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Global teacher union leaders promote equality in VET and the elimination of violence against women.

As mandated by the 2011 World Congress held in Cape Town, South Africa, the EI Executive Board, at its 39th meeting held in Brussels, Belgium, from 30 November-1 December, considered the resolutions submitted for Congress but not dealt with at Congress due to insufficient time, and adopted a proposed Congress Resolution on Vocational Education (VET), Gender and Inclusiveness, and another one on Education and the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The Resolution on Vocational Education, Gender and Inclusiveness “notes the excellent work of the Vocational Education and Training Task Force. It calls for the Task Force to continue its work, reviewing VET developments in the light of the recession.”

It recommends that the Task Force also looks, in particular, at VET developments for the increasing numbers of the unemployed in some countries; the cuts to public expenditure and to VET programmes in some countries; VET developments for women, as well as for black and ethnic minorities, young people and adults.

The Executive Board also adopted a Resolution on Education and the Elimination of Violence against Women, highlighting “the fundamental role of public equality policies in the development of non-discriminatory education for girls and the prevention of gender-based violence.”

The Board observed with concern that the serious effects of the current economic and social crisis, made worse by recent international events, may throw off track the efforts being made to ensure complete schooling for girls at primary level and combat situations of discrimination and gender-based violence that take place in countries all over the world.

Reiterating their conviction that equality in education is an essential requirement for achieving fair and equal development in society, as well as for guaranteeing the fundamental rights of girls and women, EI leaders urged “ the development of specific measures to eliminate all kinds of barriers to girls accessing education, such as the removal of school taxes, the family’s lack of education, the elimination of stereotypes relating to girls’ education and the adopting of concrete and safe measures to prevent violence at school.”

The resolution further calls on “all EI organisations to continue carrying out actions in support of educating girls and young women, by incorporating equality into the education system in a transversal way, carrying out awareness campaigns among families and promoting actions to eradicate gender-based violence at school.”

EI President, Susan Hopgood, emphasized that: “Educators worldwide believe promoting equality and encouraging diversity is at the core of their work, through questioning gender stereotypes, providing windows of opportunity, opening doors of access, and building positive, inclusive learning environments. I am extremely happy that EI, as their voice, could pass these resolutions, to ensure the current crisis will not undo progress made, even strengthen teacher unions’ equality policies, and achieve Education for All.”

These resolutions can also be considered as a consistent follow-up to the decisions and recommendations of EI’s first World Women’s Conference, a major event promoting gender equality, organized by EI in January 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand.

For more information on these and other resolutions adopted by the Executive Board, please consult the following documents:

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