Learning activity 2.1
Where do you stand on gender equality?


This activity encourages participants to express their views and experiences about gender equality issues. By moving from one side of a room to the other, participants can change their opinion, without having to give an elaborate explanation. The facilitator guides the debate, asking views from the various corners, avoiding lengthy discussions and preventing vocal participants from dominating the discussion.

Suggested time

  • 15-30 minutes

Target group

Representatives of:

  • Lead companies aiming to improve supply chain organization.
  • Global, national and local employer organizations and trade unions.
  • National and local government responsible for legislative implementation and factory inspection.
  • Multi stakeholder initiatives and social auditors.
  • Global, national and local NGOs and women’s organizations.
  • Factory and farm workers.


  • To ‘break the ice’ on a theme which might be controversial within the group.
  • To set the scene of the broader context of gender inequalities.
  • To enable tutors to assess participants understanding of gender equality and gender-based violence.


Prepare a list of statements appropriate to the group.
The following is an indicative list of questions (tutors can add questions that are relevant to their country or cultural context):

  • Women’s place is to care for children and their families.
  • Men carry out more important work than women.
  • Women’s work and skills in the home and in the labour market are under-valued.
  • Women are more caring than men and therefore better suited for certain kinds of jobs than men.
  • Women are less likely than men to have access to both economic and social resources.
  • Wealth and poverty are nearly equally divided between women and men.
  • Sexual harassment in the workplace is experienced by equal numbers of women and men.

Place three flip charts around the room marked ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘not sure’.


  • A room or any other space where participants can move rapidly and freely.


  • Flip charts or posters


During the exercise:

  • Participants are asked to stand up.
  • The facilitator reads from the list of statements. When each statement is read, participants are asked to move and stand by the flip chart that best reflects their answer to the question. Half-way positioning is also allowed.
  • At each stage of the activity participants are randomly asked to explain why they are standing beside their chosen flip chart. Tutors will encourage a limited discussion among participants on each statement.

How to adapt it

Additional comments can also be read out about sexual harassment in order to examine myths and justifications for sexual harassment:

  • “She deserved it. She provoked the man through her gestures, behaviour, and clothing.”
  • “It only happens to a certain kind of woman.”
  • “It happens to poor women who seek advantages or support.”
  • “The woman is inventing the story or exaggerating.”
  • “Men will be men.”
  • “He just reprimanded her because she didn’t finish her work.”
  • “He was having a bad day.”


  • The number of statements to be read aloud will depend on the amount of time and extent of discussion generated. However, aim to have a selection of statements allowing 2-3 minutes exchange for each.
  • Introduce statements that are relevant to participants’ sector or country context.