lab-elle in english

How lab-elle started

Research at the University of Geneva revealed that even today, children’s books still convey many gender stereotypes, in particular regarding female role models.

The presence of these gender stereotypes has significant implications on children’s development, in particular that of girls, and creates, from a tender age, a certain vision of society and of men and women’s roles in society.

lab-elle’s goals

The association focuses on several objectives:

  • Give a special label to children’s books that present feminine characteristics in a positive way, who open horizons for both boys and girls, who offer gender diversity and thus who allow children to develop their personality and their potentials freely, without being restricted by gender stereotypes.
  • Open the public’s eyes to the fact that children’s books often propose stories that are even more stereotyped than reality itself; and that this gap has consequences for children’s development and for the choices they will make for their future.
  • Inform as wide an audience as possible that it is important to promote gender equality as of childhood, rather than spend energy later repairing inequalities between men and women (glass ceiling, income inequality, professional orientation, etc)
  • Promote reading at school, where reading is mainly taught with children’s books.

The association tries to reach its’ objectives through a dual strategy of communication, and the development of various concrete projects: label, establishment of a reading committee, stickers, bookmarks, exhibitions, conferences, creation of an award, circulation of labeled books, etc.

lab-elle awards

In order to promote the labeled books, and reading in general, we launched in 2007, during three years, a totally innovative literary award in the French-speaking part of Switzerland: the same 10 short-listed books were given to a panel of adults and to a panel of children. Children’s books are created by adults for children, so we found it particularly interesting and innovative to submit the same selection of books to both audiences.

The two annual awards targeted a large audience, all over French-speaking Switzerland.

The lab-elle adult award, which was given each Autumn in a different State, was managed by the Equal opportunities department of each State in turn.

The lab-elle children award was given each Spring in the International Book Fair, the Salon du livre et de la presse, in Geneva.

lab-elle awards winners

2010 lab-elle children award winners

2009 lab-elle adult award winners

2009 lab-elle children award winners

2008 lab-elle adult award winners

2008 lab-elle children award winners

2007 lab-elle adult award winners

lab-elle partners

lab-elle has several institutional and financial partners?:

  • University of Geneva
  • ISJM (Swiss Institute for Youth and Media)
  • (the head association of Equal opportunities departments of all the French-speaking Swiss States)
  • HEAD (Geneva University of Art and Design)
  • Emilie Gourd Foundation
  • Loterie Romande (French-speaking States Lottery)
  • CIIP Conférence Intercantonale de l’Instruction Publique de la Suisse Romande et du Tessin (the association of the departments of education in the French and Italian speaking Swiss States)

lab-elle has two honorary members who have supported the project since its creation:
Mrs Micheline Calmy-Rey, Federal Councilor and former Swiss President
Mr Charles Kleiber, ex Secretary of State for Education and Research

mascotte de lab-elle
mascotte de l'association lab-elle logo de l'association lab-elle