Launching the First Community of Practice on “Gender and Education”

17 October 2022
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Credit: KIX LAC

The KIX LAC Community of Practice “Gender Equality Perspective in Public Education in Central America and the Caribbean” was launched, made up of representatives of the education sector from Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Santa Lucia, Guyana, Grenada, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. 

This meeting, the first of 5 sessions, had as primary objective to bring together community participants in order to establish the work methodology, the timelines and, mainly, to determine the products to develop that are useful tools for educational systems.

In this first meeting, the different concepts of “What is gender?; What are discrimination practices and gender violence? and What is gender equality?” were discussed and the members shared specific situations that are present in each of the countries:

“We come from a patriarchal society where there are forms of behaviour that are deeply rooted and difficult to eradicate. In our schools, we still see corporal punishment, abuse of girls, intimidation and teasing due to sexual orientation, among others, that produce low self-esteem, depression, poor grades and even dropout in students. We are aware that we lack sufficient information about the consequences for children who are faced with these situations of abuse by their peers or teachers.” – El Salvador –

“There are situations in classrooms where there are rules just for boys, or just for girls, or for boys and girls. In school materials, we see that there are specific illustrations and content for each gender. We have a very big challenge to improve learning conditions in schools. – Grenada –

“In general, when talking about gender studies and gender perspectives in education, it is important to also consider an approach that speaks of masculinities, that is, how certain roles are socially constructed with respect to what is masculine or not, because it is enough just to empower girls, but also to work on these issue with boys”. – Canada –

“In Nicaragua, policies on gender equality have been established in the country. The Ministry of Education created the subject “Rights and Dignity for Women” for primary and secondary schools with the aim of establishing the role of women in the educational, economic and social spheres with equal opportunities. But we must not forget that this issue must be addressed by families, by the state and by all the actors related to the educational ecosystem”. – Nicaragua –

The coordinators of this first session thanked the representatives of the KIX LAC member countries for their participation, highlighting the richness of having diverse territorial perspectives that allow us to think about convergent and divergent points regarding this problem, calling to continue the discussion around gender equality.