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'Gender Stereotypes: how can we move beyond stereotyping?'

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Sorry but registrations for this e-learning event are now closed. If you'd be interested to sign up for our next e-learning session 'Gender-sensitive Governance: what does it look like and how can we work towards it?' starting in April, you can do so here
Event description


This free e-learning course aims to support policymakers, practitioners and activists who are committed to pushing forward with the goal of achieving gender equality and working towards a world free of discriminatory gender stereotypes, so that all people can be who they want to be - regardless of their gender.


What are gender stereotypes? Where do they come from and how do they work? How do they act as an obstacle to gender equality? How can they be exposed, given that they have become ‘naturalised’? What is the most effective way to challenge them? Is it possible to replace rigid stereotypes with more diverse and realistic representations of people?

Through this e-learning course participants will interrogate gender stereotypes – their origin and roots, their prevalence, their power, their impact, their intransigence. They will develop the skills to identify and critically assess gender stereotypes and their impacts, as they go about their life and work. Participants will learn how gender stereotypes are subject to change and become familiar with specific actions to dismantle them, inspired by practice from Nigeria and elsewhere. The course aims to inspire participants to become committed to take action, including advocating and mobilising with others to challenge such stereotypes.

Who the course is for:

The course has been designed for a broad range of people, including: gender focal points within ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), gender leads in Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and those working in new and traditional media roles.

However anyone interested in understanding the challenges relating to gender stereotyping, such as non-gender specialist policy advisors, academics and students would also benefit. Although the course is intended to be most useful for people in Nigeria, it could be valuable for people from any region, especially within Sub-Saharan Africa.

What the course contains:

The course contains three main lessons. Each lesson presents key messages, learning activities, and includes an interesting collection of tailor made case studies and audio resources.


Learners are assessed on the knowledge acquired throughout the course via web-based quizzes. There are no assignments or final exams and no trick questions. This course aims to build knowledge and reward participation.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the course participants will be able to do the following.

  • Define gender stereotypes and explain what they are.
  • Explain where gender stereotypes come from and how they work; and understand how the construction of gender stereotypes are reliant on differing yet interdependent understandings of that what it is to be a man (i.e. masculinity) or woman (i.e. femininity)
  • Understand how gender stereotypes act as an obstacle to the achievement of gender equality, the empowerment of women and the realisation of women’s rights;
  • Appreciate how impacts are compounded when gender stereotypes intersect with stereotypes based on other aspects of identity (and discrimination);
  • Appreciate that gender stereotypes are subject to change and thus action is urgently needed to challenge and move beyond gender stereotypes;
  • Understand the manifestation of gender stereotypes and their impacts in five chosen subject areas: Education, The Economy, Political Participation, Health, and Violence Against Women (with specific reference to the Nigerian context);
  • Identify a broad range of gender stereotypes and reflect on their discriminatory impacts;
  • Develop critical thinking related to the ways stereotypes affect policy, practice and social imagination;
  • Critically reflect on gender stereotypes surfacing in the participant’s own working context and personal lives;
  • Understand how using international and regional policy and rights frameworks challenge gender stereotypes
  • Appreciate the current global and regional policy context in relation to gender stereotypes, becoming aware of the frameworks that give a clear mandate to governments to take action
  • Evaluate how reforming national and legal policies can reshape the environment
  • Appreciate how raising awareness of gender stereotypes can build capacity to challenge and defy gender stereotypes with individuals and with institutions
  • Explain ways of increasing participation of women and understand how mainstreaming gender equality can transform institutions
  • Develop skills in promoting a diversity of representations of women and men
  • Understand ways to use your knowledge on gender stereotypes to inform future policies, advocacy and practice.
  • Think-through the most appropriate strategies for a particular context and be able to justify why action should be taken
  • Be committed to take action on gender stereotypes, including advocating and mobilising with others to challenge stereotypes

Certificate of Completion:

On successful completion of the course learners will receive a ‘certificate of completion’ that will be issued jointly by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK Aid, and Voices for Change.

When the course takes place:

The course starts on Tuesday 23rd May and runs until Tuesday 20th June, 2017. During this time facilitators from the Gender Hub team will actively support participants in problem solving and answer questions related to the course.

What you’ll need to take part:

In order to take the course, learners will need the following.

  • Access to a computer or device with internet connection
  • A modern web-browser installed. We recommend Google Chrome*, for best performance.
  • Access to an active email address
  • Understand English as a working language

* Google Chrome is available to download, for free, at:

What you’ll be expected to do:

We expect learners to invest a minimum of 8 hours study time for this course (2 hour per module). However, to get the maximum from this course we recommend that participants read at least an additional 4 hours’ worth of the many additional readings provided.

We expect individuals to be self-lead and manage their own time within the 4 week period, so that they progress to completion of the course during this time. The course enables learning to be undertaken flexibly and the amount of study hours given by participants may vary depending on how much they want to engage with the additional materials.

Course authors:

This course was designed by a team of gender, educational and Afrocentric specialists and was developed to support the Gender Hub - a free-at-point-of-use online service providing information and knowledge resources on Gender for Nigeria. For more information, see the 'Organiser description'.

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