The Ministry of Equality’s fireside chat event 'Discussing the effects of gender stereotypes in fairy tales', attracted a full audience at the Garrison Library.

The event aimed to provoke discussion and encourage submissions to the Modern Fairy Tales short story competition.

Introduced by the Minister for Equality, Samantha Sacramento MP, and moderated by Nicky Guerrero, the event began with presentations before the audience were invited to actively participate in an open discussion.

The Ministry of Equality’s Policy Officer, Marlene Dalli contextualised gender stereotyping and its dangers before the Librarian at Westside and Bayside Schools, Kimberly Pecino, gave a detailed insight into the history of gender roles in storytelling. Questions from the audience were then invited before the discussion evolved naturally into an open conversation amongst attendees.

The diverse audience included established authors, aspiring writers, teachers and students. A range of interesting insights were offered over the course of an hour, touching on themes such as nuanced character development, avoiding the creation of new stereotypes and the role of storytelling in children’s education.

Minister for Equality, the Hon Samantha Sacramento, said: “I am delighted by the response to this event which shows that there is an appetite for these discussions locally. I am particularly encouraged by the diverse nature of attendees which included teenagers, young adults and adults and which also saw a healthy representation of men and women. Not only was the event very well attended but the discussion was both meaningful and substantive. Whilst the starting and central point was the effects of gender stereotypes in fairy tales the discussion was quite varied and explored a number of key issues. The aim of this event and of the short story competition is to promote diversity and inclusion and to challenge gender stereotypes which can prevent children from reaching their full potential. I would like to take this opportunity to remind the general public that the deadline for the short story competition is Monday 3rd February. I look forward to reading the winning entries.

The deadline for entries to the Modern Fairy Tales short story competition is Monday 3rd February.