Time to start busting gender stereotypes with Free to Choose!

Time to start busting gender stereotypes with Free to Choose!

Palazzo Badini, Ellero Room – Pordenone. 15 November 2018. 

Within the third edition of the ‘Week against violence against women’Social Cooperative Itaca and the Municipality of Pordenone – Equal Opportunities Department set up the first Free to Choose game session mass event at Palazzo Badini, Ellero Room with the participation of 40 students from I.S.I.S. Zanussi.

The testing phase was then followed by an in-depth debriefing where the game masters got crucial feedback in order to keep refining the game board prototype. The event ended with an open discussion led by the journalist Clelia Del Ponte and professor Tindara Abbaddo from UNIMORE University.

Free to Choose presents final game prototype at the Rototom Sunsplash Festival

Free to Choose presents final game prototype at the Rototom Sunsplash Festival

Benicássim, 18-19-20 August 2018.

The final prototype of the Free to Choose (FtC) board game aimed at tackling gender stereotypes among youngsters and adults acting in the educational or orientation field was presented at Rototom Sunsplash Festival in Benicassìm (Spain). The 25th edition of Rototom with its high rate of young participants coming from all over Europe was a perfect location for spreading project results and involving the target audience.

From the 18th to the 20th of August, three intense dissemination events took place within the “Magico Mundo” area, which is dedicated to new educational trends:

18 August: Capitolina Diaz, the scientific supervisor of the FtC research (WS1) from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the University of Valencia (UNIVAL) gave a presentation tiled “Mind the Gap & Coming out: gender stereotypes in Europe”, and the game designer Alan Mattiassi from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE), leader of the WS2, gave the presentation “FreetoChoose the game: design history and results”

19 – 20 August: several tables were set up for the game sessions, led by expert game masters and open to the participation of the project target groups (youngsters 16-29 years old).

FtC is a board game where each participant can play a special character with the task of not falling into gender stereotypes traps. The tests conducted in Spain have given important feedback for the development of the final game, which will be the result of multiple game sessions carried out also in Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Emilia Romagna), Portugal and Slovenia.

Free to Choose dissemination event at XII IberoAmerican Congress of Science, Technology and Gender

Free to Choose dissemination event at XII IberoAmerican Congress of Science, Technology and Gender

Bilbao, 18-19-20 July 2018 – Project partners Marcela Jabbaz, Capitolina Diaz and Anna Giulia Ingellis took part in the XII IberoAmerican Congress of Science, Technology and Gender in Bilbao from the 18th to the 20th of July 2018 where they led the workshop “Anti-stereotypes of gender games: Towards a less biased vision of the professional future”. The workshop was a great opportunity for further presenting the results coming from the sociological research.


Free to Choose dissemination event held in Slovenia

Free to Choose dissemination event held in Slovenia

Free to Choose

Free to Choose partners July 2018 (Slovenia)

Ljubjana (Slovenia) – 10 July 2018. The Free to Choose (FTC) dissemination event, organised by Nefiks and hosted in the historic Trubar Literature House, represented an important project milestone. We presented two main FtC outputs to stakeholders and general public: the results of our sociological research as well as testing the board game prototype. Notable public authority guests included Rok Primozic, Director at Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth under the Ministry for Education, Science and Sport, and Katarina Gorenc, Head of Youth Office of the City of Ljubljana.

After a short introduction from the host organisation and institutional greetings from Rok Primozic, the floor was given to Alenka Blazinsek from the Kroj Network, who gave a comprehensive overview on Nefiks: together with Mcbit, one of the Slovenian project partner which has been promoting the values of volunteering and non-formal education in Slovenia for over 15 years. Alenka stressed out the crucial role of Nefiks at assisting young people with personal and professional development.

The meeting moved on more scientific themes with the presentation given by Kaja Primorac from the Gender Equality Research Institute. Kaja provided a clear definition of gender inequality as “those legal, social and cultural situations in which sex and gender determine different rights and unequal access to employment opportunities”. She finally presented the benefits of implementing the Gender Equality Index developed by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) to measure gender inequality in several economic, cultural and social contexts.

We then went deep into the project management with Tiziana Perin, FtC Project Manager from ITACA Social Cooperative (Lead Partner) who presented objectives, target and expected results of the project co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC) of the EU. Tiziana highlighted the added value of FtC in raising awareness on gender diversity and promoting behavioural changes in youngsters and adults involved in transition phases.

One of the most interesting moments of the day was certainly the intervention made by Matteo Bisanti, researcher and game designer from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE). Matteo led the public throughout the historical evolution of the FTC board game by underlining the crucial contribution given by the renowned game designer and winner of Gioco dell’Anno 2013, Pietro Mori, and the ethnographic research on ludic habits conducted across 3 countries with more than 1606 respondents.

Do gender stereotypes impact on gender composition of the workplaces? Prof. Tindara Addabbo from UNIMORE, Department of Economics, brilliantly answered this question by showing research data on gender inequalities in labour supply, employment and managerial positions: a persistent discrimination against women is still going on in job hiring especially in those sectors (such as engineering) traditionally male dominated.

Those conclusions were confirmed also by the analysis of prof. Capitolina Diaz from the Universitat de Valencia: she showed the existence of dual stereotypes: biological and mental, that can be influenced and strengthened by media and school more than family. Anna Giulia Ingellis, project manager of FtC for Universitat de Valencia, presented the Mind the Gap Report, with the objective of drawing an overall gender gap scenario in labour market and educational system in the countries involved in the project.

Another important output related to WS1 is Coming Out, the cross country report analysis on gender stereotypes, based on the national field work carried out by MIGS in Cyprus, APLOAD in Portugal, Universitat de Valencia in Spain, IRES FVG in Italy, MCBIT and Nefiks in Slovenia: results of each national report were presented by Maria Angeli (MIGS), José Bronze (Apload), Chiara Cristini (IRES FVG) and Vita Jankovič (MCBIT).

After a short lunch break, 12 young Slovenians took part in an initial FtC game session. They had the task to play, test and give feedback on the FtC board game prototype, developed on recommendations from the sociological research. These sessions are of great importance to guide the work of the game designers towards the development of the final version of the game.

The young testers were split into two groups (with six people each) led respectively by Matteo Bisanti and Enrico Vazzoler, game master from Cooperative Itaca. The game testing phase was then followed by a panel discussion where Matteo and Enrico had the opportunity to share opinions with the players and record pros and cons of the game prototype.

This will ensure the final adjustments to the game, that will continue its “testing journey” in August, during a youth event in Slovenia and a festival in Spain, before the official start of the experimentation, which will take place in Portugal, Italy and Slovenia at the end of 2018.