In recent years, social movements in favor of gender equality have intensified, taking an unstoppable course towards the consolidation of real equality. In this scenario, it is essential to introduce changes in the education of boys and girls in the early stages of education that lead to an internalization from childhood of values based on parity.
Through this article, a response has been given to different key axes raised in this monograph, in order to elucidate some important aspects to walk together on the same egalitarian path, from the educational perspective at school.
Educate on gender equality in schools and from early childhood
The importance of educating in gender equality from an early age lies in the potential of boys and girls. At these ages (0-12 years) they are free from prejudiceTherefore, implementing egalitarian teaching affects their development from a gender perspective.
This fact favors the internalization of civic behavior under egalitarian conditions and with a common vision, that is, responsible action in the society in which we live, where, due to being a man or a woman, the imposition of certain social roles should not be established.
In this scenario, a series of Evidence that supports the inclusion of the gender perspective in Early Childhood Education (Moya, 2008; Martínez and Vélez, 2009; Azorín, 2014; Finco, 2015; Torres and Palomo, 2016; Padial and others, 2017) and in Primary education (López, 2007; Hamodi, 2014; Valle, 2015; Campos, 2017; Hortigüela and Hernando, 2018).
All this impulse must be channeled from initiatives at the institutional and individual level, in order to be able to steer education on the path of gender equality. Prioritizing its inculcation at an early age, where the patriarchal vision of today’s society does not yet exist in the mental scheme of the child.
Resources and good practices to educate in equality
The tools, together with the appropriate resources, provide us with an inexhaustible source to educate in an increasingly egalitarian society, but with a wide open gap around gender. But, the school must offer us the more suitable space to promote this type of education, which must be transversal and treated as naturally as possible from the early stages of school.
There are specialized tools for educating in gender equality that can be an extraordinary help for the teacher or educator, which are easily accessible and with an application useful enough to be considered effective. How could it be otherwise, we have to talk about ICT, as the main tools for gender equality, which are linked to infinite resources available at the reach of a click.
Platforms like Youtube, loaded with videos with audiovisual material key to understanding and understanding equality, have become the inexhaustible source of resources and tools to turn to. All of this is supported by reference web pages that include essential strategies, loaded with resources, for the promotion of equality, like the Equality Plan Collections, specific guides to avoid inequality, along with other plans, tools, strategies or resources that are collected in almost infinite web pages, wanting to cite the portal Education in values of the Territorial Delegation of Malaga, as an example of a good source to turn to when it comes to educating in equality.
Added to all this is the proliferation of social media and its passage to form part of the daily lives of boys and girls since their childhood. That is why they can become great allies when it comes to our own students being able to interact with other people who are working on a transversal competence such as gender equality.
From the Government of Spain itself, guides of good practices are offered for everyone who wishes to access it, focused on a better coexistence of society, based on gender equality. Also, at the national level, it is worth mentioning some plans to eradicate inequality, which are based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Decade for Women, the Beijing Conference on Women or the inclusion of goal “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” among the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, all these actions have been supported, in the case of many countries, by the creation of local institutions to support women and education in equality.
Strategies and actions of schools
There are many, almost infinite strategies, plans and actions that can be carried out in schools. All these happen to be effective the sooner they start to be implemented among infant and primary stage students. But, it should not be exclusive to these stages, since this can and should continue to be treated and updated throughout the entire educational system including, why not, the university environment.
All these strategies must be based on a few premises that go through being aimed at the non-discrimination between boys and girls games, the no differentiation of functions or colors, the self-confidence of the female gender, the roles they adopt in group work or in different games, the proliferation of “role reversal” in various performances or activities carried out, etc.
All of this must entail a comprehensive plan in each center in which families are also involved, as well as the different agents involved in education, teachers and management teams. In addition, everything must be based on a system that can be evaluated over time and the implementation of the different plans, through interviews, active observation and a monitoring of the activities carried out.
Equality, co-educationIt is a path that must begin in families and continue in schools. For this reason, we teachers are responsible for ensuring that our students know what a path of respect is, of valuing everyone’s abilities and equality in all aspects. A tough road, but with great rewards. Do we walk it together?