These dominant and stereotypical narratives underline the importance of showing girls and women in roles and responsibilities outside of traditional expectations, which are often passive and confined to domestic, familial spheres. Shifting the stories that are told about girls and women can work to counter stereotypes by bringing to light contributors’ hopes and dreams, diverse personalities and voices, and accomplishments and agency both inside and outside of the home.
When crafting a story, storytellers should be on alert for sexist language that unnecessarily identifies gender. Make choices to use gender neutral language; for example, when writing in English, by changing singular nouns to plural and using neutral titles for occupations.
While gender inequity is often shaped by stories, there is an equal power to be leveraged through storytelling that promotes gender equity. There are many female photographers, filmmakers, journalists, writers, and illustrators available around the world who are well-positioned to capture and facilitate stories that feature fuller accounts of the struggles and triumphs of girls and women.