Gender Role Reversal Exhibition


It is not so easy to imagine being another person, for the simple reason that we are living our own life, and this takes most of our time, so we do not get a view of other people’s lives too often. Oftentimes, it is very difficult to put ourselves in the shoes of another gender; if I am a man, am I able to see the world through the eyes of a woman or vice versa, as a woman, is it possible for me to put on my male lenses and have that look at the world?

Different international and grassroots organizations recognize gender equality as one of the key factors for developing a fair and sustainable society. Roughly two thirds of women with young children in the EU are working, compared to four out of five men. In the EU, only one third of scientists and engineers are women. In order to tackle the existing and more evident gender equality issues, as male-female income disparity, gender-based violence, significantly lower representation in decision-making positions and politics, we must first contemplate on the root causes of these issues, such as socially constructed roles and stereotypes/traditions as we will do in this activity.

Activity Type

Experiential / Group


Less than 2 hours

Learning outcomes

  • To experience what it is like to view the world from a different gender perspective

  • To realise how arbitrary gender roles are

  • To learn why gender equality is important for a sustainable society


Required Materials and Tools:

  • each participant brings props to dress up and switch roles, participants need to know this in advance

  • beauty magazines

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Discuss the different ways in which women and men are represented in society with the youth, provide the youth with some statistics on gender inequality.

  2. Go through the beauty magazines to reflect on female representation in the media.

  3. Ask the participants to switch roles so that boys would take on roles and jobs that are socially and predominantly taken on by girls and vice versa. To do this, ask them to dress up assuming an untraditional role for their gender or bring an object that is associated with socially constructed roles causing gender inequality and perform something with it (for example, some boys could take irons and iron, a vacuum cleaner and vacuum, a baby carrier with a doll in it, if bold enough ask the boys to experiment with make-up and high heels, some might dress up as doing professions where women are overwhelmingly represented, such as nurses, factory sewing workers and sew etc. The girls on the other hand are asked to dress up and take on roles socially constructed as male or jobs where men are predominant (such as a plumber, car mechanic, politician or a director with a suit and a tie, and especially a computer engineer which is a field largely occupied by men).

  4. Ask them to “play the role”, while talking to other people during that meeting (e.g. the boy that is a sewer should be sewing etc.)

  5. Take pictures of each student individually and organize an exhibition on gender role reversal to try to raise awareness about gender roles and gender equality in your local community.



  • Discuss the root causes of gender inequality today. Make sure to make links with how gender equality is beneficial for the workplace (better performance, increased productivity etc).

  • Ask the students how performing this “male” or “female” role made them feel? Discuss why gender equality  is important for both men and women and how men also benefit from it.

Instructions for Submission

Upload 1 picture of the reversed role game and the exhibition and upload them in Moodle. Submit a short written summary. Instructions on how to upload photos and how to submit things in Moodle can be found here: Instructions on Submission&Uploading

Instructions for Assessment

Provide feedback to at least one participant that has done this activity. Instructions on providing feedback can be found here: Instructions on Feedback

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