School in Spain Teaches Boys Home Ec to Promote Gender Equality

Sewing, ironing, and cooking are part of the curriculum.

Dec 22, 2019

(Piyadanai  Piyanukool / Shutterstock.com)

Most children have to help with chores when they are growing up. Traditionally girls help with the cooking and cleaning and boys are assigned things like lawn care.

These choices can affect the way kids grow up viewing gender and the stigmas that are attached to men taking on traditionally female tasks and versa visa. That's why a school in Spain developed a novel way to promote gender equality.

The Montecastelo School in Vigo Spain is an all-boy elementary school founded in 1966 and is multi-language and features personalized education in accordance with Catholic doctrine.  

The school's slogan is "Equality is learned with actions"  and that it's teaching boys sewing, ironing, and cooking in a Home Economics class, according to Bright Side. The class started in 2018 and also includes other subjects including masonry, carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work. This will ensure that they become fully functioning adults.

The idea was born when the administration was looking for ways to promote gender equality in the school. It was presented to the parents and students and the parents were quickly on board. The boys, on the other hand, did not like the idea of sewing and ironing. Now, after they have been in classes, their resistance has dissipated.

Gabriel Bravo, the school coordinator told Bright Side, "it seemed very useful for our students to learn to perform these tasks so that, when they form a family, they are involved from the beginning and know that a house is a matter of two. It's not a matter of the woman cleaning, doing the dishes, and ironing. This will allow them to be aware and learn how to handle themselves at home."

All of the classes are taught by volunteers including teachers at the school, other staff members and even some of the fathers of the boys.

“For some it was the first time they had held an iron, it was fun and instructive at the same time, we are quite surprised, and the parents are very happy,” Bravo said.

This is an idea whose time has come. While there are gender neutral schools, teaching gender neutral life skills is vitally important. All people should have the ability to take care of themselves and their homes whether they are single or married, male or female.

Teaching boys that gender stereotypes are a thing of the past, are the building blocks towards a much more fair and just society. Hopefully more schools around the world will copy this example.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.