Feminist students take back the classroom: New materials reinforce gender stereotypes
Posted On July 14, 2021
New materials for gender-inclusive classroom instruction have been developed to counter the negative cultural stereotypes associated with the idea that women are inferior to men in the classroom, according to the National Coalition for Men.
The new materials, which were developed by the National Organization for Women and the National Women’s Law Center, have been approved for use in more than 100 public schools and colleges.
“Gender stereotypes are not only pervasive in the workplace, they are also present in classrooms, and we believe these materials are a crucial first step in breaking down those barriers,” said NOCM’s Executive Director, Melissa G. Sasser.
The materials, designed to help teachers better understand and tackle gender-specific challenges, come as the number of female students in public schools has grown.
In recent years, the percentage of women enrolled in high school has increased from 28 percent in the 1990s to more than 50 percent today.
The new materials are being developed as part of the Gender Equity Initiative, a national initiative by the NOCL to foster a more equitable school environment for all students.
The initiative aims to ensure that women and girls are not segregated and have equal access to education.
“There are still some areas of education where it’s hard for women and women-identified students to participate in the curriculum,” said Dr. Jennifer T. Oster, director of the National Center for Transgender Equality at the National Institutes of Health.
“But we see the need for gender equity at every level.”
The materials were developed at the request of the Women’s Resource Center at the University of Minnesota.
The center was founded in 2013 to improve educational outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and to combat the stigma that comes with being gender diverse.
The group has partnered with the National Partnership for Women & Girls on the project, which aims to improve gender equity in the workforce.
“The NOCP has been a leader in the development of this curriculum and we are thrilled to work with the Women Resource Center on the next stage of its work,” said Jessica B. Smith, the executive director of NOCS.
“Our goal is to make learning more inclusive for all women and to create an environment where our students can learn with confidence and self-esteem.”
The NOLC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides grants to support organizations that promote equal educational opportunity for women.