Youth and Gender Equity
Gender equity is the fair distribution of respect, trust, communication, involvement and resources to people who identify as male, female or who are transgendered. It does not necessarily mean making the same activities, facilities and cultures available to males, females and transgendered people. Gender equity does mean that females and transgendered people experience a full range of choices that meet their needs, interests and experiences. That means some activities may be the same as those offered to males, while others may be altered, and some may be altogether different. Young people can change the world through gender equity by taking action towards equity while challenging and eliminating disadvantages people experience because of their gender. They can also examine and challenge practices and policies that may hinder the participation of people because they identify as females or transgendered.
“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.” ― Charlotte Brontë
Ways Youth can Change the World through Gender Equity
Youth-Led Classes — Youth can teach children, their peers and adults about gender equity. Through hands-on activities with real learning goals, youth facilitators can role model the most effective ways to reach learners, and share the most effective and empowering information along the way!
Policy Development — Working with policy-makers as allies, youth can create policies, rules, regulations and formal procedures in organizations, agencies and institutions in order to foster gender equity. Contributing to the study, critical analysis and rewriting of policies, youth can also evaluate their implementation and effectiveness.
Community Governance — Young people can participate in neighborhood associations, community groups, village / town / city government, county government and other local-level activities to ensure gender equity. Children and youth can also research issues that matter to them, present their findings and promote what they’ve learned, too.
Things Youth Need to Change the World through Gender Equity
Training — Gender discrimination and gender bias is obvious to a lot of people when they are very young children. However, learning about the systemic and cultural bias against women and transgender people can require specific education and training. Young people may need these learning opportunities to move into action.
Opportunities — Adults can create substantive opportunities for children and youth to become involved in challenging gender bias and building gender equity. Actual activities and more can transform discrimination.
Technology — Staying connected across distances, identities and communities can be a challenge for youth advocating for gender equity. Using technology including social media and texting can allow young people to cross the distances on their terms.
- Girls for Gender Equity
- School Girls Unite
- “Coming of age, youth become gender equality champions in Kyrgyzstan” by UN Women
- “What Is The Role Of Young People In The Fight For Gender Equality?” by Ravi Karkara for Youth Ki Awaaz
- “Building Support for Gender Equality Among Young Adolescents in School Findings from Mumbai, India” by ICRW, CORO, TISS
- “Gender Equality. Then, Now and the Future.” by Grace Kiunga for Voices of Youth
- “Arab youth activism for gender equality” by Vickie Langohr for The Washington Post
- Coalition for Gender Equity in Schools
- “Gender equity” by A Fairer World – Youth
Other tools are out there, too – share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can support community youth development in your community or organization, contact us.