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Lesson 5

Lesson 5: Boys & Girls, Men & Women


  • Pupils recognize the role of gender in their lives.
  • Pupils are aware of the vulnerable position of girls and women. 
  • Pupils are aware of the unequal position between men and women. 
  • Explain the terms ‘gender’ and ‘gender roles’, their relation with rights and how they impact on themselves and on their social environment 
  • Explain that males and females have equal rights but that women in Ethiopia are in a more vulnerable position than men and give some examples related to work, education and family planning issues. 
  • clarifies that inequality between males and females is one of the underlying causes of SRH problems, including violence (for example that young girls can get pregnant without wanting it, more women live with HIV, many women and girls experience SGBV in Ethiopia) 
  • List two stereotypical ideas about boys and two about girls and describe three situations in their own lives in which gender plays a role 
  • Explain that sexual expectations in boys and girls can be different 
  • Explain that they are entitled to their own opinions about gender roles.
  •  Express they are aware of their own values and standards in relation to gender issues and describe differences with others
  • Argue the right to an equal relationship between boys and girls and men and women and the advantages of sharing responsibilities
  • Reject inequality between boys and girls and men and women, and force and violence in particular
  • Argue that girls and women should have equal opportunities in education and leadership
  • Argue that responsible sex means that both partners must be ready for it and that it should be voluntary and safe 
  • Show awareness of how peers, friends, the community and the media perceive gender roles. 
  • Demonstrate how they can help to change social standards related to gender issues in their environment
  • Demonstrate how to discuss sexuality and gender issues with others. 


This lesson is about gender and the role it plays in life. In this lesson, pupils work in groups. Each – mixed-sex, if possible – group is made up of four students. Each group views the interactive presentation together, answering questions as a group. Having  discussed  some  of  the  issues  in  the  presentation,  each  group  then makes its own text-based presentation about gender issues or compares statements about boys and girls.  This is how you can introduce this lesson to the pupils: 

 Gender is not just a physical thing. The roles females and males play in society can be very different. We are not always aware of this difference. We do not question the fact that men have important positions in government and management. You may have noticed that, these days, more women hold high office positions. More people ask themselves why men  in  general  are  more  powerful  than  women.  Have you  ever  wondered  why  the  roles  of  women  and men are different? Have you ever thought about the effect this may have on  your  future marriage or sexual relationship?  To get  us  started,  we  will  present  some  information  about  the  issue  of  gender,  followed  by  an exercise that allows you to examine your ideas about these issues. Finally, you will be creative in a small group, express your opinions and think of an action plan. The world wants to hear from you!’ 

Learning Resources

Teaching Methodologies

In this lesson teachers and learners can use different teaching methodologies like

  • Method1
  • Method2
  • Method3
  • Method4

Delivery of this lesson will be done with minimum requirement that discussed in the following steps.

Delivery Methods

1. Reflect (some minutes)

  • Ask a few pupils to tell something about their reflection activities from the previous lesson.  

Do the Walk (5 mins) Aim Pupils get started on the theme of gender in a fun way.


Call out different ways the pupils should try to walk, such as :  Walk like…   you normally walk you just heard the greatest news  you are a macho boy  you are giggling girl  you are an old woman carrying a heavy load  you are an old man with a stick  you are pregnant  Eat like a girl  Eat like a boy  Laugh like a girl  Laugh like a boy  Stand like a girl  Stand like a boy.  Do: Discuss the above demonstrations with the pupils’, 

Game – Who’s responsible in the family? (15 mins)  


  • Pupils explore some of their ideas on the theme of gender and gender roles.


  • In this game, pupils have to decide for each task whether this should be the man’s responsibility, the woman’s responsibility, or both. 

Step 1: Write down on 3 papers:                          MEN                                WOMEN                            THE COUPLE 

Step 2: Hang each paper on a separate or different wall  

Step 3: Read out loud one of the tasks written below: 

Responsibility of either the Men, Women or The couple. 

Step 4: Discuss with the pupils why they have chosen their position. 


  • Spending family money 
  • Planning the future 
  • Digging the land 
  • Looking after the children 
  • Taking care of sick relatives 
  • Earning the money 
  • Domestic work 
  • Deciding how many children 
  • Deciding what crops to grow

Presentation: Gender: the issues and a discussion (35 mins)


  • Students are introduced to the term ‘gender’, its meaning and some of the main issues associated with gender. Pupils discuss in small groups and form their own opinions.  


Introduction to the presentation

 Ask the pupils to give some examples of differences between girls and boys in the table below on a paper:  Discuss with the children which characteristics or differences are biological i.e. girls can get pregnant and boys cannot. (This is a biological difference between boys and girls) and, which ones are social/ emotional/ cultural i.e. girls can better cook than boys. The biological differences/ characteristics cannot be changed and this is the case all over the world.  Biological characteristics do not mean they are better or worse. Social/ emotional/ cultural differences are set. Characteristics in the list show gender inequality?  Gender differences set by culture can be changed.  Which ones would you like to change? What ideas about you as a girl/boy would you like to change? And what can you do to change them? 

