Redrawing the Balance in South Africa

We launched our 2 minute Redraw the Balance video in 2016 to show the ingrained gender stereotypical views children often have and the importance of tackling these at primary school. The video has been remade in Denmark, China and Canada and South Africa is the latest to recreate the concept.

This new version was produced by VVOB South Africa, a Belgian non-profit operating in South Africa’s education sector, as a resource for their Gender Responsive Pedagogy for Early Childhood Education project. The project seeks to support early childhood educators to challenge stereotypes in their teaching practice, creating learning environments that are sensitive to issues of gender equality and allow all children to fulfil their potential.

In the video, children are asked to draw a doctor, a police officer and a fire fighter; the drawings shown depict men, demonstrating the stereotypical views held by children from a young age. A female doctor, police officer and fire fighter then enter the classroom – much to the surprise of the pupils! – to talk to the children about what they drew, and how women are essential in these roles too:

Our original version has been viewed over 100 million times, been referenced by UN Women, OECD, UNESCO, World Economic Forum and won two gold Effie Awards in Cannes. Watch our original Redraw the Balance video, alongside its recreations.

Read our Starting Early report, which demonstrates the importance of introducing children to a wide range of role models from the world of work.