Big Idea: Gender Equality

Mar 10, 2019

office building glass windows

In most societies, there is little public disagreement that equal rights should exist between men and women. In reality, there remain significant disparities between the treatment of men and women. Whether it is differences in opportunities and salaries in the workplace or expectations in school, there remain substantial examples of gender inequality.

Many organizations including the United Nations and UNESCO make gender equality a critical goal for a sustainable future. Governments develop and implement laws and policies are established and there remains a significant level of disparity and discrimination. This challenge provides an opportunity for learners to explore the Big Idea of gender equality in a local context while surveying the broader global conversation.


Big Idea: Gender
Essential Question:How do we achieve gender equality?
Challenge: Build a culture of gender equity!

Sample Guiding Questions

These are only example questions we encourage you to ask as many personal and contextual questions as possible.

  1. What is gender?
  2. What is equality?
  3. What is equity?
  4. What is a culture?
  5. How do we build culture?
  6. Why is this important?
  7. What is the difference between gender equity and equality?
  8. Is there a lack of equity and equality? How do we know?
  9. Where can this lack of equity be seen?
  10. How do gender inequity impact girls and women?
  11. How does gender inequity impact everyone?
  12. What does gender equity look like?
  13. What is the history of gender inequity?
  14. What is the cause of gender inequity?
  15. What is the status of gender equity in my environment?
  16. What causes inequities?
  17. Etc.

*Once you brainstorm all of the questions organize and prioritize them.


Guiding Activities and Resources
These are only a set of example activities and resources and the learners will need to evaluate the quality of the content. They are not verified or necessarily supported, just examples. The ones that you choose should be in direct relationship to your specific guiding questions and context. Activities and resources for adults, adolescents, and younger children will be different. The goal is to develop solutions that mean something in your community and are sustainable.

Example Activities

  1. Define and discuss the challenge vocabulary: Build, culture, gender, equity, equality
  2. Create a Venn diagram comparing equity and equality
  3. Research the history of gender across geography and cultures.
  4. Find and analyze the gender policies in your organization
  5. Research the impact of gender policies throughout history
  6. Brainstorm what it means to be a boy and a girl and discuss.
  7. Watch the Gender Equality Ted talks, discuss and share.
  8. Keep track of where genders are treated differently in your organization and in the media.
  9. Etc.

Example Resources

  1. The Difference between Gender Equality and Gender Equity
  2. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals –  Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  3. Gender Equality: Why It Matters
  4. Mission: Gender Equality
  5. Ted Talks on Gender Equality
  6. Etc.


Using the research findings from your Investigations develop a synthesis that demonstrates a clear understanding of the challenge. For help with creating a synthesis explore this resource.

Solution Prototypes – Using your research synthesis create multiple ideas for solutions and review each one to make sure your research supports it. Share the prototypes with various stakeholders and get feedback.

Solution – with the feedback from the stakeholders develop one solution that has the most potential for success.


Implement – Develop a plan to implement the solution with the stakeholders and collect data about the impact.

Evaluate – Using quantitative and qualitative measures determine if the solution is valid and what can be improved.


Throughout the experience take time to document the events and reflect on what is happening to build on prior knowledge and identify future questions.

Share what you learned with your local community and the world. Use #CBLWorld on social media.