Mon. Nov 29th, 2021


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Gender equality is one of the pillars on which the values ​​of our society are based. In recent years, numerous advances have been made to reduce the gender gap. However, the data show that there is still a long way to go in terms of equity, starting with the wage gap, which means that women in Spain continue to earn 17% less than their male counterparts 1.

For most parents, an important objective in education is to provide their children with the necessary means so that they can study what they are passionate about, giving them the opportunity to achieve their professional goals. However, despite the fact that equality has been achieved in access to education, women continue to encounter more obstacles on their path to professional success.

A glass ceiling

Throughout their academic life, students make decisions that will focus their professional future. It is in the last years of secondary education when these decisions acquire greater relevance, and in which students begin to define their academic and professional profile based on their abilities, personality and aspirations.

Traditionally there have been branches of knowledge that have been associated with men, such as science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Although currently that line has been blurring and more and more women are opting for these sectors, the reality is that only 12% of graduates in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers are women, compared to 88% of men 2.

On the other hand, there are many other sectors in which women continue to be predominant, such as nursing. According to data from the INE in 2019, 84.2% of nurses in Spain are women, compared to 15.8% of men in the profession. Something similar happens in the educational field, where two out of every three professionals (66.5%) are women. A trend that has been maintained for decades and only since the incorporation of women into the labor market has it gradually changed.

However, what is most striking is not the apparent “disparity” in certain disciplines, but the obvious “glass ceiling” that prevents women from reaching positions of responsibility and management on equal terms with their peers. Only one in four members of a board of directors in Spanish companies are women (27%) 3, and if we talk about public administration the difference is even more evident. Of the twenty-seven States that make up the European Union, only three (11.1%) 4 have a woman at the head of the Government.

Therefore, it is undeniable that an education in values ​​such as equality or equity continues to be relevant even today. And although there are more and more dates on the calendar, such as World Writers’ Day on October 19, International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11, or this March 8, International Day of Women, these have to be an inspiration for the day to dayand not become isolated events.

“It is important to work from childhood to eliminate gender-related stereotypes and, therefore, to prevent situations of sexist discrimination in the future. This is one of the keys to coeducation. It must be present in our teaching practice and in our learning and coexistence situations, involving the entire educational system, in order to transfer it to society ”, explains Ana Herrero, psychologist and coordinator of the group’s Guidance department Brains International Schools.

How to educate in equality?

The educational environment and the family environment are equally important in the objective of educating in equality matters. More and more schools are highlighting Education in Values ​​as an essential part of their training curriculum. However, activities focused on this purpose are not always sufficient and it is necessary to maintain the objective both in the subjects and in the different educational environments that range from recess to extracurricular activities:

Equal opportunities: To promote the acquisition of these values ​​through education, it is essential to show children the importance of diversity as wealth: emphasizing that we all have something that distinguishes us and makes us special serves to introduce the concept of equal opportunities. Although we are different and unique, we all have the same rights and deserve equal treatment.

Emotional intelligence and critical thinking: we unconsciously learn in childhood and adolescence how we should be and behave based on our sex. To educate in equality we have to help them identify and question the cultural stereotypes associated with the masculine and feminine, which limit us in the expression of affectivity, behavior or academic or professional development. To do this, it will be necessary to help them understand both their own emotions and those of others, identify sexist or discriminatory behaviors or attitudes and learn to manage them.

Education in values: Education in values ​​such as the search for justice, solidarity, integrity or tolerance, is essential to generate respectful attitudes and behaviors both towards others and towards oneself, eliminating the barriers that limit us, not only due to gender issues. , but for any other circumstance or personal condition.

Thematic group activities: It is important to reinforce the curricula of current subjects and recognize the contributions to society made by important women throughout history. Knowing the work of Marie Curie or Lisa Meitner through the Scientific Women comics or an escape room, or the relevance of Inés Suárez and other Spanish women in the conquest and colonization of America in the cycle “They were not alone”, are some of the activities that will take place at Brains International Schools on March 8, which allow breaking down barriers.

To achieve this goal, “it is important to frame activities related to gender equality within the curriculum of the different subjects and at all stages. In addition, we must help ourselves with complementary activities and professionals who are experts in equality issues through workshops and talks adapted to the ages of our students. For example, in the Brains in Balance program we promote activities for reflection and awareness on the role of women in different professional careers, in different cultures, in science, in myths or history, as well as workshops to identify sexist attitudes or how to propose solutions to gender inequality “, concludes Ana Herrero.

Education in values

At the Brains school, education in values ​​“is the basis for training our students in life skills, to have a good life. Our Emotional Intelligence and Values ​​Education Programs and our Coexistence Plan are focused on forming responsible and committed, tolerant and supportive people, developing the emotional and social skills necessary to achieve a high level of personal well-being, based on respect for oneself, the other and the environment ».

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