Calls for science toys for boys and girls this Christmas

December 18, 2014 10:38 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister Jo Swinson is calling on the retail sector to do what is best - ensuring the greatest choice by marketing toys for all children, rather than for boys and girls separately.

Many girls still believe that some science subjects are not for them - almost half of all state-schools had no girls taking A-level physics in recent years. Campaigners have suggested that this is in part because the future aspirations of girls and boys are set at a very early age.

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Jo Swinson said:

"Parents know that boys and girls love all kinds of toys. With children developing very clear ideas at a young age about what jobs boys and girls can do, we can all help to send a clear signal that nothing is off limits. It is great that fewer retailers are defining toys as 'for boys' or 'for girls', which shows they are responding to their customers' demands for more choice.

"But there is still more to do. I hope this Christmas companies will be conscious of how they are marketing their products and make sure they aren't accidentally limiting customers' and children's choices."

Jo Swinson is asking both manufacturers and retailers of toys to get behind the Your Life campaign - which is encouraging young people, especially girls, to consider science, technology, engineering and maths careers - and pledge to take action to increase the numbers of women working in the sector.