Hey moms! Today is March 8, and what is a better time to teach your kids about the importance of gender equality and equity? International Women’s Day! It is a time to celebrate women and to think about how we can work together to make the world better for women and all genders.
But it also reminds us that we still need to do some things.
As parents, we have the power to shape our children’s values and beliefs, and one of the most crucial lessons we can teach them is the difference between equality and equity.
We need to ensure our kids know that men and women should be treated the same, but that doesn’t mean they should get everything the same way.
We know that there are still many challenges facing women in our communities and around the globe. But on this special day, we’re here to remind you that each one of us has the power to create change in our families, schools, workplaces—and yes, even in our own homes.
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Why teach our kids about equity and gender equality?
Teaching our children about equity and gender equality is one of the most important things we can do as parents. And it’s not just because it’s the right thing to do—it’s also the smart thing to do.
Some research shows that when we teach young children about these issues, they become better people. They’re more likely to be open-minded and accepting of others’ differences, have a greater appreciation for things like hard work, and can communicate their emotions more effectively than kids who haven’t been taught about equity and gender equality.
This isn’t just about doing the right thing for our children—it’s about doing the right thing for ourselves. When we teach our kids about equity and gender equality, we’re teaching them how to treat other people with respect and kindness, which means we’ll also have less conflict in our lives.
Equity VS Equality
Now, you might wonder, “Aren’t those the same thing?” Well, not exactly. Equality means treating everyone the same, while equity means giving everyone what they need to succeed, even if that means providing different resources to different people.
Let us give you an example. Imagine you have two children who want to learn to ride a bike. You give them the same bike and tell them to figure it out. One child, who has been practicing for weeks, easily rides off. The other child, who has never ridden a bike before, struggles to stay upright and eventually gives up.
This is where equity comes in. To give both children an equal opportunity to learn to ride a bike, you should provide different resources to each child. The child who has never ridden a bike might need extra support, like training wheels or a balance bike, while the child who has been practicing might need a little encouragement.
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Gender Equality & Equity
Now, let’s apply this concept to gender equality. We all want our children to grow up in a world where everyone is treated fairly, regardless of gender. But to achieve true equality, we must recognize that only some start from the same place. Historically, women and girls have faced barriers to education, employment, and leadership positions, making it harder for them to succeed.
That’s where equity comes in. Providing extra support and resources to women and girls facing systemic barriers can help level the playing field and promote equal opportunities.
How to teach our kids
So, how can we teach our kids about equity and gender equality? Here are a few ideas:
- Watch movies, read books featuring strong female characters, and challenge gender stereotypes.
- Encourage your kids to speak up when they see someone being treated unfairly, and model inclusive language and behavior in your interactions.
- Teaching kids about empathy helps them understand the importance of putting themselves in other people’s shoes, which in turn can lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of equity.
- Talk to your kids about the importance of diversity and inclusion, and help them understand how discrimination can hurt people.
- Get involved in your community by supporting organizations that promote gender equality and equity, like women’s shelters or girls’ mentorship programs.
As parents, we know that the world can be a scary place for our kids. But we also know that we can create change in our communities and the world. By teaching our kids about equity and gender equality, we can help build a more just and equal society for all.
So today, let’s take a moment to remind ourselves what we’re fighting for and how important it is to teach our children about these issues now, so they understand their role in creating change. Then let’s take action—whether by joining an organization or just talking with other parents about raising great kids who care about others’ well-being.
Image from Pexels
When we teach our kids about equity and gender equality, we help them become the kind of people who will work for equality for all. Because it’s what’s right! And when we support other women in their efforts to make changes in their lives and communities, we create an environment where everyone can thrive.
Happy International Women’s Day!