In this stage of the inquiry, students are introduced to the concepts of gender inequality, unconscious bias, and economic impact. Suggested tools include a brain-teaser, a short video, a visual image, and a sorting activity.
The key concept of economic impact(s) should be emphasised in all stages of the inquiry.
Encourage students to consider why gender inequality still exists in Aotearoa.
Support students to be conscious of gender stereotypes about men and women that surface during their discussions and encourage them to challenge these stereotypes. Discuss ways that these issues might impact people of diverse genders and sexualities.
Read 'How to beat the female leadership stereotypes in 'The Guardian'
Activity — gender bias
Present the following scenario to the class. Ask those who have heard it before to let their classmates solve the brain-teaser.
A man and his son are in a car crash. The father dies at the scene and the child is rushed by ambulance to the hospital. As the child is wheeled into the operating room, the surgeon exclaims: 'I can’t operate on this boy — he’s my son!'
Ask: How this is possible?
Once the class has identified that the surgeon is the boy’s mother, discuss why this solution may not have been immediately obvious. (Note that an alternative solution is that the boy has 2 dads. After agreeing that this is an option, explain that in this case there's a different solution.)
Activity — gender equity and equality
Provide the students with definitions of gender equity and equality and support students to understand the difference between the two.
Definitions of key gender equality terms
Activity — gender responsibilities
Discuss whether women and men in Aotearoa have the same rights, responsibilities, and opportunities.
Encourage the students to provide specific examples to support their ideas.
Activity — female opportunities
As a class, watch #EqualFuture by Jane Campion.
Watch #EqualFuture on YouTube (1:40)
Discuss why, if as a group girls start life 'ahead' of boys, they later fall behind.
Visual text exercise — How far we've come
Activity — gender equality impact
Explain that gender equality benefits individuals, organisations, and nations.
Have students work in groups to complete the 'Economics impacts of gender inequality' activity. It might be helpful to discuss some strategies for identifying different levels of impact before they begin, for example:
- economic impact on individuals — factors that relate to one person or their family
- economic impact on organisations — factors that relate to employees and employers
- economic impact on the nation — factors that influence the labour force (the number of people in the country who are able to work).
Download the 'Economic impacts of gender inequality activity' (pdf, 62KB)
Activity — gender rights
Have the students discuss whether the economic benefits of gender equality should be the driving force for change in Aotearoa. For example, is gender equality something worth fighting for regardless? Why or why not?