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French government cracks down on 'sexist' toys

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French government cracks down on 'sexist' toys
Photo: AFP: A mother and her daughter look at the shelves of a big toy shop in Bruay-la-Buissiere on November 20, 2010.
15:47 CEST+02:00
The French government signed an agreement on Tuesday to fight cliched sexist divides in toy shops.

The old adage ‘dolls for the girls, cars for the boys’ will hopefully become a thing of the past in France thanks to a new agreement that aims to reduce gender stereotypes.

On Tuesday, it was signed by the Secretary of State for the Economy, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, with major toy manufacturers, distributors and shops. 

"We are looking to work on the creation of new toys, and also how they are represented in advertisements and the way they are sold," said Pannier-Runacher. 

Through this text, entitled "Charter for a mixed representation of toys", the whole sector is committed to making "measurable" efforts to improve the gender-neutral representation of toys, explained the French Federation of Toy/Periculture Industries. 

In the build-up to Christmas, French toy shops will not divide into pink sections for girls, filled with dolls and soft toys, and blue sections for boys, filled with cars and construction sets.

It is hoped that this new directive will help broaden children's approaches to toys and, subsequently, to life. For example, there are not many scientific toys currently aimed at girls and there is a limited number of women working in science. This new text hopes to play a role in helping young girls to project themselves into a scientific career by providing them with exposure to scientific toys.

"We know that the first thousand days (of life) is where a lot is created and established in a child.

"Fighting discrimination later on requires action right from the very first days", added the Secretary of State for Children, Adrien Taquet.

French vocabulary

Jouets - toys

Peluches - cuddly toys

Poupées - dolls

Lutter - to fight

Les stéréotypes de genre - gender stereotypes

 

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