France publishes charter on gender-neutral toys for children

France publishes charter on gender-neutral toys for children
Photo: AFP
Toymakers and retailers in France have signed a new government charter committing to make children's toys gender neutral.

Ahead of the Christmas shopping season, toy manufacturers, retailers and advertisers have signed up to an Economy Ministry charter that aims to end the practice of designating toys as 'for girls' and 'for boys'.

The charter follows a long consultation with people in the toy industry, parliamentarians, consumer groups and TV companies about how to better make all types of toys available to all children.

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Now the charter is signed the following steps will be taken;

  • A practical guide is to be produced for the industry that addresses things like advertising of toys, product design, catalogues, shelving and layout in toy stores and the design of websites selling toys.
  • A training module is being created for sales staff focusing of advising buyers based on a child's age and interests, rather than their gender.
  • Training will also be offered to childcare professionals on avoiding gender stereotyping
  • Toys and games with a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) theme should use both boys and girls in their advertising and sales staff should recommend them for children of both genders
  • The advertising union l'Union des marques will create a prize for the best gender-neutral advertising of toys
  • Awareness campaigns will be created on social media

A progress report will be organised in March 2021 to examine how the sales period over the winter, and in particular the Christmas period, operated.


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