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Date: Sat, 11 Jul 98 09:47:49 CDT
From: rich@pencil.math.missouri.edu (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: AMERICAS: Meeting Creates Educational Watch for Women
Article: 38704
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.6042.19980712121524@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

/** headlines: 125.0 **/
** Topic: AMERICAS: Meeting Creates Educational Watch for Women **
** Written 6:48 PM Jul 8, 1998 by mmason in cdp:headlines **
/* Written 3:11 PM Jul 3, 1998 by repem@chasque.apc.org in women.news */
/* ---------- VOICES RISING ---------- */

Red de Educacion Popular Entre Mujeres de America Latina y el Caribe

International Seminar: Gender, Education and Citizenship. Influence on Public Policies

By Elizabeth Salguero, RED-ADA, Voices Rising, Vol. 1 no. 9, May 1998

International Seminar: Gender, Education and Citizenship. Influence on Public Policies.
Organised by REPEM/GEO.
Santa Cruz, Bolivia, June 1998

Forty women coming from different parts of the world gathered in order to discuss about how to improve their actions aimed at influencing public policies and how to contribute to the creation of an Educational Watch.

The participants came from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Colombia. Chile, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Canada and USA shared their experiences with regards to the follow up of the agreements that Governments committed to fulfil in Beijing and in Hamburg with regards to Education and Gender. Five specially selected women will put into practice the experience achieved in this Seminar with regards to management, public policies and gender justice in their own countries.

Among other things participants discussed the situation of Adult Education in the region, gender and education at the International Conferences, challenges to the XXI Century, gender and citizenship relationship, ways to have a major impact on public policies and the role of communication in follow up actions and for monitoring purposes.


According to the data that REPEM collected, women's illiteracy has diminished in the last 15 years. In 1980 there were 44.1 million of illiterate women, in 1995 there were 42.9 Million. With regards to University or College sex integration we could say that there are more men than women and women tend to choose courses on social sciences related to social work. This can be regarded as a continuum of the role they play in their own families.

If we analyse gender justice in the educational system, the last illiteracy rates and the quantity of published books we could say that there is no clear and automatic relationship between the educational development and the gender oriented practices in working places.

Given this we could affirm that there is no relationship between women's curriculum and women's better working conditions or a better salary. A woman needs to study for 15 years in order to get the same salary of a man that has studied for 11 years.

We need to create a new definition of equal-opportunity education based in more democratic relationships and based in the power shared by women and men. The more equal-opportunity situation the more women are empowered - said Rosa Maria Gonzales. Ms Gonzales also highlighted the importance of teachers`training courses that can contribute tot he eradication of discriminatory educational perspectives and practices. Equal opportunities mean to incorporate and support women's participation in educational spaces through distributive policies. According to Fulvia Rosemberg , modifying discriminatory practices imply changes in teacher's training courses and creation of new pedagogic materials aimed at promoting equal -opportunity learning for men and women. Many girls show at basic educational level great skills in technical and scientific areas but subsequently they lose confidence and start adapting themselves to social expectations that highlight their reproductive role in society. Rosemberg pointed out the fact that educational diversity involves adjusting the ways used to build and convey knowledge. The flaws of educational institutes in Latin America are caused by poor educational services addressed to the excluded sectors, not up-dated teacher's training courses and lack of investigation- she added.

Among the results of this event we should highlight firstly, the creation of indicators with regards to gender and women's adult education that will serve as a contribution to the follow up of international conferences, secondly the empower of regional networking and last but not least the work that will be done until the end of the year, by 5 selected women in their own countries, where they will disseminate the results of this seminar and also will work with the indicators on gender and women's adult education at national level.

At the end of the event women paid a tribute to Bella Abzug who passed away a few months ago and who will always represent citizenship participation in World Conferences. Her voice was her trademark, she spoke from the heart: It's not about women being mainstreamed into the polluted stream. It's about cleaning the stream, changing the stagnant pools into fresh, flowing waters. Our struggle is against violence, intolerance, inequality, injustice. Our struggle is about creating sustainable lives and attainable dreams....about creating violence-free amilies....violence-free streets, violence-free borders. Our call is to stop nuclear pollution.... to build real democracies not hypocracies...to nurture and strengthen all families...to build communities. Our call is to scale the Great Wall around women everywhere.