New Emojis Could Empower Girls

Written by. Chalise Macklin

When it comes to emojis, women can be brides or princesses, even paint their fingernails, but not represent other aspects of their lives. More options could be on their way. A petition for new emojis that will better reflect the full spectrum of professional and personal interests of women and girls has been gaining traction since late February.

Many people, including First Lady Michelle Obama, want to see more emoji options that will allow girls to better express themselves. The limited emoji options for girls may imply that girls are limited in what they can do.

A survey by Always, the makers of feminine care products, indicates that fifty-four percent of girls 16 to 24 years old believe that female emojis are stereotypical, and half said they represent a limited range of female interests; however the emojis are currently only in a proposal stage.

Google has designed and submitted, 13 new emojis to combat sexism and display the diversity of women’s careers, to Unicode Consortium – the company which creates emojis and text characters used by Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and IBM. The images range from women doing jobs in healthcare, science, education, farming, and construction – these emojis will also show men in the same roles. Google hopes the emojis will be in use by the end of the year.

Since 2011, Unicode has faced criticism over their lack of diversity. Last year the non-profit organization incorporated a broader spectrum of skin tones and added same-sex families.

Including new emojis, will likely help girls subconsciously view themselves in less stereotypical positions and potentially instill within them equality more confidently.

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