A Belfast mum who is dedicated to promoting gender equality has just landed a major publishing deal to write a book on the subject.
Virginia Mendez Meson has been commissioned by John Murray Press in London to write Childhood Unlimited: Parenting Beyond The Gender Bias.
This groundbreaking book will give parents a series of actionable, practical and easy to implement strategies to fight gender stereotypes and “help children become a positive agent for change”.
Virginia (34), who is originally from Spain, lives in Belfast with her husband Chris McEldowney and their two children Eric (5) and Nora (3).
The founder of The Feminist Shop, an online platform promoting gender debate, she is delighted to be penning a book about something she feels so passionate about.
She said: “I couldn’t be more excited about the book deal.
“I am a huge believer in the power of conversations to change the way we do things and this book is an amazing opportunity to bring not only some real ‘from parent to parent’ talk, but also a lot of research and the voices of experts in the topics.
“I am convinced that the readers of my book will feel empowered and find plenty of resources to parent beyond the gender bias.
“For me, having such a reputable publishing house backing this book is a dream come true.
“It reinforces my belief that there is a gap in the market for an approachable book to help navigate such an important aspect of the childhood, and to unleash the whole potential of every kid. I am really excited about the impact it will have”
Virginia is already the author of children’s book Mika And Lolo, which tackles gender stereotypes in childhood.
As she announces her new London publishing deal today, she is also asking the public to get behind crowdfunding for a second children’s book, Mika And Lolo Learn Consent.
Introducing diversity through two new characters, Lea and Noah, together they learn what consent is all about and what it means to understand and respect boundaries.
Both books are in English and Spanish.
Virginia added: “I wrote Mika And Lolo for our family. It was my love letter to my kids and my way of showing them that from an early age I would always encourage them to look beyond traditional stereotypical ideas of what being a girl or a boy is about.
“I’m now making it my life’s work to write articles and books, speak in public and run workshops that challenge kids and adults to unlearn constricting stereotypes.
“I’m determined to play my part in creating childhoods where there are no limitations.
“The Mika And Lolo books are designed to spark family conversations, enabling them in a fun way to speak about these issues that can be slightly difficult to discuss.”