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.
European labour market is fragmented, with a predominance of women and migrant workers in low paid, low skilled and temporary jobs. An extremely high rate of people with disabilities are out of work, and company boards and management positions are mainly covered by men. 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). This division also is visible in marketing campaigns directed to children. 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.
Six key Principles
On the basis of the study, COFACE Families Europe developed six key principles with a view to raising awareness of our key concerns in relation to toy marketing and advertising. 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.
We invite you to use this banners on Social Media with the #ToysAndDiversity hashtag.
CALL TO ACTION
We call on industries directly and indirectly connected with the world of toys and children’s products (from producers to retailers, from advertisers to marketing and graphic design agencies) to closely consider using our six principles as guidance in the production and marketing of toys in the future. Their products and the image of society they give through their marketing can significantly contribute to making or breaking stereotypes, and this should be fully acknowledged.
We need a joint effort by industry, schools, NGOs, consumer associations, and families, to ensure children have the right to play without making pre-conceived assumptions about their choices and preferences. We need to offer children the widest range possible of toys and let them choose what to play with and who to become.
COFACE Families Europe has launched the traditional end of year campaign on #ToysAndDiversity. The objective of this campaign is to raise awareness on the impact of toy marketing and to put a light on gender stereotypes in toys catalogues and shops, but it also aims to show whether the toys are inclusive towards children with disabilities and with migrant background. With the end of year festivities, many more toys and presents are bought. Let’s expose those who use biased and stereotyped marketing, and promote those who support diversity. Send us/Tweet us your photos, and join the #ToysAndDiversity community.
Social Media banner 1:
Social Media banner 2:
Check out also our Facebook photo album