UNESCO HQ, 30 June 2017
Soft Power Conference
Gender stereotypes have the capacity to limit the freedom of women and men, girls and boys; insofar as they affect their most profound and intimate perception of themselves and of their capacities and aspirations. Gender stereotypes are a limit to human potential and wellbeing because they condition the vision that women and men, girls and boys, have of what they can or should be and achieve. Gender categorisation and portrayals may be subtle and difficult to tackle, and yet they often represent a greater obstacle than laws and norms in preventing equality among women and men. Thus, gender stereotypes prevent sustainable development, and their negative effects can be witnessed in all spheres of life and at all levels, from local communities to the international arena.
This panel gathers a unique set of leaders, intellectuals and activists who are dedicating their lives to changing mind-sets with a view to building inclusive societies. During this session, UNESCO seeks to discuss how the stereotypical portrayal of women and men has specifically been a barrier for change and to learn about innovative approaches and experiences for the promotion of non-stereotypical images of women and men. The speakers of the panel will be asked to share their stories and present their work for the deconstruction of gender stereotypes from different angles.