SAFER: Questioning gender roles and stereotypes sensitising teachers

Friday 14 December 2018

Home » News » SAFER: Questioning gender roles and stereotypes sensitising teachers

SAFER: Questioning gender roles and stereotypes sensitising teachers

14 December 2018News, Rights and Justice

Sometimes girls have short hair, like to climb trees and play with model cars, as well as with dolls. Their parents allowed them to explore their own interests, without a box.

On the other hand, from the early age as a child you can be put in a pink or blue world, assigned with a label of being strong and powerful or being emotional and caring, without choosing. Gender roles are pre-determined by the society, which assigns different responsibilities to boys and girls. These roles are consciously or unconsciously carried by parents and into the classroom dynamics by both teachers and students.

Teachers are often unaware that their behaviours and actions may be discriminatory. Teaching methods that reinforce stereotypes are in common use, and one sex or the other may be frequently put down. These factors inhibit students from participating effectively in the classroom and affect their academic performance. The crucial part is that gender stereotypes in a long term often leads to a gender-based violence.

Bridging the gap entails sensitising teachers to gender issues and reshaping their attitudes to reject gender stereotypes. Gender sensitive teachers understand and respond to the needs of their students. They encourage equal involvement in class activities and ensure equal access to learning materials.

In early November 2018  SAFER project partners met in Maynooth, Ireland, hosted by ICEPE Europe – Institute of Child Education and Psychology. During 2 days we have discussed about gender stereotyping and preventive strategies, about challenges and solutions in all partner countries.

We are now completing the research for the national report where will include findings from the questionnaires for teachers and students, from the interviews with policy makers and school principals about gender stereotypes and situation in each country’s educational settings.

Based on the research findings we will develop a training package for teachers that will include modules on:

  • Gender sensitive pedagogics
  • Life skills
  • Resilience
  • Character education

In April-May 2019 CESIE will organise an intensive training for teachers allowing them to question their own gender attitudes and learn methods to reduce gender stereotypes within their own classroom.

About the project

The SAFER - Systematic Approaches for Equality of gendeR project, that is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Commission, aims to prevent, encourage reporting and combat gender-based violence (GBV) fostering a systematic approach based on positive psychology and character education of children through the development of materials and training of the teachers.


The project partnership holds together 8 organisations:

For further information

If you would like to be involved in the activities of the project, or if you would like to receive more information about the project, you can contact Cloé Saint-Nom,