The #ToysAndDiversity campaign aims at detecting and putting a light on gender stereotypes in toys catalogues and shops but it also aims at showing whether the toys are inclusive towards children with disabilities and with migrant background.
Early years are key in the social and cognitive development of every child and the impact that play and toys have on child development contribute to shaping the child’s behaviour, interests and choices that he/she will make in later life.
The fact that migrants and persons with disabilities are rarely present or showcased as positive role models, and men and women reflect those characteristics that are stereotypically allocated to them (e.g. science, business and sports for men vs nursing, caring and teaching for women) is visible in marketing campaigns directed to children.
In order to raise awarness in relation to toy marketing and advertising, COFACE Families Europe developed six key principles. The headline principles are the following:
- Let children decide what they want to play with: no more division into boys and girls sections.
- Do not channel children into stereotyped professions and life patterns: let them play to be whomever they want to be.
- Join your voice to end gender-based violence and bullying: promote non-violent images and behaviours.
- Represent families in their diversity.
- Children with disabilities play too: stop their invisibility and include them in the toy world.
- Children with a diverse racial background: let’s move to a fair representation.