Working in child care you come across many little boys who love dolls and dancing and little girls who enjoy trucks or want to be builders. Celebrate International Women’s Day in childcare by supporting gender equality. Empowering children to be whoever they want to be regardless of their gender is a valuable part of your role in early childhood education.
Breaking down gender stereotypes
Boys and girls and all children are all alike and yet all diverse. While there are some gender-related physical differences, children’s preferences at playtime should not be perceived that way.
To encourage children in your care to think about what boys and girls are capable of doing, ask children what they would like to be when they grow up and talk about how being a boy or girl doesn’t have an impact on this. Try this activity called ‘Boys Like, Girls Like, Kids Like’ and get children talking about perceived gender roles.
Showing children a range of characters that includes strong girls and gentle boys and vice versa can demonstrate that both genders are entitled to experience the full range of physical and emotional experiences available in the world.
Broader implications of perceived gender roles
While children in Australia have the same rights to education from birth, in many countries this is not the case. International Women’s Day recognises the plight of women and girls all over the world who do not have the right to education and aims to change this.
As child care professionals, we help guide children through the earliest stages of developing their identity. Part of that should encouraging them that their goals are in reach no matter their gender.
After all, boys and girls can enjoy both trucks, dolls, building and dancing together!