Ending Gender Stereotypes in Classrooms
Gender stereotypes is one of the key challenges in ensuring gender equality in Bangladesh, in spite of having a number of law and policies. One of the issues that affect women’s self-confidence and career is gender stereotypes. It can shape self-perception, attitudes to relationships and influence participation in the world of work. In a school environment, they affect a young person’s classroom experience, academic performance, subject choice, and well-being. The assumptions we make about boys and girls may be conscious or unconscious but can result in students being treated differently or offered different opportunities based on their gender.
Perceptions of appropriate gender roles in Bangladeshi society today still accord largely with traditional stereotypes. These types of stereotypes are frequently seen in educational settings. Textbooks often promote gender stereotypes through visual representation and linguistic sexism. Educational institutions when organising sports events also follow a gendered pattern. Girls are not encouraged to participate in sports. Even if their participation is encouraged, they are not allowed to participate in sports like high jump, long jump, cricket, football, etc. These types of stereotypical activities at such young ages makes the girls and boys to think that they are unable to perform certain jobs or roles because of their biological identity, which shapes their perception, behaviour, and career choices. Even gender stereotypical activities also promote discrimination and sexual harassment and violence. Such stereotypes not only prevail in the schools from underprivileged background but also in many reputed and privileged educational institutions as well. In order to identify the gender stereotypes from different backgrounds and socio-economic conditions, 6 schools will be selected under formal education system for this pilot program in which 4 schools will be from underprivileged backgrounds, 1 will be English medium school and 1 will be Bangla medium school. This will enable us to have a better understanding of diverse point of view and analyse the mindset and stereotypes between different socio-economic groups.
To bring positive changes and end the gender stereotypes, it is necessary to bring behavioural changes in the school and families. This project will aim to change the knowledge and attitudes of the students, teachers, school management committees and family members towards progressive gender norms that contribute to the breaking of gender bias.
To change the knowledge and attitudes of the students, teachers, school management committees and family members towards progressive gender norms that contribute to the breaking of gender bias.
- Govt. actors are engaged and influenced to promote policies regarding GEWE and eliminating VAW
- Students and youth networks are engaged to promote gender transformative change to prevent GBV and promote violence free educational institutions
ACT 1: Project Inception
1.1. Notifying project activities to relevant stakeholders: An appraisal letter will be sent to the relevant stakeholders such as- Govt. officials including Deputy Commissioner, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Secondary and Higher Secondary education Board and Directorate, Education Officer, targeted schools, and school management committee to notify that the project is going to be started. They will also be invited to take part in upcoming workshop.
1.2. Workshop with relevant stakeholders: A workshop will be held to share about the project activities, the process of activity implementation and specific role of relevant stakeholders. Govt. representatives, local DC office, UN Women, School Principles, SMC body will participate in the workshop.
1.3. Master training: A master training, based on the module developed by UN Women, will be conducted to create a resource pool. The Project Manager, 12 youth leaders and selected 6 teachers from targeted schools will be capacitated with the training module. Pre- and post- test assessment will be conducted to measure their existing and updated knowledge.
ACT 2: Non-experimental baseline and endline study to understand attitudes and practices regarding stereotypes among teachers, students, school management staffs
2.1. Baseline study: Initially, A baseline study will be conducted to understand the perception on gender stereotypes in classroom and to explore gender stereotypical practices. Data will be collected from targeted 6 schools, 60 teachers, 72 SMC members, 2400 students and 2400 parents. An expert will be hired to conduct the survey, collect data, and analyse them. This survey result will assist the project to understand general perception of the participants which will pave the way to advocate about eliminating gender stereotypes in classroom with the relevant stakeholders.
2.2. Endline assessment: An endline survey will be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the initiative after completion of the project activities. The participant will be same as the baseline survey- 6 schools, 60 teachers, 72 SMC members, 2400 students and 2400 parents. Changes in their perception and practices regarding gender stereotypes in classroom will be identified throughout the endline survey.
ACT 3: Engaging govt. actors and influencing them regarding policies on GEWE (Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment) and eliminating VAW (Violence Against Women)
3.1. National level Advocacy on attitudes and practices regarding gender stereotypes among teachers, students, and School management body:
A national level advocacy will be arranged to share the result of baseline study. Perception, attitudes, and practices regarding gender stereotypes in classroom and its’ relevance in this project will be shared with the participants. Policymakers, Govt. officials, parents, teachers, students, and school management committee members will participate in the program and the program will be covered in the media.
3.2. National level Advocacy on adaptation of the curriculum of different streams of current secondary education system to address gender stereotypes and contributing to quality outcome of learning:
After completion of the endline survey a national level advocacy will be arranged to share the result of the initiative with relevant stakeholders. Policymakers, Govt. officials, parents, teachers, students, and school management committee members will participate in the program. This advocacy program will focus on adapting gender sensitive curriculum by addressing current gender stereotypical practices.
ACT 4: Adapt and roll out developed modules addressing gender norms, inequalities, deconstruction of the concepts that contributes to gender stereotypes.
4.1. Training of the teachers (ToT): School teachers will be trained by the master trainers- 12 youth leaders and 6 teachers. 60 schoolteachers, 10 from each 6 schools, will be capacitated through 6 training sessions to eliminate gender stereotypes in classroom. They will conduct sessions for the students and build a classroom free from gender stereotypical practices.
4.2. Sensitization workshop for parents and school management committee: Sensitization workshops will be held to raise awareness and sensitize parents and SMC members. 2400 parents and 72 SMC members will be sensitized on gender stereotypes in classroom and their role to eliminate gender stereotypes participate in total. A total of 36 sensitization workshops, 6 in each school including 1 for SMC members and 5 for parents, will be held.
4.3. Session with students: A total of 360 sessions will be held to engage the students in activities related to ending and preventing gender stereotypes. In the selected 6 schools, 2400 students from class 6-10 will be selected for the sessions. 3 sessions will be conducted per month which will be resulted in 360 sessions in a 4-month project period.
4.4. Organize role reversal sports: Role reversal tournament will be organized to encourage active learning and challenge gender bias among the students. 12 tournaments- 6 for girls and 6 for boys will be arranged by the youth leaders and selected teachers in the schools. Such role reversal sports will sensitize both male and female students and make them respectful to opposite gender’s role.
4.5. Organize school wise students led interactive popular theatre (IPT) shows to end gender stereotypes: Students will be capacitated to arrange interactive popular theatre (IPT) shows to end gender stereotypes. A group of 3 members, 2 boys and 1 girl, will be formed in each class who will lead the activity in their class. 15 leads in a school and 90 in 6 schools will take part in the IPT shows. Each of the 6 schools will arrange a total of 6 IPT shows to ensure active participation of students in eliminating gender stereotypes.
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