Gender Respect Project 2013-2016
The Inspiration for the Project One Billion Rising (onebillionrising.org)
Aims of the Project To help children and young people to understand, question and challenge gender inequality and violence in a local-global context
Learning outcomes Children and young people (aged 4-14) will: Question gender stereotyping (including exploring masculinities and femininities, engaging boys in redefining masculinities as well as girls; critique of social media etc) Understand global and historical contexts of gender relations Explore issues of power, justice, equality, freedom and human rights in the context of gender Feel empowered to take action (this will include supporting young people’s creative responses, including use of social media, you tube etc and will build on positive role models from around the world).
How we will achieve our aims We will bring together teachers along with creative practitioners / artists and young people to develop engaging, participatory and creative curriculum activities and materials These materials will be disseminated through websites, conferences and training
Who’s involved? • Steering group (including link with funder) • Project coordinator (Helen) • Project teacher group (9 EYFS/Primary/Sec) • Volunteers • Young people (focus groups / consultation) • Artists • Wider network of interested teachers / others
Research and theory on gender • Violence against women and girls as a starting point • Gender inequality as root cause of gender violence • Components of gender inequality: gender roles, power relations, social norms • What does this mean for education?
The problem of violence against women and girls globally • Global problem with a global response e.g. One Billion Rising UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) • Powered by grass roots activism in localities across the world What do we mean by ‘violence against women & girls’? What form does this take globally, in our communities, in our schools?
Facts and statistics • www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk/videos
End Violence Against Women YouGov Poll, Oct 2010 • 71% of 16-18-year-olds say they have heard sexual name-calling such as ‘slut’ or ‘slag’ towards girls at school daily or a few times per week • Close to one in three (29%) 16-18-year-old girls say they have experienced unwanted sexual touching at school • Close one in three (28%) of 16-18-year-olds say they have seen sexual pictures on mobile phones at school a few times a month or more (Total sample size was 788 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all 16 to 18 year olds from the UK on age and gender. )
NSPCC ‘Sexting Report’ 2011 • ‘One of the key findings of this research highlights the extent to which gendered power relations saturate the young people’s lives. No understanding of sexting would be complete without an appreciation of the extent to which an often completely normalised sexism constitutes the context for all relationships both on and off-line’ • ‘deeply rooted notion that girls and young women’s bodies are somehow the property of boys and young men’ • ‘boys failure to perform a particular kind of macho masculinity carries with it the risk of being labelled ‘gay’: “If they had a picture of a girl naked and you told them “That’s wrong” they will think straight away you are gay” (Focus group, year 10 boy) A Qualitative Study of Children, Young People and ‘Sexting’, A report prepared for the NSPCC by Institute of Education, London King’s College, London School of Economics, Open University
What is ‘violence against women’? ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women and girls, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. The Commission also notes the economic and social harm caused by such violence’ CEDAW 2013‘Agreed conclusions on the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls’
What are the roots of gender-based violence? • ‘the historical and structural inequality in power relations between women and men’ • ‘intrinsically linked with gender stereotypes that underlie and perpetuate such violence’ as well as other factors that can increase women’s and girls’ vulnerability to such violence’ CEDAW 2013‘Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls’
Gender Roles Gender roles Distinction between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ • ‘Sex’ refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. • ‘Gender’ refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women (World Health Organisation)
Even monkeys! Wild Japanese macaque monkeys (Macaca Fuscat Fuscata) Gibraltar - Males take care of young Morocco - Females take care of young http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardfisher/
And rats … Tatiana Bulyonkova http://www.flickr.com/photos/ressaure/
In pairs: How do we learn to do gender? What is your theory on this - how does a child learn to be a boy or a girl? Represent this as a picture / diagram to show to everyone else.
For women of the Awá hunter-gatherer tribe in the Brazilian Amazon, ..the most threatened tribe on Earth – equal status with Awá men is normal. Some Awá women even take several husbands, a practice known as polyandry. The Awá are one of only two nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes left in Brazil.. Survival International http://www.survivalinternational.org/awa
Socialisation Theories Socialisation theories: children develop gender identities from messages given by significant others and by observing and absorbing how people around them behave PROBLEM: assumes identity fixed and coherent; doesn’t answer question of why children accept some ideas and reject others and ignores issue of ‘power’
Post-structuralist theory • The relationship between the individual and social institutions is seen to be inseparable, interdependent • Children don’t just soak up their identity from people and institutions they reshape and develop individual identities as they engage with the diverse and often contradictory messages they receive from caregivers, at home, from the media and in preschool settings
‘Children actively construct meaning but not free to construct any meanings or identities she/he wants… limited to alternatives made available to them • Children do not enter a ‘free marketplace’ of ideas but form identities in a highly controlled marketplace • Some meanings are more powerful than others because they are more available, more desirable, more pleasurable and more able to be recognised by others • Interaction with others central in forming identity’
Participant research - 2 year project in EYFS in primary school in London • Children learn to ‘do’ boy or girl by observing and then joining in with what the other boys or girls are doing • The borders are policed • Power/pleasure • Communities of masculinity for boys - football, superhero and battle play • Some areas of nursery clearly defined as boys or girls (Children at Play learning gender in the early years, Barbara Martin, 2011)
