A pioneering bill has been introduced in California that, if passed, would make children’s sections in department stores gender neutral.
“Let children be children,” tweeted Evan Low, a member of the state assembly, who chairs the California LGBT legislative caucus. He co-sponsors Assembly Bill 2826 with colleague Cristina Garcia, who chairs the California Legislative Assembly Women’s Caucus.
“Rather than having a separate section for boys or girls, let’s just have a section for kids,” Low KPIX-TV in the San Francisco Bay Area. “And that’s what the conversation is about.” (Watch the video above.)
If the bill is passed, clothing, toys and childcare items would be in a gender-neutral section of department stores as of January 1, 2024.
The bill would require retailers with 500 or more employees “to maintain undivided areas of its sales floor where the majority of items on offer are displayed, regardless of whether an item is traditionally marketed for girls or for boys.” , according to the Legislative Counsel’s Summary of Bill.
The measure would also ban signs indicating whether a particular product is intended for boys or girls.
Online retailers with a physical presence in California would also be required to label their toy and childcare sections in a unisex or neutral manner.
Stores that violate the policy could face fines of up to $ 1,000.
Low said he was in part inspired by Target’s decision to eliminate gender-specific children’s sections.
He would like to see the bill as a “breakthrough” move, but in reality the industry is already doing it, and “we’re just trying to catch up,” he told the Sacramento Bee.
Another inspiration came from the 9-year-old daughter of a member of her team who couldn’t understand why she had to go to the “boys” section to find science-related toys.
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