Session 1 Activity 7

Man or woman?


Approximately 30 min play + 30 min discussion

Online activity


This activity wants to help learners understand gender roles and stereotypes and expectations that are learned and acknowledged in our society. The aim is to

  • identify and analyze stereotypical gender roles and their origins
  • analyze the effects on career choices for men and women
  • challenge and minimize and/or eliminate stereotypical perceptions and actions towards the “other” gender
  • accept and support career and life choices made by peers, even if they may challenge gender role stereotypes


Divide students into small groups, max. 6 people per group. Groups can be gender mixed groups. Each group will act out two scenarios in which they will stress gender stereotypical actions. The other group will have to identify the stereotypes and attribute them to the related gender.

Each group thinks of two scenarios to play. The situations should show actions, jobs, activities that represent a gender stereotype. To give a very basic example: The group plays a dinner, a player acts like the wife (cooks, cleans, gets up 10 times), while the other players act like other family members (wait to be served, don’t help, etc.). The other groups will have to recognize what action is played and what stereotype is represented.

After the activity, a discussion helps reflection. Possible questions are:

  • How and where do we learn our perception of male and female roles? 
  • Do these roles and descriptions limit or help us in life choices? 
  • Have you ever acted differently from how your gender is “supposed” to act or behave? 
  • What other conclusions/statements do you have about this topic?
  • What are your feelings at the end of this activity? 

It’s very interesting to understand how stereotypes are perceived. That trainer will have to investigate participants’ ideas and try to plant the seed of doubt: does everyone identify the same stereotype?


Materials & Resources:

An empty room

Paper sheets and a pen for the trainer