1.4 Gender Issues in Functional Adult Literacy
The FAL programme targets both men and women. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a gender balanced programme by integrating in it gender issues. This topic covers:
• Gender and reason for the concern.
By the end of this topic the participants should be able to:
• explain the meaning of gender and the reason for the concern about gender in literacy programmes.
c) Time: 1 hour 30 minutes.
d) Learning Aids: Hand-outs on statistical figures showing gender inequalities, charts, blackboard, newsprint, markers.
e) Procedure and Learning Points:
1) [10 min.] Write the word “gender” on blackboard or newsprint and:
• ask participants to respond to it.
Gender refers to the socially and culturally determined relationships between men and women. These relationships differ according to different societies. It should be distinguished from sex which is connected with the biological make-up of men and women. Gender differences are not determined by nature but by society, e.g. “women can cook food”, while sex differences (which are biological) are natural, e.g. “only women breast-feed”.
2. [10 min.] Brainstorm the participants on the question, “Why should we be concerned about gender?”.
- Past programmes have left out either men or women, thus leading to imbalance in development.
3) [25 min.] Divide the participants into groups of 2 - 3 persons and perform the following tasks:
- What are the possible causes and consequences of gender inequalities in a FAL programme?
- Cultural beliefs and practices.
- Discriminatory laws and roles.
Strategies to promote gender balance in a FAL programme:
- Have a gender sensitive syllabus/curriculum and other learning and teaching materials.
f) [5 min.] Assessment:
Ask 2 or 3 participants to list three causes of gender inequalities at the following different levels and what could be done about them; at the family level and community level.
- Read hand-out on gender issues.
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