How can we help #EmbraceEquity in the classroom this International Women's Day?


How can we help #EmbraceEquity in the classroom this International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day falls on Wednesday 8 March in 2023 and is seeking a gender equal world which put an emphasis on inclusion and change for the better.

This year, the overarching theme relates to embracing equity – the idea that every single person is given what they need to be a success. It isn’t necessarily about giving everybody the same thing.

From a teaching perspective, it’s about recognising the needs of every pupil, while understanding those needs may all be different.

Understanding equity

Equality and equity are common terms and are used fairly interchangeably, but there are some subtle differences in their concepts and meaning.

While equality puts an emphasis on providing everyone with the same opportunities and resources, equity recognises people’s differences and puts a real focus on inclusion.

As an example, if you have three children who are 80cm, 120cm and 160cm tall respectively and three equally sized boxes to help them see over a 140cm high fence, equality would see each child given a box.

Equity meanwhile, would see two boxes given to the shortest child and one to the middle child, enabling all three to see over the fence. Ultimately, the resources are divided out to provide each child with an equal opportunity.

Activities for teachers for International Women’s Day

Teachers may wish to replicate similar scenarios in the classroom when introducing the topic to pupils, as it encourages to consider the needs of their peers.

You may wish to divide pupils into small groups and set them challenges to overcome, or ask them to consider some of the biases which may exist among them.

If you have child with special educational needs and disabilities in your class, you could also use the theme for International Women’s Day to raise greater awareness of the challenges they face too.

Removing barriers in the classroom environment is key to promoting equity and it’s imperative that all pupils feel they have a voice – this can often be achieved by using a varied set of examples when discussing any topic, as pupils will pick up on things that appeal or apply to them.

As a teacher, recognising different learning styles is also important, as it’s often necessary to include a range of approaches and methods to ensure that all pupils feel included.

How you can help #EmbraceEquality in the classroom

International Women's Day provides a great opportunity to focus on promoting equity in the classroom. Here are some of the ways you can help:

  • Provide equal opportunities

Ensuring that both girls and boys have equal access to opportunities and resources, such as educational materials, leadership roles, and extracurricular activities will help you to avoid gender stereotyping when assigning roles or tasks in the classroom.

  • Foster a safe and inclusive environment

Encourage a safe and inclusive classroom environment where all students feel welcome and comfortable to express their opinions and ideas. Develop classroom rules and norms that promote respect, inclusivity and tolerance,

  • Encourage diversity

Celebrate diversity and embrace difference perspectives, cultures and backgrounds. Use materials and examples that include female role models, diverse women's voices, and experiences from different parts of the world.

  • Empower female students

Encourage and empower female students to pursue their interests and ambitions. Provide them with opportunities to take leadership roles in the classroom, participate in discussions and collaborate with peers.

  • Incorporate Gender Equity into lesson plans

Incorporate gender equity into lesson plans by integrating female perspectives and achievements into the curriculum. Use examples that demonstrate how women have contributed to society and made a positive impact on the world.

  • Be a role model

Be a role model by educating yourself by attending workshops, webinars, or training programs on equity, diversity and inclusion. Learn from experts and other educators about best practices, strategies and resources to promote equity in the classroom.

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