everyday sexism in schools

Any strategy needs to empower students to call out and challenge sexism. Despite this, he was able to join the accelerated program, which meant that he would graduate faster. We also believe teachers deserve an entitlement to high quality professional development on how to tackle sexism and interrupt gender stereotypes. Indeed, both students and teachers in our report said that as a result of sexual harassment, girls learn to ‘take up less space’, to position themselves at the edges of corridors, playgrounds and classrooms to make themselves less visible. We can’t even wear flip flops, and girls will be given detentions and sent home for breaking any one of these rules. In the past month alone a Canadian teen says she was given detention for wearing a full length maxi dress because it violated her school dress code by showing her shoulders and back and a UK school announced plans to ban skirts altogether. The codes aren’t just problematic for sexist reasons. One student says she was given three specific reasons for the school dress code: “1) There are male teachers and male sixth formers [high school seniors] 2) Teachers feel uncomfortable around bras etc. A female student offered to find a chair for the visiting teacher. On International Women's Day, here are seven statistics worth taking a stand against - from child brides to domestic burdens to unequal pay. An example of this is having double standards and sexism towards the dress codes. In addition, he was also selected to be a prefect of the school. The workshop included seminars, discussions, role plays, and things of that sort in order to inform the staff on how sexist situations should be handled (Olsen). The NEU wants to work with members to start to address this lack of confidence and we have already produced materials for primary practitioners called Breaking the Mould about how to use books and reading to reduce stereotypes about girls and boys. We have also distributed thousands of copies of our sexism resources to members. The subjects of his remarks were both female and were told to the boys. These stereotypes perpetuate harmful and narrow ideas about what it is to be man or woman. It prepares them for college life, where as many as one in five women is sexually assaulted but society will blame and question and silence them, while perpetrators are rarely disciplined. Vote Now, Coronavirus Maps: How COVID-19 Has Spread, You can unsubscribe at any time. “I’ve been told by a teacher that the way I was wearing my socks made me look like a prostitute in my first year of school, making me 13, and I’ve been asked whether I’m ashamed of myself because I rolled my skirt up,” wrote one young woman. But at the Everyday Sexism Project, where people from around the world share their experiences of gender inequality, we have received over a hundred testimonies from girls and young women who are affected by the dress codes and feel a strong sense of injustice. It’s not just girls who need it so desperately. During a science period, the class was told to hand in their files that contained their worksheets to be checked. Instead I was told to cover my body more because I was different.”. Sexist remarks at school are not only uttered in PE sessions, but also in the classroom. UNCSW63’s positive outcomes for women’s human rights to social protection systems, quality public services, including education, and sustainable infrastructure. Fightback: Addressing Everyday Sexism in Australian Schools is a teaching resource consisting of three units of work aimed at educating secondary school students about gender inequality, the objectification of young women’s bodies and the use of sexist language. As one teacher commented “it is the drip, drip, drip effect of minor sexism that causes the most damage.” Girls described how sexual harassment or sexist behaviour was “just how it is” or that “guys think it’s okay to touch girls whenever they like.”  These comments are shocking and upsetting and have profoundconsequences for children and young people. A transgender student said he was threatened with having his photo barred from the school yearbook simply because he chose to wear a tuxedo to prom. Maverick A.L. I thought they were giving me a paper about reproductive health that’s normally given to the 12 year old girls. Crucially, tackling sexism in schools requires empowering teachers to take action. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our, How School Dress Codes Shame Girls and Perpetuate Rape Culture. Her mother was told she violated school dress codes for being “a distraction”. Some of our most powerful and lasting ideas about the world around us are learned at school. So what do schools need to do to tackle these deep rooted behaviors and attitudes? This has been the starting point for the NEU’s work to tackle sexism in schools. He preferred to excel in academic lessons rather than PE. When a girl is taken out of class on a hot day for wearing a strappy top, because she is ‘distracting’ her male classmates, his education is prioritized over hers. Coronavirus means working from home for many. A lot of instances of everyday sexism are subtle, and can feel like a personal problem if not explored on a larger level. Nearly one quarter had been subjected to