On March 28th, the Girl-Up team had their first activity specially made for the elementary classes, inspired by a YouTube video, “A Class That Turned Around Kids’ Assumptions of Gender Roles!”

The Girl-Up team entered three elementary classes (Ms. Davis’ 1st grade, Ms.Simpson’s 3rd grade, and Ms. Tegenfeldt’s 5th grade, with the help of Ms. Janzen and Ms. Sheppard) with the aim of discovering more about elementary students’ ideas of gender and gender roles. This activity is in line with the Girl-Up mission: “Girl-Up is a global movement of empowered young women leaders who defend gender equality.”

The Girl-Up representatives asked the elementary students to draw a ‘doctor’ and asked them to name the doctor they drew. Once instructions were given, the Girl-Up members then went around the classrooms to interact with the students and ask questions such as, “What’s the name of your doctor?” or, “What are they wearing?” The questions were kept gender-neutral, leaving the gender open to interpretation by the students. This was repeated with other professions.


We found that although many students did draw males, there were some that did not associate the male gender with each job. The activity was concluded by showing the class images of both genders in different jobs. The Girl-Up representatives explained that any gender could pursue any career. This statement led to a discussion about gender equality.

The aim of the activity was to raise awareness of gender issues, specifically to encourage the younger students to reconsider stereotypical gender associations for different jobs. The importance of this activity and the issue at hand is applicable for any and every age and that is what the Girl-Up team aims to promote.  

You can go and see these children’s drawings in the Art Show in the SAS building on April 4th and 5th.


If you are interested in joining the Girl-Up team, feel free to contact Aisha Kirkwood (kirkwooda@isyedu.org), Marissa Powers (powersm@isyedu.org), or Gabriela Rincon (infanteg@isyedu.org). We have weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 12:40 pm in room F305.

If you would like to follow our activities you can follow our Instagram page @girlupyangon.


  • Article by Aisha, Marissa, and Gabi (Girl-Up student leaders)
  • Published by Global

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