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Spain bans gender stereotypes in toy advertisements

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Spain bans gender stereotypes in toy advertisements

“Is it for a boy or a girl?” Nothing unusual is usually found in this question. Still very many toy stores with children are divided exactly in half: one side is all pink, the other all blue. That the boys play with toy cars and construction and the girls with dolls and kitchens is a rule that doesn’t make much sense: it’s a forcing and forcing creates cages.

And so Spain decides to reverse course, at least to try. From today, December 1st, a new code of ethics agreed between the government, the Spanish Association of Game Manufacturers “AEFJ” and “Autocontrol”, an independent organization responsible for the self-regulation of the Spanish advertising sector, enters into force: one of the main objectives is to avoid inequality and the imposition of traditional gender roles regarding the promotion of products aimed at minors. According to Spanish consumer minister Alberto Garzón, advertising for the gaming industry should become “fairer, more honest and constructive. And get rid of gender stereotypes.”

The law provides that “the toys will not be presented with an explicit or implicit indication that they are for one or the other sex, nor will color associations be made (such as pink for girls and blue for boys)” . For example, as the Efe news agency explains, advertising such as dolls or miniature kitchens specifically aimed at girls will be avoided.

Even if it is not always intentional, toys designed and purchased by adults for boys and girls become a means of passing on cultural models and double standards. The risk? Educational inequalities to the detriment of girls, limited from the outset in the possibility of understanding their preferences and building bonds between equals, free from prejudices.

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