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Illustration by Edpuzzle Staff

Famous writer and feminist Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”

Teaching your students about equal rights and feminism is important not only to show your students how far women have come, but also to make them aware of the impact of equal rights on their future.

Whether you’re celebrating Women’s History Month or just want to teach your class a lesson about social justice and equality, Edpuzzle’s free video lesson plan on equal rights and feminism is a fantastic resource to engage your students and teach them about how they can incorporate activism into their everyday lives.

The Equal Rights Certification Course

The course is divided into four different modules comprised of video lessons embedded with comprehension questions on the topics of equal rights and feminist history. You can go through them together in class and stop for points of discussion, or if you use the flipped classroom model, have your students watch at home and then use your class time for debate and discussion.

The whole course lasts less than an hour, so you can inspire and educate your students easily with its thought-provoking videos. Let’s take a look at the content!

Module #1: What is feminism?

In the first section of the course, students will learn about what feminism is, and more importantly, what it’s not.

In the words of the famous activist Malala Yousafzai, “Feminism is just another word for equality”:

This module clears up the common myth that to be a feminist, you need to hate men. Of course, feminism has nothing to do with hating men and has everything to do with promoting equal rights for women, so they can enjoy an equal playing field with men.

You’ll also find videos on what feminism in government looks like on an institutionalized level, with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau explaining why he’s a feminist. In fact, Justin Trudeau was the first Canadian prime minister to appoint a gender-balanced cabinet.

There’s also a video that addresses how feminism helps men. This is the perfect intro to start a wider conversation on the pressure men have to conform to gender norms of traditional masculinity, like being aggressive or not showing emotion.

Finally, students will get to hear famous feminist Gloria Steinem talk about the women’s movement and social justice in the last video. This module is excellent for giving context for students who may have never thought about feminism before.

Module #2: Human rights

The next section dives into history, with the first video focusing on the first two waves of feminism: the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the Women’s Rights Movement.

You’ll be able to use these videos to discuss important historical events with your students like JFK signing the Equal Pay Act in 1963 (also the year Betty Friedan published “The Feminine Mystique”), Congress passing the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972 (and the state of the amendment today) and the historic Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court case in 1973 that established a woman’s right to choose.

Some of the other videos include discussion of the gender wage gap, the “motherhood penalty” and reproductive rights, as well as their economic impact.

Module #3: Get inspired

The “Get Inspired” module is made up of motivating videos about women who have shaped history or who are highly successful and defying gender norms today.

Students will watch videos on Dr. Christine Darden, a computer at NASA who was later promoted to engineer around the time period shown in the film “Hidden Figures,” and on Clara Shortridge Foltz, an attorney who was responsible for creating the Public Defenders’ Office in the United States. Because of her, defendants in court cases must be asked, “Do you have an attorney? If not, one will be appointed to you by the court.”

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the topic of another video, while an interview with Denisse Aranda, a NASA engineer and feminist, will show students how women are capable of achieving anything they put their minds to.

A great tie-in with this module is to assign a project on Edpuzzle. Have your students choose a famous female from history and make their own video with quiz questions for their fellow students to answer. It’s a great way to learn about more important women in history!

Module #4: What can you do?

Finally, the last section talks about how your students can take action to help fight for equal rights. The first video has some excellent tips on how to be a feminist in your day-to-day:

There’s also a TED Talk on involving men in feminism, and a great video about fourth-wave feminism (queer, sex-positive, trans-inclusive, body-positive and digitally-driven) and the disconnect between online activism and offline activism.

See what ideas your students can come up with for being activists!

How to use the Equal Rights certification course

With the advent of the #MeToo movement, your students are experiencing a critical moment in history, especially where gender equality is concerned.

As they work through the Equal Rights certification course, you can supplement it with the myriad current events stories on feminism and women’s rights to enrich your lessons.

With Edpuzzle, you can easily edit the video modules from your teacher account, adding videos or your own questions wherever you see fit. Use the course to inspire your students, spark their creativity and make them more aware of social justice – knowledge is power!

Discover the free Equal Rights course