The charter for a "balanced representation (of genders) in toys" was signed by the government.
French toymakers signed a pact on Tuesday, three months before Christmas, to rid games and toys of gender stereotypes the government blames for keeping women out of maths and science careers.
The charter for a "balanced representation (of genders) in toys" was signed by the government, the FJP toy industry federation and the association of toy manufacturers.
Explaining the initiative, junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said many toys project an "insidious" message that discourages girls from pursuing careers as engineers or computer coders -- fields perceived as more appropriate for their male counterparts.
"There are toys for girls that are generally very pink and generally very focused on domestic life, whereas toys for boys are generally themed around construction, space travel, and science and technology," she told broadcaster RTL.
This message that jobs are gender-specific is hammered home from a young age, with the result that "very few women" enter science and technology, Pannier-Runacher lamented.
"If you go to a shop to buy a toy for your young niece or nephew, the first question is: 'Is it for a girl or a boy?' and not: 'Do they like to play outside? Do they like to play construction games? Do they like to play at taking care of a baby?'," she said.
Girls can be knights
"A little girl may not wish to be a princess. She might want to be a knight... and go to combat rather than being confined to a castle hosting her friends for tea," the junior minister added.
Pannier-Runacher tweeted a picture of the new charter along with "you can be anything" Barbie dolls dressed as an astronaut and a robotics engineer.
Last year, Barbie-maker Mattel announced a campaign to teach young girls not to buy into sexist stereotypes.
"If we do not give science-themed toys to young girls, they will not be able to see themselves in these jobs," she said.
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