Even though it’s the 21st century, gender equality is still a prominent issue in the United States and around the world. In order for this issue to improve, both men and women need to be on the same page. The youth is the hope for our future. Teaching students about gender equality and its impacts at a young age will make all the difference in creating equal opportunities for everyone despite their gender.
Gender equality is not a new issue, and in order to make it a thing of the past, we all need to be educated on it and understand why it is so wrong. Teaching students about the matter is the first step, and there are many resources available online to aid you in this process!
- Exposing Gender Stereotypes – Lesson: This lesson plan provided by Media Smarts is a bit different than the two others listed above but is still an important concept for students to learn about regarding gender. The lesson revolves around the male and female stereotypes in society and the media. For example, a male is stereotypically tough while a female is stereotypically dainty and submissive. Recognizing that these stereotypes are stereotypes rather than facts is an extremely important part of one finding their identity outside of what society tells them they should be.
- Gender Equality: Lesson Plans and Tool Kits: [email protected] provides many lesson plans for teachers to use in their classes about gender equality. The lessons vary from teaching students about male priviledge, gender role stereotypes, gender representations in the media, sexual assault, and gender-based violence prevention education. (Some of the lesson plans are a bit older and the links provided are not working, but there is plenty of good current content provided.)
- Classroom Activities on gender stereotypes and equality: This lesson plan includes four different class activities, which are geared towards younger audiences, about raising awareness on and recognizing gender stereotyping. The first lesson asks students to label careers as a “girl thing” or a “boy thing” before starting the discussion on gender roles and stereotypes. In the second lesson, students will participate in an activity to figure out where they stand on a list of statements (which incorporate common gender stereotypes). The last two lessons involve facilitating a group discussion and talking about times where students recognized that they were being treated differently due to their gender. These lessons are very interactive and require students to step out of their comfort zones and be open to thinking about things in a different way.
- How to Teach Students About Gender Equality: informED published an article about how to teach students about gender equality. The author, Saga Briggs, offers ten tips for teachers, some of which include correcting the ways teachers treat boys and girls differently in the classroom. This article, in my opinion, is very beneficial for teachers to read because instead of setting a whole day aside to teach about gender equality, teachers can practice these tips gradually all year long for the best result.
- Huffington Post: Gender Equality: The Huffington Post has published many articles about gender equality. Writers have reported about products women pay more for than men, equal pay for women in professional soccer, Elizabeth Warren’s plan to close the wage gap for women of color, and more. Reading about current events in which women are treated differently than men solely based on gender is eye opening and important for students to read and talk about in school.
- Gender equality is not a ‘women’s issue’ – it’s good for men too: This article, published by The Guardian, discusses how even though there are many men who believe in feminism, more need to become involved in order to make change. Topics, including Britsh men’s opinion on their involvement in women’s equality, fathers’ opinions on child care, and flexibility for men at work are discussed. Between its startling statistics and research, students, especially male students, will be able to take a lot away from this article.
- Human Rights and Gender Equality: The UNFPA is an organization that has been advocating for women for over 30 years. The group has multiple pages on their website providing a multitude of information on human rights and gender equality for readers. Topics from female genital mutilation to gender-base violence to human rights are all discussed on the site. This website is a great resource for students to use for research and for teachers to use to create lesson plans. The UNFPA provides articles, additional resources, selected videos, publications, and more on human rights and gender equality.
- Gender Equality: The United Nations published an informative article on gender equality to inform the public about the continued lack of equality between men and women. The article offers information for readers about women and human rights, global feminism, eliminating violence against women, and more. This resource can be used to supplement lesson plans as students (in middle school or high school) can read this page on their own.
These resources above will be extremely helpful in the process of teaching students about gender equality. However, another way—a more important way—to teach students about this concept is by setting a good example for them. In class, treating students equally regardless of gender and not using popular stereotypes is very important for letting them know that both females and males are one and the same. To learn more about gender differences in the classroom, click this link.
- Gender Equity Activities: This activity booklet touches upon topics, including stereotyping, careers, sexual harassment, language, employability, classroom equality, gender and technology. The lessons require students to think in depth, work in groups, and cover topics that may be a bit out of their comfort zone.
- How to approach teaching gender equality to boys and girls: This article is a guide for teachers about how to approach the subject of gender equality with students. The author, Fatma Özdemir Uluç, led a council supporting a study incorporating gender equality into Turkish schools and honestly addresses many questions some teachers might have, including how to start the conversation of gender equality with their students and specific exercises teachers can do with children. It is a great jumping off point for those new to the process!
- Explore gender equality with your class: This article walks teachers through a five-phase process of exploring gender equality with their class. The five phases covered are establishing the focus for learning, finding out information, exploring values and perspectives, considering responses and decisions, and taking action. In each phase, an explanation of the phase and a list of activities are provided for teachers to work through with their students.