- Books that reinforce traditional roles can contribute to gender stereotyping, report says
- Traditional stories can damage women’s career opportunities, report’s authors says
PUBLISHED: 00:50 GMT, 7 November 2012 | UPDATED: 09:12 GMT, 7 November 2012
Books which portray ‘traditional’ images of mothers caring for their children or fathers going out to work could be barred from schools under proposals from Brussels.
An EU report claims that ‘gender stereotyping’ in schools influences the perception of the way boys and girls should behave and damages women’s career opportunities in the future.
Critics said the proposals for ‘study materials’ to be amended so that men and women are no longer depicted in their traditional roles would mean the withdrawal of children’s classics, such as Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five series, Paddington Bear or Peter Pan.
The document, prepared by the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, also suggests EU-wide legislation is needed to tackle the way women are depicted in advertising during children’s television programmes.
It further complains about the number of women in EU parliaments, and floats the idea of fixed quotas on a minimum proportion of female MPs.
The report says: ‘Children are confronted with gender stereotypes at a very young age through television series, television advertisements, study materials and educational programmes, influencing their perception of how male and female characters should behave.
‘Special educational programmes and study materials should therefore be introduced in which men and women are no longer used in examples in their ‘traditional roles’, with the male as the breadwinner of the family and the female as the one who takes care of the children.’
The report adds: ‘With reference to media and advertisement, it must also be noted that unsupervised television viewing among children and youngsters starting at a very early age is on the rise.