Gender Toolkit for Educators

Emily M. Brown
Publication Year:
April 29, 2020
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Techniques to assist educators in mainstreaming gender.


What the Gender Awareness Survey Reveals

As found in previous studies (Gender in Media Training, edited by Colleen Lowe Morna, 1992), the recently completed Gender Awareness Survey findings show that not only is the term 'gender' still associated with women's issues, but much confusion still prevails when having to define 'gender'. Invariably, gender has been defined as being synonymous with 'sex' - the biological distinction between being male or female. Even though all the respondents claimed to be aware of the term 'gender', the overwhelming majority indicated that they hadn't recently participated in a discussion on gender. A heartening fact about the survey findings is that over 60% of the respondents revealed that they either needed more information about gender on training on gender. 

With regard to whether the respondents were aware of a gender policy within their respective institutions, 33% stated that their institutions had a gender policy in place, but 60% said that they did not know whether a gender policy existed within their insitution or organization. This finding reveals something about the organisation's approach to developing policies - it indicates that the approach is not a consultative one, and the review of the policy is either infrequent or it is also done in a non-consultative manner. Furthermore, the lack of awareness of a gender policy on the part of educators could be connected to the fact that gender is mostly absent from curricula.

In response to a question about whether gender is incorporated in training curricula, 24% of the respondents said they did not know, 27% said 'no', and 49% responded in the affirmative. This means that more than half of the respondents did not encounter gender in their curricula. Of importance, however, is that most of the respondents recommended some form of training or that gender be mainstreamed into curricula.

Because of the inclusion of schools in the Study, more women than men were surveyed. A total of 55% women and women 45% men were interviewed. Both women and men have, therefore, advised on the nature of training that could assist them in their approach to gender. Therefore, the gender toolkit for educators stems from a need to learn more about gender, and to be guided in terms of how to mainstream gender into course content as well as curricula.

In the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, all decision-making bodies in the region are encouraged to achieve gender parity by the year 2015, it also calls for the mainstreaming of gender in all media laws, policies and training.


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