Promoting Gender Equality in TVET: UNEVOC Network Initiatives

UNESCO-UNEVOC will join the world on 8 March to celebrate International Women’s Day. Every year the day puts the spotlight on issues related to gender equality and empowerment. This year UNESCO-UNEVOC reaffirms its advocacy to empower women through TVET, highlighting the role and importance of change-agents pushing for greater inclusion of women in TVET. As part of our activities on this year's International Women's Day, we present examples of some initiatives taken by members of the UNEVOC Network in promoting gender equality in TVET.

CICan facilitating gender equality in TVET in Mozambique

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) – a member of the UNEVOC Network, is the national, voluntary membership organization representing colleges and institutes in Canada and internationally. With an established record of impact-oriented partnerships in more than a 100 countries, CICan also aims for its collaborations to build the capacity of partner institutions in developing countries. As part of its international partnerships, CICan is implementing the “Skills Training for Employment in Mozambique” (STEM) programme, funded by the Government of Canada’s Department of Global Affairs.

CICan’s STEM programme aims to facilitate linkages between private sector and TVET institutions to ensure that Mozambicans have the right skills to find productive employment upon graduation. As one of its main objectives, the programme focuses on improving the access of young women in TVET.

(© Supertecnica Mozambique)

Together with the schools where it operates, the programme is committed to encouraging girls to go beyond traditional gender roles and secure their future by acquiring any technical and professional skills they seek. The programme also focuses on sensitizing the students and the teachers at the schools about various forms of gender discrimination, with the aim of improving the retention rates of girls at school.

After one year of implementation of Supertécnica, girls’ enrollment has increased at the STEM partner institutions and female teachers and students have gained more self-confidence; for example they have been emboldened to speak out about sexual harassment and assault and this has contributed to improving the retention rates, too. The program has also highlighted the importance of female role models for young women. To learn more about the programme, please click here.

CICan Message for the International Women’s Day

While investment in education has improved in many countries, particularly in establishing schools and associated infrastructure to improve access to education, the lack of a holistic and systemic change within educational sectors around the world have inhibited substantive impact of such investments. The systemic change needs to be rooted in a long-term vision so specific policies and interventions can be truly effective and sustainable, in tackling issues around gender equality and equity within education. This also includes the need to pay a greater attention to creating safe spaces for women to access educational opportunities.

Communication, leadership and grass-roots activism will be key determinants of success for the female change agents in TVET. The change agents need to call for a robust integration of gender equity and equality as a core element in any initiative undertaken by the TVET stakeholders globally. To keep TVET initiatives resolutely focused on addressing gender issues, it is important to include female change agents at higher levels within organizations and also give them due platforms for articulating the challenges they confront and how best to counter them.

Stay Tuned

More examples from the UNEVOC Network promoting Gender Equality in TVET will be shared here soon.

page date 2018-03-07

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