 GirlsBoys                              Is the difference social, emotional or biological 
Presentation: Gender: the issues and a discussion (35 mins)

Ask pupils to read the presentation. It includes some discussion points; which pupils should address together before continuing with the next slides.  The presentation covers the following topics: 

  • A definition of gender; 
  • Gender roles; 
  • Leadership; 
  • Education;
  • The position of women; 
  • A Gender Equality Quiz on topics such as wife beating and virginity. 

Pupils work in small groups for the entire lesson. Pupils do not need paper to write their conclusions down. The goal is to discuss the issues.  When pupils get to the Gender Equality Quiz, the aim of the quiz is to discuss the different points of view as a group before continuing to the next point; each person should choose a viewpoint they agree with.  This can help pupils to understand their peers’ attitudes towards gender issues. 

Group Work I – Gender issues can be done on paper (35 mins) 


  • Pupils make their own presentation using paper. 
  • Pupils clarify their ideas and opinions on gender. 
  • Make different mixed groups of not more than 6 pupils each
  •  Each group chooses a name for their group 
  •  Assign each group with one of the following subjects: 

1. Gender lifelines 

2. Role models/famous people

 3. SRH issues linked to gender 

4. What can you do? 


 Step 1: Pupils start writing in  the  content  of  their  presentation.  They choose a name for  their  group  and  write  this name at the top of their group work. .  

Step 2: This presentation can be done using paper and pen/markers   Each group works on the subject assigned to the group: 

1. Gender lifelines 

2. Role models/famous people 

3. Issues linked to gender inequality 

4. What can you do as a person? 

 1. Gender lifelines.  Each pupil in the group presents one example of the first time in their lives when they were aware they were a  boy or a girl. If they feel comfortable talking about this, they can tell how this made them feel. 

2. Role models  Pupils think of two categories of people in their society who are important in the area of gender. Together, they  decide who they choose to include in their presentation: two  role  models  for  men  and  two  role  models  for  women;  these  role  models  can  be  people  of  the  family  or  community or they can be famous people.  In their presentation they can explain why these people are role models to them 

3. Issues linked to gender inequality  Pupils make a list of social issues, related to gender inequality which they feel are causing problems either for  women and men or girls and boys. For example, normally a pregnant girl is expelled from school and cannot  continue with education while the boy can.

4. What can you as a person do?  Pupils come up with solutions to gender-related issues within their close environments  The groups present their ideas. 

 Group Work II – Boys and Girls are… (35 mins)


  • Pupils learn to question stereotypical ideas about boys and girls. Girls and boys learn that both sexes are                given certain roles to play. Not all boys and girls may be comfortable with these roles. Some roles may not suit them. 
  • Students realize that both boys and girls may feel uncertain when other people expect certain opinions or behaviors from them because they are a boy or a girl.


Divide the pupils into small groups. Give each group the list of statements about boys and girls:  Statements about boys and girls:  


  • Boys don’t cry,
  • Boys only want sex, 
  • Boys already know everything about sex, 
  • Boys are strong  Boys don’t need help, 
  • Boys who don’t drink alcohol are no real boys,
  • Boys are taller than girls. 


  • Girls shouldn’t know everything about sex,
  • Girls are quiet  Girls should be passive, Girls should be ladylike,
  • Girls shouldn’t ask a boy for a date, Girls are cleaner than boys. 
  • Pupils go through the list of statements, asking themselves the following questions:  Do you think it is true?  Do you know an example showing that this is not always true?  Each group selects one group member to present the outcomes of the group exercise. 

Conclusion and homework (5 mins) 

Round off the session and ask some pupils to summarize the highlights of today’s lesson. The most important conclusion of this lesson is that some of the gender differences are biological and cannot be changed but are therefore not necessarily unequal. We should appreciate these differences and divide the burden. Other gender differences are cultural and differ from culture to culture. Some of these differences are unequal especially for girls and women. These differences can be changed. 

Homework: Pupils write down in their books one event in their lives in which gender played a positive role and one event in which gender played a negative role. 



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Quiz for Lesson 5

Quiz for Lesson 5

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5.1. What is the difference between gender and sex?

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5.2. Clarifies the Couse that inequality between males and females?

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5.3. Why people entitled to their own opinions about gender roles.

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5.4. Responsible sex means that both partners must be ready for it and that it should be voluntary and safe 

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5.5. Women in Ethiopia are in a more vulnerable position than men. Why?

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5.6. To perceive gender roles who is responsible among the following?

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5.7. For equal relationship between boys and girls and men and women:

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5.8. One of the following is adolescent girls may be pressurized into having sex at an early age by 

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5.9. Media such as radio and television may have a major impact on young people’s perception of gender images and roles. 

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