Girls are raised by words – Let’s choose the right ones.

The way we talk to girls impacts their self-esteem. Research shows that we talk differently to children depending on their gender. We talk to boys about their abilities. We talk to girls about their bodies. Boys are brave. Girls are pretty. Most of us do this unconsciously. With Sheboard, Plan makes us reflect on whether we use gender-neutral language – while typing with our phones.

Across many contexts, girls and boys are being “socialised into” and taught gendered attitudes, norms and expectations about their behaviours, value and future role right from birth. These are potentially limiting for both sexes, but evidence suggests that gendered norms have a particularly profound impact on the agency and empowerment of girls and on their expectations for the future.

By the time they reach primary school, girls may already have a clear idea of how they are expected to behave, how they are valued and what their future role will be.

Sheboard is a mobile keyboard that helps us reflect on how we talk to and about girls. Using predictive text input, it suggests to use more diverse language and words when talking about girls or women. Sheboard can also be the voice that reminds girls of their full potential; it reminds of their versatile skills and equal possibilities.

Sheboard app available via Google Play.

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