The 11th of October is known as the national day of the child girl. I think I read it somewhere online and I got to thinking how people, especially children, shape all of their beliefs and grow up knowing which color is “more suitable” for girls and why boys are rarely allowed to show preference or play with “girls' toys”. Then I had another bunch of thoughts like “why is emotional expression considered to be a girly privilege?" and “how do toddlers adapt to so many stereotypes before even knowing what a stereotype is? “
To be honest, it wasn’t that difficult to answer these questions and find numerous reasons and examples that explain the above-mentioned phenomenon. So, for a week or so I started writing down every little example of labeled phrases I heard and it wasn't until later that I realized that this particular day, the 11th of October is much needed.
Text by:Dorella Kokossi
People tend to believe that if a situation is not happening to you, if something is not your weight to carry, it automatically becomes less interesting. I did some research and found some statistics on the way girls around the world are treated, based on stereotypes and double standards.
The first thing I found is that for every year of education received, a girl is less likely to get married. Yes, you read correctly, education is linked to marriage or to keeping away from marriage as a matter of fact. Moreover, the UNWO and UNICEF suggest that:
-More than 2/3 of the illiterate world population is women.
-Almost 1 in every 4 girls aged between 15 and 19 years old worldwide doesn’t have any access to education, in comparison to 1 in every 10 boys of the same age.
- In Pakistan, the more the residence location refrains from a school facility the less likely it is for a girl to attend school.
-Findings from 68 different countries show that a woman's education is a key factor in whether or not she will have a child. Mothers who did not attend school in Latin America raised children who have a 3.1 times higher risk of death compared to children raised by mothers who have received secondary education.
The list goes on and on and the results are disappointing. It is crystal clear that education is a key factor in a child’s and more specifically a girl’s development. But how can education have an impact on boys as well, in order to ensure the highest and fairer results regarding equal gender perceptions and beliefs?
Eli Publishing group in cooperation with the Macerata University in Italy worked closely to form the necessary criteria regarding the gender representations in student’s books and with the goal to turn them into a more inclusive teaching tool. They highlighted three strong points and came up with the idea of the #equilibrium scenario.
- An equal and inclusive use of the language
-Very clear visual representations and
-Carefully given content
The goal of this initiative is the familiarization of students in their first school steps with concepts such as equality and inclusivity. The #equilibrium scenario aims to create a safe environment and a concrete-stereotype-free culture, in which each student will feel free to express who they are.
The course book functions as a means of communication between teachers and students. In Greece the main goal when learning a foreign language is succeeding at an exam. This scenario offers the opportunity for so much more. It allows us to teach lifelong values, to create a better world.
Let’s work together to co-create citizens of the world with trust in the global values and equal opportunities. Let’s pay more attention to what we teach than to what the exam results will be. To conclude, let’s encourage students to be the best and truest version of themselves.