Outrageous gender stereotypes go well beyond Lego | Letters

Rose Caldwell calls for everyone to play their part in ridding society of gender inequalities that stop girls and women from fulfilling their potential. Plus Jill Wallis on her experience of buying a card

Lego’s recognition of the harmful impact of gender stereotypes is welcome (Lego to remove gender bias from its toys after findings of child survey, 11 October). But damaging stereotypes go well beyond toys and are not just the responsibility of toy manufacturers. Gender stereotypes affect every area of girls’ lives, from the careers they pursue to the sports they play.

Plan International UK’s polling shows that 68% of girls feel stereotypes hold women and girls back; 52% have been told that they could not do something boys or men are allowed to do. This is outrageous. It stops girls from reaching their full potential, and denies society of  their talents, whether in science, sport or politics.

It is vital that we end the inequalities that outdated stereotypes perpetuate. We all have our role to play in this, whether that is challenging them in our personal lives or working to remove the barriers that hold girls back.
Rose Caldwell
CEO, Plan International UK

• I tried to buy a congratulations card following the birth of my great-niece. The choices were one with a blue romper suit and the words, “The world has a new adventure”, or one with a pink romper suit and “The world just got prettier”. Welcome to a life of being judged on your looks, little girl.
Jill Wallis
Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire

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