Charity worker and blogger Laura Nelson told Hamleys toy store six months ago that selling toys for girls on a pink floor and toys for boys on a blue floor was “gender apartheid”. Although the store denied it was bowing to pressure, it now sells toys by type rather than gender.
Dr Nelson, a neuroscientist, now plans to teach 9 and 10-year olds at Soho Parish School in London how gender stereotyping can limit their ambitions, according to the Evening Standard. Dr Nelson will take over history, geography and English lessons for a fortnight and hopes the project will expand to the rest of the country.
Dr Nelson decided on the project after a survey of children at the school revealed they felt gender stereotypes were restricting them.
“One girl had short hair and liked playing football but felt she had to pretend to be a boy in order to play. Another girl said she wanted to buy a T-shirt which wasn’t pink, but couldn’t,” Dr Nelson said.
“There is nothing wrong with dressing up as a princess or in pink, but there is when it becomes how a child is expected to be,” she said.