Through classroom activities and structured discussions, students at Jindal Mount Litera Zee School, Roorkee, analyse the issue of gender discrimination, with a special focus on dealing with gender inequality in school spaces.
As part of Amnesty International India’s Human Rights Education programme (HRE), students from classes VI and VII at Jindal Mount Litera Zee School, Roorkee were introduced to the issue of gender discrimination and gender equality. Held on 24th February, 2016, the aim of the session was to educate students on why a society free of gender discrimination is the imminent consequence for gender parity.
The activities conducted as part of the session were from “Equality is Gender- Free” a toolkit by Amnesty’s HRE programme. The toolkit – following the programme’s commitment to experiential learning - focuses on introducing children to the issue of gender-based discrimination in school and helps them arrive at solutions through which stereotypes could be broken.
One activity that was particularly eye-opening for the students was the ‘Problem-Solution Tree’. The students were given a blank card to note down any particular gender stereotype they had observed in their classroom, school or community. These cards were then posted on the ‘tree trunk’, which represented the ‘problem’ section. Some common stereotypes that emerged were, “Girls are not expected to be breadwinners” and “Girls can cook and boys can play sports”.
A discussion between students and teachers ensued, with the possible solutions to each stereotype listed out. These were then pasted on the ‘branches’ of the tree, representing the ‘solutions’. The students were then asked to put their views and solutions into practice.
Students exhibited a remarkable maturity in dealing with this sensitive yet crucial topic. The teachers also commended the activity, claiming that it gave them an opportunity to discuss the issue and explore solutions from the students’ perspectives.
The Equality is Gender-free toolkit has been complied by Amnesty International India’s Human Rights Education programme. It is designed to help teachers introduce the issue of gender discrimination in a sensitive way, and consists of age-appropriate activities for the classroom. A free copy of the toolkit is available for download here.