The KIX LAC Community of Practice “Gender Equality Perspective in Public Education in Central America and the Caribbean” was launched. It is made up of representatives from the education sector of Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Saint Lucia, Guyana, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
This meeting, the first of 5 sessions, was aimed at bringing together the community participants to establish the work methodology, timing and, above all, to determine the products to be developed as useful tools to be provided to the educational systems.
Maciel Morales Aceitón and Fernanda del Pozo, KIX LAC researchers and coordinators of the space, thanked the participants for their participation and assured that the work of this community of practice will be to bring together different actors around the same interest, where they can share experiences, knowledge and learn from each other.
Yeny Rivas, Gender Manager of the Ministry of Education of El Salvador, and representative at the KIX LAC hub, led the conversation on “What do we understand by gender violence in education systems? and What do we understand by gender equality? “She highlighted the social advances that have been achieved in recent years, but insisted on the naturalization of some practices, especially in day-to-day school life: “We continue to think, for example, that girls/women are not good at mathematics and therefore we do not promote interest and enjoyment in this subject, or we assume that cleaning tasks in the classroom should be done by girls”.
In this first meeting, the different conceptions of “What is gender?”, “What are the practices of gender discrimination and violence?” and “What is gender equality?” were discussed, where the members shared specific situations present in each of the countries:
Marlene Campos – El Salvador
“We come from a patriarchal society where there are forms of behavior that are deeply rooted and difficult to eradicate. We still have to see in our schools corporal punishment, abuse of girls, bullying and teasing for sexual orientation, among others, which produce in students low self-esteem, depression, poor grades and even dropping out of school. We are aware that we lack sufficient information about the consequences for children who are confronted with these situations of abuse by their classmates or teachers.
Michel Brathwaite – Grenada
“There are situations within classrooms where there are rules only for boys, or only for girls or for boys and girls, in school materials, we see that there are gender-specific illustrations and content. We have a very big challenge in improving learning conditions in schools.
Florencio Ceballos – IDRC Canada
“In general, when talking about gender studies and gender perspectives in education it is important to also consider an approach that talks about masculinities, that is, how certain roles are socially constructed with respect to what is masculine or not, since it is not enough just to empower girls, but also to work on this issue with boys.”
Violeta Gago – Nicaragua
“In Nicaragua, policies on gender equity have been established in the country. The Ministry of Education created the subject “Women’s Rights and Dignity” for primary and secondary school with the objective of establishing the role of women in the educational, economic and social spheres with equal opportunities. But we must not forget that this subject must be addressed by families, the state and all the actors related to the educational ecosystem”.
The next meeting will be held in early October (date to be confirmed).
To participate in the community of practice, write to [email protected]