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Women’s network consolidates fight for gender equality

Women’s network consolidates fight for gender equality

Education International Africa Region (EIRAF) organised a three-day virtual meeting to assess the 2020 activities  implemented though the African Women in Education Network (AWEN). The annual review and planning meeting which took place from 14th- 16th December, aimed at evaluating the activities implemented by the four (4) sub-regional networks and the regional Network and planning activities for 2021. The workshop was attended by 17 participants including representatives of the AWEN Advisory Committee, EIRAF and EI Secretariat Staff members, as well as representatives of the following partner organisations: the Canadian Teachers’ Federation,  Larärförbundet (Sweden) and the Union of Education Norway. 
 
The meeting assessed the outcomes of AWEN national and regional activities implemented in 2020 and reflected on the future actions of the Network. Participants also shared experiences on the networks campaign for the ratification of the ILO Convention 190 on Violence and  Harassment in the World of Work.
 
Welcoming the participants to the meeting, EIRAF Chief Regional Coordinator, Dr. Dennis Sinyolo, reassured them of the importance of the work of AWEN. “Gender equality” he stated,  “is a number one priority of Education International (EI) and subsequent congresses have passed resolutions to that effect”. AWEN is an important network that has helped to equip and empower women to organize and mobilise union members and to champion gender equality.” Dr. Dennis also commended women who wrote blogs during the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. The meeting also received  solidarity messages from the partners organisations. 
 
After assessing the activities of the Regional Network (AWEN) and those of the four sub-regional networks: West Africa Women in Education Network (WAWEN),  Réseau des Enseignantes Syndicalistes de l’Afrique Centrale/Central Africa Women in Education Network (RESAC),  Southern Africa Women in Education Network (SAWEN), and  Women’s Network in East Africa (WNEA), the meeting recommended that the gender coordinators use the newly acquired knowledge and skills in the use of virtual platforms to organize meetings among women in order to share strategies and empower one another, and with the union members and leaders to increase their knowledge of gender equality issues.  
 
In his closing remarks, Dr. Dennis Sinyolo, said the end of this planning meeting is the beginning of a renewed push for gender equality, equity and inclusion in our education systems and our unions. He added that the EIRAF Office will continue to support their efforts to strengthen the network and all its activities.