A society free from sexism and discrimination is only possible if we dismantle harmful gender norms and stereotypes.
The idea that young men are often expected to suppress their emotions so that they can conform to damaging understandings of strength and masculinity is archaic. It leaves men ill-equipped to express or navigate through their emotions, which can later on cause issues for their mental health.
Equally, young women are often expected to be polite and accommodating to others - even in situations where they are made to feel uncomfortable. Conforming to this expectation can make it more difficult for women to assert themselves and can lead to their enduring discrimination or abuse.
By breaking down these archaic stereotypes, we can foster equality. In order to discuss these matters as well equal and empowering representation of girls and women on screen, we teamed up with Netflix within the European Week of Action for Girls and created a space for dialogue between policy makers and the young people looking to advocate for positive change.
Our event brought together Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission, Busisiwe Ntintili, creator and showrunner of Netflix series JIVA! and Sunni Faba writer of How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding and youth advocates Claudia (23) from Ghana as well as Maja (21) from Sweden.
VP Jourová started by sharing about her past and being born in communist Czechoslovakia where she was told many times to “Speak only when they ask you to speak”.