Raissa Malu

11th October 2020

Class of girls visiting the Science Village of the 6th edition of the Science and Technology Week (2019)

On International Day of the Girl, a list of equity factors helps to better account for half of humanity.

No, it's not the date of the end of the world (I hope)! It's the International Day of the Girl Child declared by the United Nations General Assembly to recognize the rights of girls and the particular obstacles they face around the world.

In 2020, with the HIV pandemic, I can tell you that this day is especially meaningful because girls (and women) have probably paid the highest price!

Equality for our future

This year's theme is "My Voice, Equality for our Future".

I don't want to elaborate on the theme here, but for the occasion, I would like to share with you an equity grid discovered in Jeanne d'Arc Gaudet's article, Un modèle de design pédagogique innovateur published in 1998 in the journal Recherches féministes.

Inspire the development of policies

The grid proposes 30 equity factors to serve as inspiration in the development of policies/programs/projects that can address the concerns and needs of girls and women. They are as follows:

  1. Recognize the need to value the contributions of girls and women;
  2. Recognize the need to value the experiences of girls and women;
  3. Recognize the need to value the opinions of girls and women and reject systematic interruption;
  4. Ensuring the inclusion of girls and women by male peers;
  5. Recognize the lack of confidence of girls and women in non-traditional training or employment sectors;
  6. Recognize the presence of female role models in non-traditional training or employment sectors;
  7. Recognize the fears and apprehensions of girls and women about using equipment and tools such as computers;
  8. Recognize the need to adapt tools to women's size;
  9. Recognize the need to eliminate condescending and protective attitudes;
  10. Recognize the need to eliminate sexist attitudes and behaviors;
  11. Recognize the need to eliminate gender-based and sexual harassment;
  12. Recognize the need to eliminate sexist and racist humorous stories;
  13. Recognize the difficulties girls and women face in accessing certain information networks;
  14. Recognize the difficulties girls and women face in accessing information that can help them advance in their business/profession;
  15. Recognize the difficulties girls and women face in accessing information that can help them advance in their business or profession;
  16. Acknowledge the lack of support in family and non-traditional environments;
  17. Recognize discriminatory recruitment, hiring and promotion practices, such as maternity issues;
  18. Recognize the need to ensure equitable representation of girls and women in data collection and other activities;
  19. Recognize the need for cooperative, non-competitive work by girls and women;
  20. Recognize the need to build relationships with colleagues in professional activities;
  21. Recognize the need for a gender-neutral division of labor;
  22. Recognize the need to produce feminized educational and informational materials;
  23. Recognize the need to produce teaching and learning materials that are free of gender and racial stereotypes;
  24. Recognize the need to eliminate linguistic sexism or exclusively male language;
  25. Recognize the need to encourage equitable interactions between the instructor and learners:
    1. equitable distribution of time between male and female learners;
    2. equal quality of feedback and encouragement for all, regardless of gender;
    3. special consideration for girls and women in non-traditional training or employment areas.
  26. Recognize the need to value the preferred learning styles of each gender;
  27. Recognize the need to have a physical space that is conducive to an equitable exchange between the sexes and a space where girls and women can communicate with each other;
  28. Recognize the need to create and maintain a healthy and supportive psychological environment for girls and women;
  29. Recognize the need to pay attention to gender balance in work groups and teams;
  30. Recognize the need to select equity-sensitive leaders.

It's up to us

On this International Day of the Girl Child 2020, we can, we must, each and every one of us at our level, commit ourselves to recognizing these needs, to assessing whether they are being met and, if so, to taking appropriate action.

If we don't do it now, when? If not us, who? It's time for action!

(Science is fun, join us!)

This paper has first been published on LinkedIn.

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