Once you notice gender inequality, you see it everywhere and you hear it everywhere. Why do we say “even the girls can do it” or “man-up”? Why do people “man the phones”; why are all the statutes in George Square of men; and why are there more statutes of animals than women in Edinburgh? And why are John Logie Baird; Alexander Graham Bell; James Watt; and Alexander Flemming the only inventors we’re taught about in Scotland? Why are “girls toys” pink and passive like dolls and play houses?
These things seem little, but they really matter. Our language, expectation and behaviour can influence little girls by the age of 6 to think certain activities, careers and choices are not for them because they are girls.
We can’t have that. And we have the power to do something about it. The social work and social care workforce are dominated by women: of our 200 000 strong workforce, 80% are women. What if we helped our workforce to recognise gender ineqiuality? What if that story made the scales fall from their eyes and they recognised gender inequality; how it impacts on them and their friends, daughters, wives and sisters; and how to challenge it? each of them told a story to one or two girls or young women in their lives
We are developing a Gender Equality Storytelling Initiative that will raise awareness of gender inequality; give people the tools to combat it; and help our profession be better role models, support workers and influencer in the lives of the women and girls across Scotland.
Watch this space for more information.