Gender at Work Action Learning Program as an Approach to Furthering Gender Equality
SCOEN has adopted a Gender Action-Learning Systems (GALS) to address women’s rights and gender equality within civil society organisations, international organizations and other development institutions. The Systems is built on adult learning principles and values reflective space, recognizing that reflection on both the self and on organizational practice is a key tool for learning and effective action. Another key factor in the Gender Action-Learning Systems is the ability for people to work together and to learn from each other.
70% of women and men GALS implementer in India, South Africa and South Sudan report changed attitudes and behaviours in their personal lives, their organizations and their community over four years and under our Feminist Leadership Systemsme.
SCOEN have recognized the limits of traditional gender mainstreaming approaches and are seeking alternatives. SCOEN approach promotes women’s empowerment and gender equality through addressing institutional norms and rules (both stated and implicit) that maintain women’s unequal position in societies.
These institutional rules determine who gets what, what counts, who does what and who decides. They include values that maintain the gendered division of labor, prohibitions on women owning land, restrictions on women’s mobility and perhaps most fundamentally, the devaluing of reproductive and care work. Institutional rules are lived out through organizations which are the social structures that exist in any society.
Through the Gender Action Learning Systems, we combine feminist thinking and practice with insights from organizational development, to build internal cultures of equality and transform cultural norms that support achieving gender equality and social justice.
gender action learning systems steps
Inception workshop: SCOEN explores whether a Gender Action-Learning Systems would be helpful.
Community visits: SCOEN visit the community groups we work with, map its history, understand its work, understand how it promotes gender equality, its capacity and the potential directions that exist for change.
Workshop 1: Telling Stories, Sharing Doubts and Re-thinking the Work: community groups tell their story and SCOEN introduces key ideas of individual, and community change, as the beginning of building a learning community. Each team meets with their facilitator and develops a gender equality change project.
Work in groups: Participants carry out a change project in their groups and communities.
Workshop 2: Telling our Stories, Re-vitalizing our Practice: groups describe and analyze their change efforts, while other participants and facilitators offer analysis and advice. Teams plan the next stage of their change work.
Work in groups: Groups continue to work on their projects with the support of a facilitator.
Final workshop: Participants pull together their collective learning from all the change projects.