Tools and Resources
Project history
- - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
HOME arrow MANUAL arrow Methods arrow Advanced arrow A Baby is Born
A Baby is Born

PeerThink Standard Sheet: Input/Method/Exercise

Based on RealGeM & GemTrEx, with adaptations referring to Blickhäuser & Bargen1

Name of the Input/ Method/Exercise
A Baby is Born
60 minutes or 90 minutes, depends on how much time is devoted to discussion
Target Group/Criteria for Access
Youngsters as well as adults (like, practitioners, in adult Education)
Cards with social opposites written on it, which means that on each card only one category is written (one card, on which is written “boy”, the other one “girl”, etc.)
Learning Outcomes
  • To understand that Gender is only one of the social categories and therefore it should be understood in the social context together with other social categories (Class, Ethnicity, handicap, etc.).
  • To learn that gender is affected by other social categories, such as class, ethnicity, and vice versa. 
  • To reflect gender, social class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc., as sources of social differentiation and discrimination.
  • To recognise the intersection of social categories in everyday situations.
Method Instruction
Before the workshop starts the moderator should prepare 30 cards with its’ opposite sites, such as boy/girl; child of a single mother/child with both parents; dominant ethnic majority/marginalised ethnic minority; … and two flipcharts, one for ‘successful child’ and one for ‘less successful child’.
Step-by-Step Description
Participants sit in a circle. The moderator asks participants to imagine that they are to become mother or father of a child and what would they wish for the children in the future in terms of their opportunities. Each participant gets two randomly chosen cards. The moderator asks participants to bring their cards and place it on either of the flipcharts and explain to the group why they have chosen the ‘successful’ or ‘less successful’ flipchart. Then moderator asks for participant who has the opposite card to come foreword and place it on the flipchart and again to explain their decision. The process is repeated until all cards are on the flipcharts. Synthesis and discussion follow focusing on the relevant questions:
  • What makes a person less or more successful?
  • Why are certain categories or certain poles of categories described as ‘winners’ and the other one as ‘losers’?
  • What is the relation between social categories and equality and discrimination? Any possible links to Violence? Any links with everyday experience?
The opposites can vary according to cultural, social context of the group of participants.

If children are participants of the workshop cards can be written to describe friends (successful, less successful friend).
Frame Conditions
(Room, Space)
Enough space to form a circle and to have enough space that all participants feel comfortable seated in the circle and place to put the flipcharts.
  • group size
  • recommendation about point of time or process (e.g.“starter”)
  • Framework/Related Methods
The best size of group is approx. 15 participants.

This method can be used as a starter to introduce the role of social categories (gender, class, ethnicity, etc.), to sensitise participants about taken for granted issues based on stereotypes and prejudices. The method can be used also later in the workshop process together with some theoretical input.
Possible difficulties
  • group situation
  • point of process
The role of the moderator/facilitator is crucial, they should be well into the topic of discrimination, (in)equalities, racism, xenophobia, etc.. This is important, especially in the last part, when synthesis and discussion takes place in order not to reproduce stereotypes and prejudices, but to analyse and reflect social categories, their intersection in terms of people’s opportunities in everyday lives.
Comments and Experiences/Evaluation
Method by The Oxfam Gender Training Manual (Suzzane Williams with Janet Seed and Adelina Mwau; Oxfam UK and Ireland, 1994) with some moderations by Slovenian Peerthink group.


1 Blickhäuser, Angelika / Bargen, Henning von (Hrsg.) (2006): Mehr Qualität durch Gender Kompetenz. Ein Wegweiser für Training und Beratung im Gender Mainstreaming. Königstein/Taunus.

< Prev   Next >