‘Axe boys’ and girls’ toys to curb violence against women’

Activists who believe “gender stereotyping” of toys contributes to violence against women are planning to target Scottish toy shops.

A “week of action” is planned in May, with campaigners considering staging protests outside toy shops and re-arranging store displays.

Last month the Westminster Parliament held a debate on introducing compulsory sex and relationship education in schools, also as part of a bid to end violence against women.

Limited

In Scotland the Zero Tolerance charity, which is supporting the campaign, said gender-specific toys were a big concern for the organisations it surveyed on gender inequality.

Laura Tomson, from the group, said it wanted to see the toy campaign move out across the country.

On its website Zero Tolerance says: “Gender stereotyping, which is a big factor in sustaining inequality, begins at birth and continues through childhood, with children’s choices being limited to those thought ‘suitable’ for boys or girls.”

Statutory

In England a backbench motion called on the Government to back statutory personal, social and health education as part of a campaign combating violence against women.

Fiona Mactaggart, the Labour MP for Slough, introduced the motion in Parliament last month.

Before the last General Election the Labour Government wanted sex education to become a statutory part of the national curriculum.

Whitehall

Control over the content of lessons was to be taken away from school governors and given to Whitehall officials.

But the Government bowed to pressure and withdrew the plans just before the election.

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