unwanted physical touching of a sexual nature.Gender stereotyping and discrimination were witnessed on a daily basis by a quarter of all secondary school teachers. However, gender-based discrimination can still be found everywhere, even at schools. It is equally deeply troubling that gender stereotypes are so persistent in schools. These are just the most recent cases in an ever-growing list that has seen shoulders and knees become a battleground, leggings and yoga pants banned and girls in some cases reportedly told to flap their arms up and down while their attire was inspected, or asked to leave their proms because chaperones considered their dresses too ‘sexual’ or ‘provocative’. All Rights Reserved. This might sound inflammatory, but it is not an exaggeration. It can be disturbing and distressing for students to be perceived in this way and there is often a strong element of shame involved. According to, My son learns feminism at school (and at home), ​​​​​​​Family demands those behind Papuan pastor's killing be brought to human rights court, Challenges of home learning during a pandemic through the eyes of a student, Indonesia signs $1 billion loan with Australia to fund pandemic response. One male student claimed that he was never good at PE. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below. However, when teachers exhibit sexism, they set limits for students, which are unfair for both genders. What are effective preventative strategies? Girls’ bodies are dangerous and harassment is inevitable. For example, comparing male students to his 5-year-old daughter who, in his opinion, was better at PE than the male students. The parents of a 12-year old African American student said she was threatened with expulsion for refusing to cut her naturally styled hair. We are bringing our members together to discuss their experiences of sexism in school and to use collective activity as a vehicle to give teachers ideas and strategies for tackling sexism. Schools have put a new meaning on sexism and double standards. The school dress code debate will be dismissed by many for being minor or unimportant, but it is not. Many school staff (alongside third sector organisations and MPs) have been talking and tweeting about the report and how important it is to tackle sexism in school. There’s no dress code for men, and the reasoning? Everyday sexism extends from classroom seating arrangements to advertisements which we see on televisions, hoardings, billboards and traffic jams. As an early bloomer, I already had obvious breasts and was the tallest in my class. Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. As no one offered a seat to the newcomer, the science teacher scolded the boys for not being gentlemen. A snapshot survey suggests that as many as 1 in 5 schools promoted women and women’s rights on International Women’s Day this year. Over a third of girls in mixed sex schools said that they had personally experienced some form of sexual harassment at school. The large volume of Everyday Sexism responses left by teenage girls subsequently prompted Bates to become a regular speaker at schools nationwide. This rose to over a third in primary schools. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any official policies or positions of Education International. Send your piece to [email protected] For more information click here. “Nothing has emerged more clearly from the Everyday Sexism Project than the urgent need for far more comprehensive mandatory sex-and-relationships education in schools, to include issues such as consent and respect, domestic violence and rape. The hypocrisy is breath taking. Girls can’t dress “provacatively” [sic] because it could distract and excite the boys.”. We have encouraged members to order copies of the report and our anti-sexism stickers and share them in their school. The resource also addresses the link between gender inequality and It was a fantastic event attended by over 100 teachers and students. When the science teacher checked a girl’s file, she criticized her unorganized file and commented that the student's file did not look like it belonged to a girl. Nowadays, many people think that men and women are equal. [1] … One of the elements on the test is the 2.4 km run test. So far we have seen enormous energy and commitment from members to tackle sexism. Teachers walked right past him and didn’t say a thing.”, Girls are repeatedly told the reason they have to cover up to avoid ‘distracting’ their male peers, or making male teachers ‘uncomfortable’…, “At my school our dress code dictates everything about a girls outfit: knee length shorts or skirts only, no cleavage, no bra straps, no tank tops. In this test, the passing mark for a 12-year-old boy is 16 minutes and 50 seconds while a girl of the same age has a passing mark of 18 minutes and 40 seconds. The report found that sexual harassment, sexist language and sexist stereotypes are commonplace in schools. However, the science teacher told her not to do it and insisted that the person taking the chair should be a male student. They are harmful for boys just as they are harmful for girls. Other than the PE standards, there were several moments when the PE teacher made disturbing remarks.

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