The city of Zurich offers alternatives: Should we stop saying “dad”, “mum”, terms that are too gendered?

The city of Zurich offers alternatives: Should we stop saying “dad”, “mum”, terms that are too gendered?
The city of Zurich offers alternatives: Should we stop saying “dad”, “mum”, terms that are too gendered?

The Zurich City Childcare Center is dedicated to gender-sensitive education. For example, he advises parents of young children to no longer talk about the mother or father. The approach makes some people jump.

The issue of gender in children’s education concerns parents and polarizes them, says the city of Zurich. (Symbolic image)


The city of Zurich wants to help parents answer questions about raising children: the city’s childcare center therefore sends out a newsletter every two months containing advice for parents of children under the age of five. .

The latest edition is also dedicated to “gender-sensitive education”. And that doesn’t please everyone. As the “NZZ” reports, parents are particularly recommended to renounce the terms “mother” and “father” when talking about other families. There are neutral terms as alternatives.

Instead of “Rahel’s mom,” we could say “Rahel’s parent” or “Rahel’s caregiver.” The term “child” is also more neutral than “boy” or “girl.”

In the newsletter, parents are also advised to “put aside their own sexual imprint and the resulting taste in clothing for the child.”

According to Tele Züri, the child should be able to experiment with jewelry and hairstyles. In addition, families should ideally develop in different social environments, which means, according to the “NZZ”, seeking contact with stepfamilies, rainbow families and single-parent families.

SVP politician calls this “alarming”

What the city of Zurich’s father and mother advice service advises does not suit Susanne Brunner at all. The elected official sits on the Zurich Grand Council for the SVP and is fighting to have the star of the genre banned from municipal administration communications.

She thus fits perfectly into the line of her party: the national UDC devotes a specific passage to the theme of gender in its electoral program.

On Tele Züri, Susanne Brunner describes the language advice of the city of Zurich as “alarming”. “The education of children is a highly private matter, the State has nothing to lose by not giving recommendations or guidelines,” she says.

She thinks that such advice pursues a completely different objective: “the dissolution of genres”.

“Parents are concerned”

The city of Zurich has a different vision: the theme of gender was deliberately chosen for the newsletter, because it is more often discussed during consultations. “Parents are concerned about how they can think about gender roles in their education and avoid stereotypes,” a spokeswoman for social services, to which the child counseling service is attached, told “NZZ”. mothers and fathers.

As for Leila Aniba, director of the counseling center, she specifies on Tele Züri: “Our basic attitude when it comes to counseling is never to infantilize parents or to tell them which path they should follow.”

However, the city does not plan any other actions on this theme.



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