At school with the yellow apron for equality

None.more pink and blue: the children at a school in the province of Pistoia will go to school with a yellow apron. The proposal has sparked debates, while data confirm: Italy is still lagging behind in terms of gender differences

Gender differences in Italy

In Italy, gender differences, especially in employment, health and education, are still too many, so much so that the country ranks 63rd out of 146. Global Gender Gap Index 2022 of World Economic Forumthe ratio that measures the achievement of the goals for equality between men and women in various fields. Italy lags behind not only globally but also at European level, only in the company of northern Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In order to bridge the gap, there are those who are thinking of starting from schools, especially from kindergarten. Like this in a school in Pistoia, in Tuscany, it will no longer be possible to wear pink and blue aprons, but only yellow for everyone. And no differences will be allowed, even in the long run, just so as not to distinguish between girls and boys.

In Pistoia, the school apron turns yellow

The news is provided by a circular signed by the head of the Istituto comprising Salutati – Cavalcanti for the kindergarten in Borgo a Buggiano, in the province of Pistoia. The apron will be introduced from September and is considered “recommended” while yellow will be the only color allowed for children aged 3 to 6 years from the school year 2023/2024. Nor can there be different models, as happens with most elementary school aprons, where the girls wear it up to the knee and the boys up to the waist.

Goodbye to pink and blue: why do we change color?

But why change the rules? The teaching staff wanted to adapt to a similar decision that was made in the primary school in the same complex, where the “uniform” is blue for everyone. Furthermore, it was believed that the single color could create a sense of “community, of a group where boys and girls can feel mutually important, in the common confidence that needs and goals will be met and achieved with the union’s commitment.” explained by the school.Finally, the department decided to accept the indications of “National guidelines for the first cycle”laid down by the guidelines of the Ministry of Education, which calls for providingeducation to respect gender differences without stereotypes. To avoid coming too late in adolescence, it was decided to start from childhood.

Yellow apron: pcalm and against

“The school choice is clear, even though it is isolated at national level. The idea is to start from kindergarten, to avoid gender differences. Of course, it is a delicate choice for many reasons: since there is no obligation at national level, it is parental involvement. Even if the initiative can start from the leader, it is actually necessary to go through the approval of the Department Council, “explains Alessandro Giuliani, director of School technology. “There is also another aspect that pertains to the price of the apron. Safe public schools would struggle to equip themselves with the same aprons so that everyone can be made available to young students, so it is clear that the expenses will be borne by families and not everyone can afford them. This can possibly making trouble and, paradoxically, discrimination based on economic opportunities, ‘adds Giuliani.

Of course, there was no lack of political controversy either, as the association sided with the initiative of the Pistoia school. The senator Simone Pillon, who has always been opposed to gender theories, commented on the case on Instagram: “You did not think a genius emerged who invented the yellow apron in kindergarten in the name of equality. But can we not keep children out of ideological nonsense? Can we at least leave them alone in kindergarten?“. Then he concluded:” The boys are boys and the girls are girls. It’s not hard to understand. “Hard also the league secretary, Matteo Salviniaccording to which “the problem is not the blue or pink colors of 4-year-olds, but the values ​​given to these children”.

Other initiatives for gender equality in schools

Yet this is not the only initiative on the gender gap in schools. Pearson Italia, a leading publisher in the education sector, has just presented the manual “Educating for equality. Principles, teaching methods and action strategies for equality and inclusion “, which is part of the project # GenerationParitya number of broad and cross-cutting initiatives to promote gender equality in schools.

In this case, the authors – Marina della Giusta, Barbara Poggio and Mauro Spicci – wanted to propose theoretical and scientific tools to avoid gender stereotypes in school, and also to give some advice to teachers and families. Examples of classroom activities include improving personal and family stories, reflecting on social, ethnic, cultural differences, etc. Or making room for stories about women and more marginalized subjects, or even more use biographies, to find important reference examples in history.

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