Latin America

published 5 October 2017 updated 13 October 2017

Latin America

Trade unions’ workshops on the pedagogical movement in Costa Rica

From 3-5 July, the Vice-President of the EI Latin America Regional Committee, Fátima Silva, and EI’s Combertty Rodríguez, Gabriela Sancho, Gabriel Castro and Simón Avilés participated in San José in the pedagogical movement workshops of the Asociación Nacional de Educadores( ANDE) and the Sindicato de Educadores Costarricenses( SEC), to support these affiliates’ efforts towards quality education.

Youth membership workshop about education privatisation and commercialisation in Honduras

From 6-7 July, in Tela, Combertty Rodríguez participated in a youth membership workshop about the privatisation and commercialisation of education organised by the youth sectionof the Colegio Profesional "Superación Magisterial"(COLPROSUMAH).

Women’s network workshop in Honduras

From 13-15 July, in Tegucigalpa, Combertty Rodríguez, Gabriela Sancho, and Simón Avilés participated in a women’s network workshop involving all national organisations and aiming to develop gender equality policies within the trade unions.

Facilitating the workshop, Sancho presented guidelines for the formulation of a gender equality policy, underlining three main steps: the political commitment and financial and formal organisation; a diagnosis analysing and identifying specific needs and problems; and a plan of action. She explained that the development of equality policies is a political union strategy allowing the strengthening of the union itself, and it institutionalises the participation and integration of women in the organisation’s structure.

Women´s network national and national pedagogical movement meetings in Guatemala

Fátima Silva, Combertty Rodríguez, Gabriela Sancho, and Simón Avilés travelled to Guatemala City from 15-19 July for a series of activities:

A meeting with women leaders of the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Educación de Guatemala(STEG) triggered the formulation of an equality policy in that organisation. Silva put the importance of working on equality in Latin American unions in an historical context. There was also a discussion on the three elements of an equality policy: to achieve political will within the organisation, to identify the obstacles to the integration and participation of women in the structures of the trade union, and to propose a plan of action to solve these issues and develop equality.

At the National Pedagogical Movement meeting, leaders of the Union of Education Workers of Guatemala reviewed various aspects of public education policy in the region and assessed the route to be followed in the current Latin American socio-historical context. Participants highlighted issues such as the low level funding allocated to education and education privatisation. They also identified positive elements, such as demands for an indigenous culture, trade union capacity for dialogue with different governments, and members’ work capacity in all STEG affiliates. Fátima Silva and Combertty Rodríguez also contextualised the political situation in Latin America, under which trade union operates when it comes to making public educational policy proposals.

Women’s network national meeting in El Salvador

From 20-21 July, in San Salvador, Fátima Silva, Combertty Rodríguez, Gabriela Sancho and Simón Avilés participated in a women’s network national meeting.

During a workshop on formulation of equality policy, together with national affiliates, they reviewed the roles assumed by women and men within this trade union. Participants discussed gender equality issues, gender stereotypes, learned about policy-making processes, and laid the groundwork for an equality policy in the union.

12th PROIFES National Conference in Brazil

From 25-26 July, Fátima Silva and Combertty Rodriguez took part in the 12th PROIFES meeting in Porto Alegre.

1st Conference of female teachers in Bolivia

From 18-19 August, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Combertty Rodríguez and Gabriela Sancho participated with the national affiliates, the Confederación de Trabajadores de Educación Urbana de Bolivia(CTEUB) and the Confederación nacional de maestros de educación rural de Bolivia(CONMERB), in the 1stConference of female teachers in Bolivia.

Attendees debated about the regional and national contexts of public education in general, and the situation of women in Latin American education unions in particular.

The research on “Gender and Class Perspective in Public Policies for Equality in Bolivia, A Trade Union Study,” by Gabriela Bonilla, was launched prior to the event. This study focuses on women trade unionists from CTEUB and CONMERB and the impact of the trade union organisation on gender-related public policies.

The meeting tackled the regional and national contexts of public education. Rodríguez highlighted the EI campaign against the privatisation and commercialisation of education; Silva addressed a panel on trade unionism and women's leadership; and Sancho contributed to a panel on equality policies within trade unions.

Latin American Pedagogical Movement and Women’s Network National meetings in Chile

From 20-23 August, in Santiago, Combertty Rodriguez and Gabriela Sancho participated in two events:  the National Meeting for the Latin American Pedagogical Movement and the National Meeting for the Women’s Network. They made presentations similar to those in Guatemala.