5 Things app developers for kids can do to empower girls

Happy International Women’s Day to all of you!

Join us in a morning orange juice toast to a future where women and girls will have the same opportunities that men and boys have; to the men and women that are contributing every day to build those times; to the parents that are helping their kids get over stereotypes that hurt and limit children’s imagination; to the teachers that spend all their energies to build a better society where everyone is free to express themselves and encouraged to look for fulfillment and love.

We are app developers for children, and we try to contribute every day to this change. This is why we thought it could be a good idea to share with you 5 rules to keep empowering girls, one app at a time.

1) Don’t generalize.

It’s important not to give kids the ideas that boys are supposed to like certain things, and girls are supposed to like another kind of things. Of course, boys and girls are different, but running after pink and blue won’t make your product innovative (no matter how cool is the technology behind it).

2) Create brave female characters that can be a role model for girls

Enough of princesses that just wait for the prince to go save them!

3) Don’t follow the mass, interpret the change.

What would you think of a coder that just copied another developer’s source code without providing any added value, any improvement, any innovation? Out there, it’s full of apps that reinforce stereotypes not because they want to, but because they kind of “go with the flow”. Many people will try to convince you that innovation is all about technology, but that isn’t true. ┬áThe stories you create, the colors you use, the characters you give birth to can have a huge impact on our future. Embrace the risk, experiment an innovative approach and let your app be the change you want to see in the world.

4) Don’t be ideologic.

Children don’t understand ideologies. They don’t need to know why you’re doing something.

5) Study, study, study.

Why is it important not to project gender based expectations on kids? How have educators before you helped kids to fully express their potential? Amazing pedagogs like Loris Malaguzzi, Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner, Jean Piaget can inspire you to find your own way to make this world a better and fairer place, one app at a time.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to this: every time you start working on a new app, ask yourself if it’s going to help girls and boys gain freedom, confidence, and knowledge. Will your app help them discover something new about the world and about themselves? Will it widen their horizons? Will they have fun? Then look for something that make the answer “yes” to all three questions.

Happy Women’s Day!


Thanks for sharing. This is so true; the media our children consume will shape their expectations, especially of gender roles. I've been loving The Digits:Fraction Blast app because not only is it about a strong lead female who is pretty awesome, but she's whip-smart at math and by playing the app kids learn those math skills. They also play rock music, which helps with the awesomeness. Thanks again! Happy (belated) Women's Day!


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