GENDER PERSPECTIVES OF SKILLS DEVELOPMENT IN ADULT LEARNING. TAKING GENDER CONCERNS AND INEQUALITIES INTO ACCOUNT

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1 GENDER PERSPECTIVES OF SKILLS DEVELOPMENT IN ADULT LEARNING. TAKING GENDER CONCERNS AND INEQUALITIES INTO ACCOUNT Maria Todorova Sofia University, Seconded Expert at the European Institute for Gender Equality

2 What is it about/2 Gender Aspects of Adult Learning (AL) AL: provision/contribution to achieving an adequate and efficient supply of relevantly-skilled people in the labour market a) What is known about the success and failures of AL in reaching women (W)? Do AL organisations (i) respond to the educational needs of women and girls, and (ii) how to ensure that the benefits of education for all can filter through to all spheres of life b) Which aspects of skill programmes determine whether they successfully generate employment and higher income opportunities for W? c) What are the tendencies and challenges for AL to open up a wider range of opportunities for W

3 What is it about/1 Equal opportunities and benefits Gender refers to the social differences between man and women that are learned, changeable over time and have variations within and between cultures Gender equality (GE) one of the European Union's founding values. (1957 -the principle of equal pay for equal work became part of the Treaty of Rome) individuals of both sexes - free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without the limitations imposed by strict gender roles; The different behaviours and needs of men and women are considered, valued and favoured equally Equal opportunities: absence of barriers to economic, political and social participation on the ground of sex Gender mainstreaming (GM): gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and all stages

4 What is it about/3 The supply side

5 Question: Why should it be of a concern from the skills perspective? Answer: It is about underutilisation of potential/capacity/skills Social/Economic arguments: using the potential of the HC Key for employment, growth, sustainability (low empl. rates and occup. segregation affect economic growth) Reducing poverty and increasing social inclusion Aspects of the mobility/migration policy Back to traditional roles in transition societies? Employers perspective to tap into a larger and more diversified workforce Human rights perspective equal chances and opportunities Personal perspective choices without imposing a role, developing abilities, skills/competences, quality of life

6 AL addressing the gender gaps Two questions: a) How many? (Participation) b) What kind of (qualifications and skills) will be needed and what we have now? Addressing the questions: Collect data Sex-disaggregated data to be improved and available for AL actors for further considering in provision, curricula Analyse and assess Take action Where are the differences between women and men in AL with regard to rights, resources, participation, needs, benefits etc. AL becomes more gender-sensitive / genderresponsive and gender transformative: a) equal treatment legislation b) gender mainstreaming c) specific measures for the advancement of any of the underrepresented sex

7 Data, analyses, assessment and action: areas a )Policy development, commitment and practice b) Improved and increased opportunities for dialogue, partnerships and coordinated action to challenge existing practices and achieve change c) More research to improve the efficiency and impact of programmes and lobby for policy actions: research also in the black box of work organisation d ) Gender budgeting in education e) Actions: capacity development of national authorities in charge enforcement of anti-discrimination laws affirmative action measures in favour of underperforming sex teacher/trainers training gender-sensitive teaching methodologies curriculum reform (contents, stereotypes), targeted pedagogical materials and programmes targeted provision recruitment policy improved learning outcomes for girls and women procedures for the recognition of foreign certification and professional qualifications should be improved

8 Findings and actions examples/1 Access/Participation Findings from research and analyses and rationale behind promoting greater attainment a/ to promote labour market participation (mediated by vertical segregation; as women progress in their life course, the gap widens b/e&t system ensuring equal access tend to ensure higher employment c/ Silence on limited access to education by women and girls (i.e.- from ethnic and minority /migrants groups) often leads to further forms of exclusion (language based for example) Action: Ensure equal access a/ Legislation b/ Recognition of skills, focus on mobility, permeability and transitions b/ LM linked, HE oriented c/ Positive actions targeting specific groups Targeted training programmes; access to training for single mothers, working women, migrants (by providing care services, flexible/individualised types of provision (modules), or flexible work time) Targeted options for (young) men - previous early school dropouts and bad ed. performance (motivation etc., flexible pathways)

9 Findings and actions examples/2 Segregation/ Impact of stereotypes on educational and occupational choices Findings: Occupational choices and employment chances are often affected by stereotypes ( expectances of the roles men and women should play and skills to be developed) Early forms from school to work How: Media; Job advertising; Curricula Teachers and trainers M/W rate and professional development; Guidance and counselling tends to look only at women s short term practical needs, often reinforcing their traditional roles (training in basic numeracy, cooking and domestic chores) Actions to promote a diversified and realistic picture of the skills and potential of W and M in society and eliminate gender stereotypes (according to national context; traditional roles) Curricula, non-traditional educational paths, training environment Guidance and counselling to promote non-discriminatory gender roles and career choices in a strategical perspective Recruitment policy; teachers professional development Positive actions to employ more men as teachers Integrating gender perspective in teachers /trainers professional development Work with media: Inform and raise awareness across large public Utilize popular and new media to challenge and change traditional female stereotypes

10 Findings and actions examples/3 New sectors Findings: Digital literacy gaps/ Innovative sectors The Digital Agenda for Europe identifies a gap* in digital literacy and skills and a need to increase the supply of ICT practitioners through making the sector more attractive, particularly to young women. *more in self-assessment and use of online services Ensure that innovative sectors don t develop gender blind Action Positive actions targeting W especially in using online services Positive actions for migrant / minority groups /elderly Encourage (train, re-skill) women to enter non-traditional professions, for example in green and innovative sectors E&T programmes to build women s skills and capacities in areas such as business set-up/ management, and prepare them for changing economic situations; transversal skills for all

11 Findings and actions examples/4 The work place and skills development Findings: Women more often leave and re-enter work, and the clear negative impact of transitions from fulltime to part time work mainly affects them; Flexicurity policies often provide flexibility and security for men but only flexibility for women Actions: GM in active labour market policy: flexicurity and fair sharing of skills investment GM in good governance of skills; including validation of skills Gender sensitive work organisation and work-life balance and care facilities in order to ensure participation in WBL Gender sensitive HR policy: recruitment, career progression, skills utilisation, participation in training

12 Findings and actions examples/5 Curriculum, provision Findings: Curricula and training programmes often reinforce stereotypes Re-entering E&T - Second Chance for the ones most likely to be excluded for reasons of poverty: often not institutionalised; project-based; not linked to the formal system; not targeting the needs of adults Actions: Curricula and Training programmes updates better preparing women and girls for employment opportunities Diversifying available modalities of education for women and girls; innovative ways, taking into account potential reducing funds Different options, formal, nonformal etc; policies and programmes need to be put in place to ensure that quality non-formal education can provide a bridge to the formal system through equivalency programmes Languages and ethnicities - to be considered in the development of education curricula and pedagogy

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