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Topics: Gender equality and
women empowerment.

This module aims to provide each participant with an initial moment of reflection on the topics of identity, gender equality, and the concept of empowerment. Specifically, it promotes self-reflection through a series of questions that encourage individuals to examine their own perspectives. These questions serve as a tool for participants to clarify their viewpoints on the subject, which will then be collectively investigated. To familiarize participants with the basic terminology that will be used throughout our sessions, a brief vocabulary is available in annex 2.

Gender is a lens through which we organize our information. Every society and culture has gender norms, some of which are positive, while others can be limiting. Art is our ally in interpreting these norms and the reality in which they exist. Through art, we can experience ourselves and our relationship with the world and others in ways that diverge from the usual modes of perception, accessing the characteristic dimensions of art, such as beauty, symbolism, and imaginative creativity, as well as the expressive aspects of the body, space, and time.

Exploring one’s ideas

«What does gender equality/women empowerment mean to you? »

Write down in bullet points or sentences your thoughts using preferred brainstorming techniques (ie. Sticky notes, whiteboard). Or if set up on a Mentimeter, please provide responses there: 1) Scan QR code or enter the link into your phone or tablet 2) Enter your three responses.

Explore the impact of unconscious bias

Using the below self-assessment tool, answer the question individually.

Word Cloud: let’s return to the mentimeter and see our responses.

« Gender equality/Women empowerment means.. »

Ahead of the next activity: a closer look to Gender equality policies. Heightened awareness is a precursor to changes in attitudes and behavior and can contribute to the creation of a supportive environment for policy change and implementation. However, changing attitudes, to ultimately change behavior, requires further educational measures and deeper, long-term engagement.
In this section some existing gender equality policies on GE in the respective countries are reviewed, in an attempt to highlight the significance that countries place to GE:

  • The latest EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s survey on LGBTI equality (May 2020) indicates trans and non-binary people are acutely vulnerable to gender-based violence due to intersecting discrimination on the basis of both gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Art. 21) and the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention). To be specific, the provisions within the Istanbul Convention explain a number of obligations to challenge stereotypes and prejudices, to involve men and boys and empower women (Art. 12), to increase the level of awareness among the general public of the different forms of violence women, transgender individuals, and non-binary individuals, are subjected to and why it is gender-based violence (Art. 13), to promote gender equality and non-stereotyped gender roles in education (Art. 14), and to train professionals (Art. 15).
  • Annex 3 – Best practices and tools: If you are interested in exploring this topic further, the following organizations have created extensive school resources, training and research into gender inequality and gender-based violence in education.

Gender equality and women empowerment nationally

«What are some of the cultural and/or social obstacles to implementing gender equality/empowerment actions in your local community?»

Write down in bullet points or sentences your thoughts using preferred brainstorming techniques (ie. Sticky notes, whiteboard). Consider this from your position as an individual, as a youth worker a member of your community, a or member of your family. If the group feels like sharing they can but this can just be a personal reflection (Remember to use the inquiry tools and techniques highlighted in Module 1 when discussing this. What are your biases preventing you from seeing this when considering this question?).

Ahead of the next activity: please find at least 1 example from your oganization that you think constitutes good practice in terms of approaching, exploring or educating young women on gender equality and women empowerment. It might be a specific lesson plan, or teacher training, or an event with the wider community. You will be asked to name and explain it, and why you think it is good practice, in a group brainstorming activity at the start of Module 3.

Mapping gender equality / women empowerment practices in your context

Organization Administration

  • What are the organizations policies and/or codes of conduct when it comes to sexual, verbal, physical harassment or abuse?
    • Consider whether it a zero-tolerance approach and who develops policies.
  • What training have staff had on gender equality, gender bias, or gender stereotypes?

Community Engagement

  • In what ways have youth workers been involved in activities focused on gender equality education?
    • Consider kinds of events, awareness days, and supporting women in active actions about the theme.

Working in groups of 3-4 workers, appoint a scribe to write down the practical actions taken regarding gender equality. Make sure all group members have an opportunity to contribute to the mapping exercise. Have a representative of your group share the highlights from your mapping exercise.

Notes for the facilitator

  • This module focuses on the lived experience of the participants. This approach is informed by the TIGRI methodology, in which learning is framed as a dynamic, iterative process. The agency, active participation, and cooperation of all participants is encouraged and essential.
  • Facilitators are encouraged to try these activities themselves before implementing them in the workshops.
  • Outline the goals, activities, techniques, and expected outcomes of the workshop at the start. Consider also incorporating some ice-breaker activities to help get the group acquainted at the start.
  • Remind participants to maintain confidentiality when discussing and sharing any examples from their professional or personal contexts. Please do not name women adults if referring to real scenarios but instead use third-person anonymous language or an alternate name.
  • Many youth workers are nervous about community engagement – this is normal and understandable with a sensitive topic. However, professional may be surprised by the work already being done to engage the wider community in diversity and inclusion initiatives, and therefore many parents/carers are receptive to initiatives focused on gender equality.