Gender Respect Project 2013-2016

Aiming to help children and young people to understand, question and challenge gender inequality and violence.

Teacher Blog: Kathryn

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P4C: Gender and Work

Questions generated, using the stimuli of images of people doing non-stereotypical jobs.

  1. In the olden days, why did people think that men could do more jobs than women?
  2. Why are men more likely to do DIY than women?
  3. Why do more women than men do the housework?
  4. Do you think that men and women should have equal rights to choose a job?
  5. Should women be able to do the same roles as men in the army?
  6. What would you do if your rights changed and you were not able to do your job?

P4C on gender and work DSC01037








Chosen question: Should women be able to do the same roles as men in the army?  

Key points of discussion:

  • Women should have the same rights as men.
  • Women are as strong as men.
  • Women can do the same jobs as men.
  • Both men and women are humans, so they should be treated the same.
  • It wouldn’t be fair if they had to do different roles.
  • Men shouldn’t tell women what to do.
  • All the girls in this class could be in the army if they wanted to be. They could all do any sport too (link to ‘This Girl Can’ campaign).
  • Men and women are the same. They can do the same jobs. Women don’t have to do the housework.
  • It’s good for women to go into the army as they can learn how to defend themselves and get fit.
  • It’s not just about strength; you have to be fast and athletic.
  • There should be a mixture of men and women on the frontline. We are all human, we’re just different genders.




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Talking Group: Secondary

Session Three: Parenting vs Career

Carol – Today’s topic:  Is it more important for parents to focus on their career or on bringing up their families?

A2 (boy) – Can I just tell you some good news I’ve deleted Grand Theft Auto off my ipad. (Referring to previous discussion)

I (boy) – In between, mine do focus on work but they help me with my homework. We all need money only children get bored if they do too much work.

A1 (boy) – In the middle. You’re not just children you are also people.

A3 (boy) – My dad’s an architect ‘cos the place he works is not paying him enough for six months he’s been looking for a new place to work. He comes home and he is always looking for a new place to work.

N (boy) – My dad goes to work everyday and every weekend.

P (girl) – My dad works from home. He’s always busy and I don’t know when I can talk to him.

I (boy) – When dad is at home he is in his office in the evening he works on his laptop.

J (boy) – Parents should work half and half, work half days.

E (girl) – In my family Saturday is family time. Sunday is when we do homework. Both my parents are busy, Mum and I like to hangout on Saturday.

Carol – Do other families have hang out times?

P (girl) – My dad is a Christian minister. My Dad is doing sermons on Sunday. He is only paid two days a week but he works seven. When we go on holiday he is preaching at a different church so he never really has a holiday.

Carol – Do you think it is the same for Mums and Dads whether they should focus on their career or their family?

L (girl) – I spend more time with my Mum.

Carol –Who prefers to have time with their mum? Hands up. Mum 12, 4 Boys 8 Girls; Dad zero!, Both 5 Girls

E (girl) – My Mum is a bit funnier but my dad is more manly. I’d be embarrassed talking to my dad about make-up.

B (girl) – I’d ask my Mum if I wanted to go shopping but Mum is a mood swinger. If she is in a bad mood I just keep out of her way.

 J (girl) joined the group

A3 (boy) – My parents are always in a grump. My dad hates me.

Carol – Is that because he is so stressed about finding a job?

A3 (boy) – If I don’t do a question on my homework he gets really mad.

Carol – What about your Mum?

A3 (boy) – Yes she’s nice.

A1 (boy) – We fight 24/7 except on family days when we don’t. It’s because there is all of us and the cats.

Carol – Do all parents get the grumps sometime?

J (boy) – My Mum does but she works with women who suffer domestic abuse.

Carol – I’m having to decide at the moment what to do about my career because I’m passionate about what I’m doing, sex education, but I’m also a Mum and both are important. Should my kids be more important?

S (girl) – Kids are more important than a job- you need money- but if kids are ill they should have their parents at home.

Carol: I also think it is important for me to be a role model for my children to show them what I can achieve at work.

S (girl) – You should have time for a job, and time for your kids, and time for yourself.

M (girl) – You need a job and to be with your kids.

A2 (boy) – It’s a different thing but it’s important to me, I found a cat and I kept it so it was my cat and it had eleven kittens. My neighbour wasn’t happy because the kittens were mewing all night and she put all eleven kittens in a bag and threw it in the river and the kittens all died. I told her I would never forgive her.

L (girl) – You could have reported her. They are her (the cats) kids and that is like killing eleven of someone’s kids.

Carol – Well that happens in dairy farming. The young calves are taken from the mother so that we can have milk and cheese.

A2 (boy) – My cat is now with my grandparents. Later she had four or five kittens and she kept them.

E (girl) – What country were you in?

A2 (boy) – Iran. When you live in a country without laws you can’t say anything.

Carol – Every animal is some animal’s child. If you eat lamb or chicken…what about carrots? They are the carrot babies?

A1 (boy) – If a cat was like a person and had eleven children then an ogre/giant came and put them in a bag…it would be like that.

J (boy) – With a cat the kits could have grown up.

D (boy) – In China over one thousand cats are slaughtered and killed and eaten.

Carol: In China hundreds of thousands of baby girls are killed at birth or in pregnancy, in Pakistan and in India too. Why do you think that is?

L (girl) – If you had a daughter and she went away to live with her husband and look after his parents when they are old there would be no one left to look after you. Some countries have orphanages set up for girls because no one wants them.

H (girl) – going back to cats, my kittens were close to being put down but my dad found someone who could take them in.

Someone – S stole a cat!

S (girl) – This woman left a cat for two when she went to America so I carried it home. My Mum wasn’t happy but my Gran said ‘give it some pork pie it’ll be right.’ Now it lives with me. It had worms and fleas and we had to flea bomb the whole house and worm it but now my Mum likes it and she says, ‘Come to Mummy.’

 Time ran out – group disbanded without any time to sum up.



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Teacher Blog: Stephen

Summer Term Events

Sports day, speech day, prize giving, proms and new parent welcoming meetings. All these events are occasions when gender inequality can be an issue. Last year I sat in my son’s school for speech day and was horrified when every child chosen in Key Stage 2 was a girl. Equally I would have had the same reaction if it had just been boys that were chosen. Schools should reflect a community where both girls’ and boys’ contributions to the community are recognised. So these are some of the questions I would be asking:

Sports Day

How are the children chosen? Is it mixed gender or gender specific? If as a teacher you are aware that boys or girls outperform in a particular activity is it worth considering separating the sexes to stop it becoming one gender is better than others? (bearing in mind that single sex activities can reinforce differences) To encourage competition children need to know they have a chance of winning.

Speech day or prize giving

Are all sections of the community equally represented? Are the prizes not just a reflection on academic success? Have you a prize for the boy and girl who has demonstrated kindness to others? Is there a prize for a boy and girl who has been an ambassador to others?


A challenge more in primary than secondary. Lots of discussion and opinion. Parents and schools with different viewpoints. I personally have reservations whether primary is the right place. I’m very aware of self-image and I’m concerned that 10/ 11 year olds are encouraged to question their looks. Prom boy and prom girl misleads children to question their own appearance. For 10s and 11s a leavers party, in my opinion, is more appropriate.

New parents meetings

Are they at a time that encourages all parents to attend? Are there messages we want to share with parents that help parents to understand that equality in our school is important? I want parents in my school to know that an equal number of boys and girls are on the school council. I also want parents to realise that behaviour that doesn’t respect others isn’t tolerated. I want parents to know that a safe environment for all is equally important as academic achievement.

Over the summer lets see schools take a responsible lead on gender respect.