Stereotype Threat (or social identity threat) • ‘Stereotype threat refers to being at risk of confirming, as self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one's group’ www.reducingstereotypethreat.org
“MATH CLASS IS TOUGH” 1st 4 words Barbie ever spoke in 1992 Freddycat http://www.flickr.com/photos/15157516@N02/
Stereotype Threat Studies have shown : Awareness of other’s stereotypes increases dramatically between 6 & 10 years of age Awareness of broadly held stereotype threat precondition for stereotype threat effects Therefore vulnerability increases with age
Reducing stereotype threat • Interventions which encourage individuals to consider themselves as complex and multi-faceted • Self affirmation • Providing role models • Providing external attributions for difficulty • Pointing out the danger of stereotype threat • Emphasizing effort and motivation rather than inherent talent or ability http://www.reducingstereotypethreat.org/reduce.html
Power is ‘deeply woven into the fabric of our lives; it is the warp of our interactions and the weft of our institutions. And it is so deeply woven into our lives that it is most invisible to those who are most empowered’ The Gendered Society, Michael S. Kimmel, 2008 Power Relations Power relations
Masculinities and Power ‘Hegemonic masculinity’: ‘those dominant and dominating forms of masculinity which claim the highest status and exercise the greatest influence and authority’ ‘Subordinate masculinity’: ‘direct opposition to hegemonic masculinity and is both repressed and oppressed by it’- including gay masculinities. ‘Any major attachment to the ‘feminine’ likely to propel its owner into this category’ Kenway J. and Fitzclarence L ‘Masculinity, Violence and Schooling’ in Arnot, M and Mac an Ghaill M The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Gender and Education, 2006 p. 207
‘Patriarchal dividend’ ‘ “The advantage men in general gain from the overall subordination of women …” (Connell 1995) even if they fail to live up to and do not draw moral inspiration from hegemonic forms of masculinity’ Kenway J. and Fitzclarence L ‘Masculinity, Violence and Schooling’ in Arnot, M and Mac an Ghaill M The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Gender and Education, 2006 p. 207
Marginal masculinities ‘”Interplay of gender with other structures such as class and race creates further relationships between masculinities” … only wield structural power to the extent that they are authorised by the dominant class /race’ Kenway J. and Fitzclarence L ‘Masculinity, Violence and Schooling’ in Arnot, M and Mac an Ghaill M The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Gender and Education, 2006 p. 208 quoting Connell, 1995
Femininities which unwittingly underwrite hegemonic masculinity • Compliance and service • Subservience and self-sacrifice • Constant accommodating to the needs and desires of males
Gender crafting Many studies show how parents take action to craft an appropriate gender performance with and for their preschool-aged sons. Is this to do with the ‘patriarchal dividend’ - the importance of full acceptance as a boy?
‘because I am a man everything I do expresses my masculinity …. Love, tenderness, nurturance; competence, ambition, assertion - these are human qualities, and all human beings - both women and men - should have equal access to them… the society of the third millennium will increasingly degender traits and behaviours without degendering people. We will still be women and men, equal yet capable of appreciating our difference, different yet unwilling to use those differences as the basis for discrimination’ The Gendered Society, Michael S. Kimmel, 2008
12 year old Oli campaigns against child marriage in Bangladesh http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldclass/20045275
Recommendations from the research for education Schools are sites of normalization: they are places in which the idea of the ‘normal’ child is constructed Social Norms
Recommendations from the research for education ‘If we want to have a fairer society in which men and women, boys and girls have the freedom to take up and perform masculinities and femininities of much greater range and scope… we need to find ways of intervening… to undermine the dominance of particular ways of being and provide alternative conceptions of what it means to be man or woman’ ‘Being Boys Being Girls’ learning masculinities and femininities, Carrie Paechter, 2007
Recommendations from the research for education Studies all emphasise the importance from EYFS onwards of engaging children and young people actively in thinking and talking about gender issues
Recommendations from the research for education ‘we need to help students become CRITICAL, INFORMED and SKILLED ADVOCATES FOR A BETTER WORLD’ ‘approaches that preach rather than teach are are destructive rather than deconstructive and reconstructive do not work’ ‘a socially critical/deconstructive negotiated curriculum is preferable, one which guides and encourages students both to discover their own truths about gender, marginality and age and violence and to develop their own responsible preventative practices’ Kenway J. and Fitzclarence L ‘Masculinity, Violence and Schooling’ in Arnot, M and Mac an Ghaill M The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Gender and Education, 2006 p. 214
Learning outcomes Children and young people (aged 4-14) will: Question gender stereotyping (including exploring masculinities and femininities, engaging boys in redefining masculinities as well as girls; critique of social media etc) Understand global and historical contexts of gender relations Explore issues of power, justice, equality, freedom and human rights in the context of gender Feel empowered to take action (this will include supporting young people’s creative responses, including use of social media, you tube etc and will build on positive role models from around the world)
Project Outcomes • Teachers of pupils aged 4-14 in South Yorkshire effectively use engaging, participatory and creative curriculum activities and materials which meet the learning outcomes • Teachers beyond South Yorkshire access the web materials • People working with children and young people internationally have access to the web materials.
Action Research Model Informed by focus groups of young people Informed by research done by others Informed by observation / interviews with pupils With others in group/ volunteers Informed by understanding of how c/yp learn / relevance to school context Relating to project learning outcomes Involve participants Using engaging, participatory methods
Action Research Question • What is the area I am focussing on? • What is my research question? (this needs to be tighter than a broad area) • What data do I need to answer the research question? • How am I going to get this data? • What am I going to do with the data?