Ashley wants to be a scientist to invent things. Josiah enjoys time in the kitchen, experimenting with new recipes. In their tender stories, the children of 7 and 10 years are clear that they can achieve these and many more goals.
But what makes them change their minds when they grow up? Why do they pigeonhole into roles and professions traditionally attributed to men and women? A study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) compared the 2017 academic performance tests of 15-year-old girls and boys in European countries.
Their results were not so dissimilar. The report ‘Approach of educational indicators’ concludes that gender imbalances in professional aspirations do not originate in differences of aptitude.
Infers that stereotypes weigh. Before starting this cycle on the Coast, Ashley learned that even in the simplest part chemistry intervenes, like plasticine or soap.
His dream of being a scientist was born between experiments in Stem workshops, from the Municipality of Guayaquil and the Polytechnic of the Litoral. Through games, girls and boys from the Suburb learned about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem).
“We try to break paradigms, to plant the seed of science, more in girls,” said engineer Olga Larrea. Despite the global efforts, the gender gap in the Stem area persists. The UN, which among the Sustainable Development Goals aims to achieve gender equality by 2030, published that less than 30% of researchers in the world are women. The cause? Gender roles.
These are social constructions. Are structured in behaviors, activities, expectations and opportunities associated with biological sex, defines the WHO. Vicente Torres, from the Rights Protection Council of Guayaquil, asks to exploit skills to weaken socially established patterns.
“It is undeniable that they are different biologically, but society exaggerates, imposes roles.” When Josiah won a contest of gastronomy knew that his was the kitchen.
The prize was a course at the School of Chefs in Guayaquil. He was one of three children in a room occupied by girls, but he caught the attention of instructor Celeste Calderón. Early adolescence (10 to 14 years) is crucial in the influence of gender norms, but also the stage to correct gaps.
This is what the Global Study of Early Adolescence says, which also shows that experiences at home and at school mark the course of life for work and future options.
“Attitudes and beliefs about gender norms seem to solidify at 15 or 16 years, which makes early adolescence a second chance,” cites global research, which is fed by reports not so encouraging.
The Young Lives project, University of Oxford, has shown that while children go on to adolescence, the tasks they perform are more linked to gender: “girls do domestic work and children are more productive”.
The Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion, Berenice Cordero, recognizes that we must focus on diluting the idea that the feminine has less value. And for this there are two scenarios: home and school.
“You have to work on interpersonal and intersubjective relationships between genders.” At 14, Ademaris has felt the impact of discrimination as a bullet. He is an archer and trains in the court of the Cisne 2 neighborhood, in the Suburb. Space is no longer dominated by men.
For the past two years there have been more girls participating in mixed parties. “They thought I could not cover because I’m a woman and a little girl. They tried not to kick so hard. ”
But he left them speechless with their saves. Coach Shirley Mosquera encourages her, she went through the same thing. They told him it was for the kitchen, not football. And it is at home where Héctor Hurtado proposes to make an agreement.
The Plan International program coordinator proposes to talk with the children about responsibilities and preferences, according to his maturity. Agree on tasks and reflect on roles in a more equal way, on rights as human beings and not on gender.
After using the balance and mixing glycerin with other compounds, Ashley managed to make a soap. Josiah, on the other hand, savored the chicken croquettes he prepared in class.
On April 22, the 2019-2020 school year began on the Coast. Ministries of Education and Economic and Social Inclusion, as well as human rights organizations, recommend educating without stereotypes. The same suggestion is made to parents. (I)