From the moment they are born, our children are fed gendered expectations about their future life. Boys are taught to like trains, astronauts and dinosaurs, and to stay away from dolls and toy kitchens. Girls are taught to play princesses and fairies, dress in pink and try not to get dirty.
As they reach their teenage years, our children start to make gendered choices about subjects and careers that help entrench the pay gap later on. And they are thrown into the complexities of sexting, revenge porn and sexual consent with little support, guidance or advice.
This has to change. We can teach our children to challenge what they see in the media. We can teach mutual respect in sexual relationships and tackle the underlying causes of violence against women and girls. We can show boys as well as girls that caring for others does not make you weak, and start to set an expectation of shared parenting for the next generation.
We can use our nurseries and schools as engine rooms for possibility, inspiring young women and men to achieve their full potential, free from gendered expectations about the life they should lead.