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European education trade unions address gender equality through social dialogue project

The European Trade Union Committee for Education, the European region of Education International, wraps up successful project on social dialogue and gender equality in teaching by launching research findings and a good practice database at Bucharest Conference.

On 16-17 September, education trade unions and other European stakeholders came together in Bucharest for the closing conference of the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) project entitled “Education trade unions addressing gender equality through social dialogue”.

A research report entitled “Education trade unions addressing gender equality through social dialogue” was released, revealing that gender equality issues are still not a priority in collective bargaining and social dialogue with education authorities and employers. The researchers, Inga Pavlovaite and Dr Martina Weber, recommend that trade unions make full use of social dialogue to enhance gender equality in the education sector.

Another key output of the project, the ETUCE database of best trade union practices on gender equity in the teaching profession, was also presented at the conference.

“Gender equality is not a stand-alone issue which education trade unions can address separately from other topics,” stressed ETUCE Director Susan Flocken. “The recent socioeconomic changes in Europe, the rapid spread of digital technology, migration, and the spread of right-wing and nationalist political discourses all have a significant impact on our attempts to build an education sector that is fair to women and men. At ETUCE, we support our member organisations in their efforts to address gender inequalities by providing them with concrete tools and resources. We can be proud of the work we have jointly achieved in this project.”

The gender equality conference was a great opportunity for European education unionists to learn from each other. At the Good Practices Fair, they shared their experience and work for a teaching profession that is equal for women AND men.

In addition, the event emphasised that while the majority of education workers are women, it does not mean that the education sector is automatically fair to them:

  • Women teachers are more often on part-time or fixed-term contracts;
  • Women are under-represented in leadership;
  • Men avoid the profession because of low pay and status.

The project further sought to update the 2010 ETUCE Action Plan on Gender Equality in order to better support ETUCE member organisations in promoting gender equality within education trade unions and in the teaching profession.

Click here for more information about the ETUCE project and Conferenceand watch the ETUCE video on gender equality in education: