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GENDER EQUALITY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD CONTEXTS

on 25 January 2021

Gender stereotypes are one of the main cause of many social phenomena such as exclusion, discrimination, pay gap, lower employment rate, gender-based violence, lower representation and leadership position in girls’ business and politics and women. If they are not addressed from early childhood, their persistence can influence the believes and behaviors of boys and girls change the perception of their skills.

A recent research presented by “Save the Children” in November 2020 “With the eyes of girls”argues that “the effects of the pandemic on the future of minors in Italy risk being even heavier on girls and girls, who already face a gap with male peers that has its roots in childhood. A gender gap, fueled by systematic inequalities widespread in our country, which shows no signs of shrinking, despite girls and girls being better than their peers at school, have fewer failures and dropouts from school, show themselves more resilient and cooperative, have better reading and Italian skills and graduate much more than children.

The “Strategy for Gender Equality” adopted by the EU (2020 – 2025) highlights the importance of early childhood intervention in addressing gender stereotypes and preventing violence / discrimination against women, since these are the critical years in shaping the behavior of boys and girls, influencing their social inclusion and the entire course of life.

Education and childhood: these are the two issues targeted by BEE. Boosting gender Equality in Education”, a European project (funded by ” Rights, Equality and Citizenship “program – Rights, Equality and Citinzeship Funds) that involves 4 countries of the European Union (Italy, Cyprus, Romania and Lithuania) and promotes gender equality in early childhood education contexts (kindergartens, preschools and first cycle of primary schools) and it will be symbolically launched on January 24 2021 during the UN World Day of Education. 

The project, entirely focused on improving educational contexts from a gender point of view, will work in schools,  offering training opportunities and free workshops with experts on gender issues, on how to recognize gender stereotypes and how to be able to counter them in educational contexts such as kindergartens, preschools and primary schools. One of the main activities will then be the creation, thanks to experts in various disciplines (science and robotics, art, fiction for children, etc.), of a new and innovative educational Gender Toolkit  with itineraries and proposals for workshops to be presented at Winter camp in Pisa in the winter of 2022, where you can interact with the educational staff involved in the project in all other EU countries and exchange ideas and good practices on early childhood educational environments from a gender dynamics. The project is targeted mainly at educational staff (kindergartens’ educators, pedagogical coordinators, teachers support staff) and the representatives of local institutions dealing with the childhood sector and kindergarten and first cycle schools. of the primary. An awareness campaign will also be promoted to reach an wider audience.

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