their gender identity. During this same time, children learn gender role behavior– that is, doing “things that boys do” or “things that girls do.”

At a young age kids can differ toys “for boys” and toys “for girls” and that blue is “for boys” and pink “for girls”.

Kids absorb and learn everything their environment consist of.

When children start grade school, it is easy to observe they are all friendly to one another– boys can be sweet and hug other boys and vise versa.

Once kids start growing up, that changes. Boys become aggressive with one another to show their masculinity and girls are more passive and sensitive; and we can’t forget when they learn about “cooties” to stay away from the opposite sex.

Children should explore different gender roles and different styles of play to gain understanding of the opposite sex.

Schools can provide an environment that consist of a diversity in gender roles and encourage opportunities for everyone.

Teachers have a major role in what kids learn.

Gender stereotypes is something we are all exposed to, young people are particularly susceptible to them when forming an understanding of their place in society and their potential.

Classrooms are a perfect learning environment where awareness of these stereotypes can be raised, and we can encourage critical analysis and allow kids to form their own thinking.

Inspiring young people to question gender stereotypes enables them to make informed choices about their futures and broaden their opportunities.

Sexist comments can be made, but teachers can address their meaning and the impact it has on society.

Teaching gender neutral language and job titles can help with the future of the kids.

For example: Using “firefighter, police officer and postal worker,” instead of “fireman (firewomen), policeman (policewomen) and mailman (mailwomen);” and addressing that they can go into any field even if it’s dominated by the opposite sex; this can open the options of what they wish to become when they grow up.

Some things have changed but there is more that can be done.

Through education, these changes to make to get rid of gender stereotypes and roles to gain equality are well within our power.