GENDER EQUALITY This workshop was written in response to students’ concerns from all over Ireland. UNICEF found gender inequality to be the most frequently raised topic by both girls and boys, when asked what issues most concerned them. Young people are eager to have conversations about why gender discrimination matters and the impact it can have on their friendships, relationships, self-confidence and life choices. Sexism, gender stereotyping, gender-based violence, and the sexualisation of young people are serious issues which affect both boys and girls and are becoming increasingly prevalent in schools, social media and society in general. It’s important that adults offer young people the tools to deal with these challenges and that starts with providing a safe place to discuss their concerns, build understanding and learn about the root causes of gender inequality and its global impact.


Prior Learning
Knowledge and understanding of:
  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • The Sustainable Development Goals



Feminism- the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

Sexism- prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.

Misogyny- dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.

Gender Roles- the role or behaviour learned by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms.


1. Explore gender stereotyping, sexism and the impact of these experiences have on their lives.

2. Learn about issues relating to gender and how that impacts on discrimination and inequality globally.

3. Support the development of respectful relationships between genders





Gender equality is still a prominent issue in today's society even in developed countries. However in developed countries especially in northern Africa women hold less than one on five paid jobs in non-agricultural sectors. In sub Saharan Africa, Oceania and western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering levels of education such as primary and secondary. It is slowly getting better as almost two thirds of developing countries have achieved gender parity.


  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation

  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

  • Eliminate all harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

  • Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the program of action of the International Conference on population.


Discussion Points: 

  • How do you define Feminism? …a movement establishing equal political, social and cultural rights for women.

  • Are you a feminist Why? Why Not? Many people do not like to define themselves as feminists. They prefer to consider themselves as egalitarian or humanist. Feminists would argue that the terminology highlights the fact that females are generally the group that suffers from inequality. However words and labels should not get in the way of advocating for the rights of those who suffer from inequality.

  • What is the role of men in gender equality?  The battle for gender equality has mainly been fought by women, however in the last decade men have begun to realise the crucial role they play in building gender equality, especially around issues like violence against women.


Does Gender Still Matter?


This activity has 63 discussion cards divided under to 8 headings. 

Note to Teachers and Group Leaders:The “Does Gender Matter?” discussion cards cover a wide variety of gender related issues, some of which are controversial like pornography or quite distressing like FGM. It is recommended that you choose the cards you feel appropriate for your class, their age group and your level of comfort in discussing the issue. It is always good practice to alert the students ahead of time, to the topics you will be covering, so as to give them the ability to opt out of the discussion. Discuss boundaries and create ground rules ahead of the workshop to ensure a safe and positive atmosphere. Be aware that issues like rape, FGM, sexual abuse and violence against women might touch on issues your participants have experienced. Also be sensitive to students who might be dealing with gender identity or sexuality issues. These cards are not intended to address these issues but depending on what you are comfortable with or what you feel is appropriate for the class or individuals, you can perhaps extend the discussion around these issues.


These websites can provide further support, have them on view so that any participant can take note of the website anonymously: rapecrisishelp.ie , cari.ie, reachout.com , womensaid.ie spunout.ie, belongto.org


There are three ways in which to facilitate the group work depending on your group size and ability, please choose the method you feel best suits the group.


  1. Divide the group into pairs and ask each pair to pick a gender card and discuss for 10 minutes and then feedback outcomes to the larger group. (Allow students to choose their partners so they are comfortable to discuss topic)•

  2. Divide the group in to smaller groups of 4 people, assign a subject heading to each group, from which they can choose the image they want to discuss. After 15-20 minutes ask the groups to feedback outcomes to the larger group.

  3. Have a class discussion based on one card or subject heading. After the discussions ask the group if there are any areas they feel need further discussion time. Take note yourself, if the subject might need further exploration. Finish by asking the participants to vote on “Does Gender Matter in 21st century?”

Below are 8 categories of cards - Some are only suitable for older age groups.



TED TALK - Tony Porter

Violence Against Women—It's a Men's Issue shows the importance of men to act.

TED TALK - Sheryl Wudunn

Our Century's Greatest Injustice investigates the oppression of women globally. 

TED TALK - Jackson Katz

TED TALK - Cameroon Russell

Questioning societies need to commodify and sexualise girls and women.

Half they Sky

Watch Half the Sky Documentary

Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women 


Listen to Emma Watson from the HeforShe campaign


 A Call to Men asks men and boys to break free from the “Man Box”




Compare and contrast these two "feminist" pop songs.  


Other Resources and Links:
  • New Internationalist article by Hazel Healy, Is there a Feminist Spring? takes stock of the challenges ahead.
  • BBC Programme Blurred Lines The New Battle of the Sexes BBC Documentary 2014
  • Videobolg by Laci Green WHY I'M  A...FEMINIST *gasp - she lists of 60 reasons why she thinks feminism is still important and relevant in 2013.

  1. Hold an art exhibition on gender issues

  2. Perform a flashmob about gender, sexism, stereotypes etc 

  3. Create an art installation, graffiti wall, mosaic, community garden

  4. Stage a play

  5. Put up an information stand, about a specific gender issue and ask people to make a commitment pledge

  6. Hold a screening of Girl Rising


Create "We Can Do it Posters" or Why we need Feminism?
Research Nettie Stevens' contribution to science
Research the percentage of female business leaders in your community.
Research the work of Marie Curie the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only woman to win this award in two categories: Physics and Chemistry. She discovered polonium and radium and her work helped with the creation of X-rays.
Have a debate of Gender Quotas
Write an essay based on one of the gender cards on this site.
Learn about the contributions of female explorers.
Watch the movie "Suffragette"
Discuss why men tend to be chefs and women tend to be cooks.
Learn about women in Irish/Celtic mythology
Are boys better than girls at maths? Discuss this gender stereotype and how it might impact in the classroom.
Discuss the impact of religion on gender inequality.
Students research and discuss different female scientist and how they have contributed to their field.
Discussion: Do girls "act dumb" for boys? Survey the school or classroom first.
Show More

UNICEF Ireland wants to support you to start a global movement for change beginning in our own communities. Stay connected online with other activists like you. 


If you would like more information, getting involved or posting a blog about your activism, please email us at itsaboutus@unicef.ie

Thanks to our Supporters

Irish Aid for supporting youth activism within UNICEF Ireland.