In relation to gender equality and women, a harmful stereotype is a gender stereotype that limits women’s gaining of personal abilities, pursuing their professional careers and making choices about their lives and life plans. Harmful stereotypes can be both hostile and negative (e.g. women are irrational) or seemingly benign (e.g. women are nurturing).
Cusack, S. 2013. Gender Stereotyping as a Human Rights Violation: Research Report. Prepared for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Available at: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Women/WRGS/StudyGenderStereotyping...