International Women’s Day is this Tuesday, and it got me thinking about what we’re teaching our children by dedicating one day to women and women only. I think there are some important things to consider when it comes to commemorating these days specifically.
Let’s start with our boys. What message are we sending them when we celebrate International Women’s Day but not other international days that honour different groups of people? Are we implying that women are more important than men? And what about our girls? Do they need a day specifically dedicated to them in order to feel valued and appreciated? I’m not so sure.
What impact does it have on children?
What I am sure of, is that the way we educate our children has a profound impact on the future of gender equality. We need to be teaching our boys and girls about the importance of respect, kindness, and empathy from a young age. We need to show them that everyone is equal and deserving of love and respect. Only then can we hope to create a more equal world for all.
Here are some fantastic books to share with children to support these discussions:
The Boy Who Could Do What He Liked by David Baddiel – Alfie has a routine. To be honest he has a lot of routines. But then one day Alfie’s babysitter is unavailable, and Alfie’s parents get Mrs Stokes instead. Mrs Stokes doesn’t do routines.
This Girl Can Do Anything by Stephanie Stansbie, Hazel Quintanilla – Meet Ruby. Ruby can do ANYTHING. She knows what she wants, and NOTHING is going to stop her – not a rainy day, a hard-to-reach treehouse or a pesky skateboard. Just you wait and see . . .
Fantastically Great Women Scientists and Their Stories by Kate Pankhurst – These are the stories of incredible female scientists whose hard work and persistence changed our understanding of science, and transformed people’s ideas of what women can do.
What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada – This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get.
What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada – This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself.
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty – Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer.
How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers – There once was a boy who loved stars so much that he wished he had one of his very own.
Thanks for the Feedback, I Think by Julia Cook – This entertaining story follows RJ as he goes about his day doing the things he enjoys, such as blowing bubbles, playing football and hanging out with friends.
My Mummy’s a Firefighter by Kerrine and Jason Bryan – Rhyming picture book introducing children to the life of a mum working as a firefighter, through the eyes of her child.
Lovely by Jess Hong – Big, small, curly, straight, loud, quiet, smooth, wrinkly. Lovely explores a world of differences that all add up to the same thing: we are all lovely!
Where will this discussion take you?
So this International Women’s Day, let’s pledge to do better. Let’s teach our children about the importance of equality, respect, and love.
What are your thoughts on International Women’s Day? Do you think it’s important to celebrate? Why or why not? Do you have any favourites books to add to the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.