Let’s talk to kids about RESPECT…

…because we all want to live in a world where we are safe, equal and respected.

Teaching children about respect and gender equality is crucial for their personal and social development. It equips them with essential life skills, fosters positive relationships, and contributes to a more compassionate and harmonious society.

Parents, caregivers, and educators play a vital role in modelling and imparting the value of respect and gender equality to the next generation.

What is 16 Days of Activism

The United Nations’ international campaign, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, is a call to action aimed at raising awareness, sparking discussions, and inspiring efforts to prevent violence against women.

It is an annual initiative that runs from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day).

What WHISE and Partners Are Doing:

WHISE, in collaboration with the Promoting Respect and Equity Together (PRET) regional partnership, actively participates in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign every year.

Respect Victoria are the dedicated organisation in Victoria for the prevention of family violence and violence against women and lead the 16 Days of Activism Campaign annually.

For 2023, Respect Victoria are asking people to ‘Join the movement to prevent violence against women’ and focus on activities designed to capture and amplify the voices of community.

In collaboration with our partners, WHISE has decided to involve children and young people in exploring what gender equality and respect means to them, through drawing and colouring activities.

Doing these activities together provides an opportunity to have conversations with children about the kind of community that they want to be part of.  The colouring activity allows them to share their images and words with their community and beyond via social media.

Our hope is that the adults in their lives can help create that community by role modelling respect and gender equality in their own behaviour and attitudes.


How You Can Get Involved:

#16DAYS4KIDS – colouring in sheets for children and students – toolkit

This toolkit provides information and resources to assist you in participating in the 16 Days of Activism 2023 Campaign throughout the Southern Metropolitan Region.

We invite you to join us in this campaign by using our downloadable illustrations created by talented local artist Nea Valdivia.

These images can be used to start conversations about what gender equality and respect looks like in kindergartens, schools, sports clubs, homes and friendships groups. Keep in mind, whilst having conversations that children benefit from being free from outdated gender stereotypes. We have provided some reflective questions and suggested lesson plans below. We encourage you to share images of the completed colouring in sheets across social media channels.

We welcome you to capture your stories first-hand in a voice recording that we will ask you to share with us via email whise@whise.org.au . These recordings will not be shared with anyone else but will be used for evaluation.

Here is what you can do:

  • Print out the artwork provided with this toolkit: You can use these images in activities with your children, students, or community members as conversation starters about gender equality and respect. Reflective questions and suggested activities are included below.
  • Share on social media: Take pictures of the artwork created during your activities and share them on your social media platforms. Don’t forget to use the following hashtags:



Don’t forget to tag us:

  • Facebook @whisewomen
  • Instagram @whisewomen
  • LinkedIn @whisewomen
  • Collaborate with us: You can also send the images to us at whise@whise.org.au and we will use them on our social media channels and other avenues of promotion.

#16Days4Kids Resources:

  • Poster
    • Let us know where your poster goes, and we may just come and find it and send you a shout out!
  • eSignature banner
    • Please add this to your work emails for the 16 Days of Activism
  • Virtual background
    • Feel free to use this background in your online meetings during the campaign

Additional Resources

Call to Action:

Join us in promoting gender equality and respect within our community by participating in the #16DAYS4KIDS Campaign.

Your involvement and support are essential in our collective effort to create a safer and more equitable world.

Let’s work together during the 16 Days of Activism to raise awareness, initiate conversations and inspire change.

Thank you for your support and commitment to this essential cause and we look forward to seeing the myriad of coloured pages flooding social media during #16DAYS4KIDS


Companion questions to help you have a conversation with children during the activity.

  • Design 1

Do you know what respect means? Respect means treating everyone as you would like to be treated, being kind, gentle and having fun together.

When you are at kindergarten/home/friend’s house, how do you know when your friends are being respectful? (Do they share their toys? Do they invite you to play together?)

Use ‘I wonder whether…’ starters to get the conversation going or prompt further thinking.

  • Design 2 

What does Respect mean to you? What jobs do you see in this picture? Do you think that astronauts can be female? Talk about how people can do any jobs, regardless of gender. Ask how they feel when they are encouraged to do activities they love. Reflect on how it might feel if they were told they cannot do something just because they were a boy/girl. Talk about some ways we can encourage each other to do activities that we enjoy and celebrate our friends’ talents and interests.

  • Design 3 

What does it look like these people are doing together? Do you think they are working together to colour in this word? What sorts of ways can we show each other respect when we are working together? What does it feel like when everyone is being kind and respectful? Ask what ways do they show respect to all children, regardless of gender, when they are at school, at home or with their friends?

  • Frame  

What does gender equality and respect mean to you? What does it look like?

Draw a picture to show how you show gender equality and respect in your life, whether it is at school or at home. Or do a word cloud with the ways you can show people equality and respect. What does it feel like people are being treated equally and being respected? What does it feel like with your friends?

  • Word search

What does Respect mean to you? Can you find the words in this word search? Can you think of any other words you could add to this word search? How do you show gender equality and respect with your friends, family and in your classroom?



Suggested Activities and links to Lesson Plans

  • Use the blank worksheet provided in the 16Days4Kids Designs and ask the child(ren) to draw a picture of a nurse, a fire-fighter, a pilot and a hairdresser. Allow time for them to complete their drawings. After they have finished their pictures, ask them to share their work. Keep a tally the number of nurses drawn that were female, fire-fighters that were male, hairdressers that were female and pilots that were male. Ask the child(ren) what they notice. Once completed, ask ‘Can a woman be a pilot/fire-fighter? Can a man be a nurse/hairdresser?’ Discuss their responses. Discuss other professions and how men and women can do anything! (educate2empower lesson plan)
  • Ideals about what boys and girls can do (gender stereotypes) can influence children’s beliefs who they can be and how they are allowed to act. For example, men and boys are expected not to express their feelings of vulnerability and sadness because ‘boys are tough’ and ‘boys don’t cry’. Dominant conceptions of masculinity and femininity can limit the possibilities that children see for themselves and others, influencing their behaviour and relationships. This activity challenges gender norms by demonstrating that both girls and boys can be strong and gentle, and by teaching that both boys and girls need to be able to exercise self-control. This helps to challenge the stereotype that men cannot control their anger and are entitled to use aggression. It sets the same standards of self-control for boys and girls.

Explain that we all need to know how and when to be strong, and how and when to be gentle.

(Respectful Relationships – Foundation)




Activity Sheets

Design 1 

Design 2

Design 3


Word search


Virtual Backgrounds

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