Rebecca Smithers, in Guardian, sheds light on the Fawcett Society report urging government to tackle stereotypes in education and advertising. December 2020.
“Harmful” gender stereotyping has helped fuel the UK mental health crisisafflicting the younger generation, an influential report has warned, adding that it is at the root of problems with body image and eating disorders, record male suicide rates as well as violence against women and girls.
Stereotyped assumptions also “significantly limit” youngsters’ career choices, in turn contributing to the gender pay gap, according to the findings of an influential commission set up by the leading gender equality campaigning charity the Fawcett Society.
Warning that stereotyping persists in parenting, education and the commercial sector – notably toys, books and fashion – the commission is calling on the government to “take meaningful steps” to better support teachers and parents and challenge simplisic “pink and blue” labelling in the corporate sector.
The commission urges the Department for Education to make challenging gender stereotypes a priority all the way through teaching and childcare – from initial training, to the curriculum, to inspection frameworks. It also wants toy companies to drop separate categories in their advertising and product design, designers to end stereotypical imagery and slogans on clothes, and the representation of female characters improved in books, TV and online content.