Education International (EI) Africa organised a three-day virtual workshop to assess the 2021 activities implemented though the African Women in Education Network (AWEN). The annual review and planning meeting aimed to assess the activities implemented by the regional network, the four (4) sub-regional networks. The meeting also planned activities for 2022. The workshop, which took place from 13th to 15th December 2021, was attended by 15 participants, including members of the AWEN Advisory Committee, EIRAF and EI Secretariat Staff members, as well as representatives of the following partner organisations: the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE), Larärförbundet (Sweden) and the Union of Education Norway (UEN).
The meeting reviewed the outcomes of AWEN national, regional, and sub regional activities implemented in 2021 and reflected on the future actions of the Network. Participants also shared experiences on mobilizing grassroots members at national level.
EI Africa Regional Director, Dr. Dennis Sinyolo, during his opening remarks, underlined that EI has joined hands with other global unions, civil society organisations and activists to call for the eradication of gender-based violence. He highlighted that EI Africa convened an online forum on ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work and urged participants to continue to put pressure on governments to ratify, domesticate and fully implement ILO Convention 190 which is an important Convention that can help address workplace violence and harassment to ensure safe work environments for all. “The fight for gender equality remains an unfinished agenda’’, he stated and AWEN has been one of our flagships and very successful programmes.
The workshop assessed 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), and came up with concrete recommendations for improving their activities. This included the need to have more training on leadership and advocacy.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Dennis Sinyolo, said “as EI, both globally and regionally, we will continue to champion gender equality until women have equal opportunities in both our unions and education systems. We will continue to provide capacity building, platforms for information exchange, research evidence and tools to support member organisations in their fight for equality and inclusion’’.
He then encouraged participants to continue to learn, develop, mentor and support young women to exercise leadership and added that “this workshop is not really the end, but the beginning. The beginning of a new impetus in our quest and fight for gender equality’’.