We wanted to give a wee update on where things are with Gender Friendly Scotland, and also to clear up any confusion about the relationship between our work and that of the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde owned Gender Friendly Nursery initiative.
We created Gender Friendly Scotland as a way to share what we had learned from years of working and reading around various topics and issues which were in some way impacted by gender inequality, as well as our personal experiences as parents observing the impacts of this stuff on our own children and their friends. Our work as Gender Friendly Scotland, which mainly consists of the writing of our upcoming book, is completely separate from the Gender Friendly Nursery programme which is a programme we created in our roles with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, who own the intellectual property rights to the programme and manage the delivery and roll out within Glasgow City.
We understand that the similarity in name and our involvement in both will cause some inevitable confusion and so are currently considering an alternative name which may more accurately capture our current work and which will hopefully make the distinction between the two areas of work more clear. Coming up with a new name is easier said than done, so bear with us – and share any ideas if you have them!
Everything we do has been driven wholly by our passion to share what we have learned and to push for culture change around gender (and other) stereotypes which we believe harm all of us in a variety of ways. For the last few years we have dedicated vast amounts of our own time and effort (without charge) to share our learning, to input to various meetings and events, and provide support and information to practitioners, staff and students in the early years and beyond. They, like us, believe that children should not be subjected to limiting gender stereotypes and we want to help if we can. This stuff means so much to us!
Creating Gender Friendly Scotland has allowed us to say yes to opportunities which would not have been possible or appropriate in our separate roles within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and has allowed us a platform to share our own learning and ideas with a wider audience.
What the future holds for Gender Friendly Scotland is uncertain – we certainly don’t have and never have had a master plan. We are both busy people, with busy jobs and busy family lives – but we are also passionate about this stuff and determined to do whatever we can to make a difference. Until things become clearer, if they ever do, we will continue to share what we are learning via our twitter feed and consider any opportunities which come our way. We thank everyone for their ongoing support.
Susie and Barbara