In Sweden, a preschool has decided to stop referring to children as 'him' or 'her' to avoid gender stereotypes.
The Egalia preschool, in Stockholm, has attempted to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood. The taxpayer-funded school also carefully plans the colour and placement of toys and the choice of books to assure they do not fall into stereotypes.
The school opened last year and is on a mission to break down gender roles - a core mission in the national curriculum for Swedish pre-schools.
'Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing,' says Jenny Johnsson, a 31-year-old teacher.
'Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be.'
At the school, boys and girls play together with a toy kitchen, waving plastic utensils and pretending to cook. Lego bricks and other building blocks are purposely placed next to the kitchen, to make sure the children draw no mental barriers between cooking and construction.
Books that deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children are also standard here.
Director Lotta Rajalin notes that Egalia places a special emphasis on fostering an environment tolerant of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Rajalin says the staff also try to help the children discover new ideas when they play.
What do you think?
Photo: yahoo news
A British Columbia boy who was allegedly abducted by his mother more than six years ago has been found near Phoenix, Ariz.
Valor Howell was three years old when he went missing from Grand Forks, B.C. in December, 2004.
Allegedly abducted seven years ago in Grand Forks, B.C., has been found with a woman in Chandler, Ariz. Valor Heath Howell, now 10, and the woman were located in a Chandler laundromat after police were called about a woman creating a disturbance.
The woman, believed to be the boy's mother.
When police arrived and questioned the woman, they found out she is connected to a missing child report and the child with her is the victim.
The boy was first reported missing on Dec. 1, 2004, in Grand Forks, which is close to the U.S. border and about 350 kilometres east of Vancouver.
Authorities had reported then that he may be in the company of his mother, Jamie Howell. Howell, 51, was arrested Sunday by Chandler police on charges of disorderly conduct, the report said.
She remains in custody. The boy's father, Garrett Taylor, of Kamloops, B.C., told CBC News he is delighted to hear his son has been found. "It's quite amazing — pretty exciting for everybody," said Taylor in a telephone interview. "It's hard to put into words. It's a prayer come true."
Finally a happy ending to a long awaited victory.