Role Models and Inequality: Teaching Ideas for International Women’s Day

February 15, 2022

International Women’s Day (8 March) recognises the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are working to change the climate of gender equality and build a sustainable future.

Gender equality is an enduring and important cause that continues to affect all of us. International Women’s Day is an excellent opportunity to actively engage your students and help them develop a well-rounded understanding of the issues shaping the debate. The following resources and activity ideas are designed to engage students at a primary or middle school level.

About International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day, a holiday that honours women and promotes women’s rights, is observed every year on March 8. Each year the United Nations (UN) declares a theme related to a specific women’s issue—for example, improving education or ending violence against women. Groups in many countries arrange talks, performances, and other activities. In some places, women receive flowers or other gifts.

Resource Packs


This Britannica School (Australia) Primary level resource pack ↗ includes age-appropriate text and video sources on prominent women who have made great contributions to society and in their fields. For more advanced learners, a Middle school version↗ of this resource pack is also available.

Teacher Tip:
Schools subscribed to the UK, US, New Zealand or Asia version of Britannica School can also access these resource packs at:
Britannica School (UK) Foundation level resource pack↗
Britannica School (UK) Intermediate level resource pack↗
Britannica School (US) Elementary level resource pack↗
Britannica School (US) Middle level resource pack↗
Britannica School (New Zealand) Primary level resource pack↗
Britannica School (New Zealand) Middle level resource pack↗
Britannica School (Asia) Elementary level resource pack↗
Britannica School (Asia) Middle level resource pack↗
Britannica School (Asia version in China) Elementary level resource pack ↗
Britannica School (Asia version in China) Middle level resource pack ↗


The following activities can be completed using resources found in the Britannica School ‘International Women’s Day’ resource packs.

  1. Role models are a wonderful way to inspire and encourage students to be who they want to be and achieve what they think they can’t. Using Britannica School’s Biography Browse tool, have students search for and select a person whom they believe is a good role model. Then complete the activity All About My Role Model.
  2. Have students read about the five contemporary female role models found in the Britannica School resource pack. Select one female role model and write a letter to that person explaining “what you admire about them and how they inspire you”. Students can also include some interview questions to find out more about them.
  3. Gender inequality is an important issue that often gets discussed in the media, in particular on International Women’s Day. Use the World Bank Open Data website to explore female school enrolment in either primary or secondary school. Examine the graph and answer questions in the worksheet Gender Inequality Part 1.
    1. What do the statistics tell us about gender inequality? How has the percentage changed over time?
    2. Where does this data come from?
    3. Are the statistics reliable? How do you know?
    4. Do you think everyone agrees with these figures?

    Other key topics students can investigate include the gender pay gap in the UK or progress made in other indicators such as maternal mortality. Create an infographic to share your findings with others.



Featured Image from BRITANNICA SCHOOL: Malala Yousafzai, 2014. Photo by: Andrew Gombert—EPA/Alamy. Accessed 11 Feb. 2022.

These activities and resources have been created using content from Britannica School, the go-to site for safe, comprehensive student research. Contact your librarian to find out if your institution already has access. Find out more about Britannica School or set up your own free trial.

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