Algerian unions work towards increased gender equality

Algerian education unions are working with Education International to address gender equality issues in their unions as part of a capacity development programme.

Two Algerian education unions - the Syndicat National des travailleurs et de la formation (UNPEF) and the Syndicat national autonome des professeurs de l’éducation (SNAPEST) – are working together to address gender inequality. The unions are collaborating on an 18-month capacity building programme organised by Education International (EI). The initiative was formally launched on 18 February at a joint meeting with members of the national boards of both unions.

This innovative programme is based on the Gender Action Learning (GAL) approach pioneered by Gender at Work, a network of associate experts working to address and transform the deep roots of inequality and discriminatory social standards within organisations.

Peer-based learning

The GAL approach to organisational change is based on experimental, peer-based learning techniques to enable organisations to change gender power dynamics internally and in their programmatic work. The GAL approach also provides an opportunity for the two unions to collaborate and to learn from each other through structured peer-learning activities. This is the first time the GAL methodology is being used with EI member organisations in North Africa.

The work of the UNPEF and the SNAPEST will be facilitated by a senior Gender at Work associate with support from EI.

Gathering stories

The GAL process consists, in the first instance, of a hearing our stories meeting with up to 30 union members, leaders, and staff from each union. At this initial meeting, participants reflect on and assess their union’s past, present, and future approaches, policies, and activities to increase gender equality within their union. Hearing our stories workshops took place in the UNPEF from 19-20 February, and in the SNAPEST from 21-22 February.

Participants gained a deeper understanding of gender equality issues within their unions; they reflected on their responsibility and their role as individuals, and the role of their respective unions in addressing gender inequalities. Participants also began to identify possible actions to take, at individual, union, and community levels in this regard.

Change

The second step in the GAL process is for the unions to identify a change team comprising up to six people (with a 50/50 gender ratio). This team will be responsible for developing the ‘change experiments’ that will be implemented during the programme. The change teams of both unions will receive mentoring and support from Gender at Work associates throughout the programme, as they work to implement their change experiments in the unions.

Next steps

The change team members from both unions will participate in three peer-learning workshops during the 18-month programme. They will share and learn from each other’s experiences of implementing change experiments in their respective unions. The first of these peer workshops will take place in March 2018.

Stay tuned for further updates on how this work is progressing in Algeria.

 

Next steps 

The change team members from both unions will participate in three peer learning workshops over the 18-month period, during which they will share and learn from each other’s experiences of implementing change experiments in their respective unions. The first of these peer workshops will take place in March 2018. 

Stay tuned for further updates on how this work is progressing in Algeria. 

 

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Background and Context: 

Women’s participation at all levels of the teachers’ unions in the EI ACCRS region is currently low, and there is a lack of sufficiently active and supported women’s structures within those unions that can work effectively to increase women’s participation and gender equality within the unions’ structures and in relation to the unions’ policies.  

The EI Arab Women’s Education Network (ArWEN) was established in 2012, with representatives from the unions that make up the EI Arab Countries Cross-Regional Structure (ACCRS).  ArWEN was established with the objective of creating a space for women in education trade unions in the region to be able to share experiences and develop context-specific strategies for increasing women’s participation at all levels and promoting gender equality within their unions.  

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