CGAD leads seminar-workshop on gender, development to empower communities through inclusive practices


The University of Northern Philippines–Center for Gender and Development (CGAD), in collaboration with San Isidro Central School, conducted a seminar-workshop on gender and development at San Vicente, Ilocos Sur on May 10, 2024.

The training aimed to promote gender equality and inclusivity in education by addressing gender biases and stereotypes that are still embedded in pedagogy, curricula, and learning resources.

The University of Northern Philippines (UNP) has been offering Gender Sensitivity Training (GST) since 1997 and was recently certified by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) as a National Training Center for GST. The certification proves that UNP’s training program conforms to the core messages and standards set by the PCW.

GAD training covers developing teachers’ awareness of gender stereotypes and potentially discriminating ideas in teaching materials. Teachers are trained to be more conscious of how they portray different genders in textbooks, learning resources and classroom activities. It also aid in promoting gender-responsive teaching practices.

The training encourages teachers to provide equal learning opportunities for boys and girls, eliminate gender-based barriers, and address diverse learning needs to achieve gender equality in educational outcomes.

Also, it fosters respect, tolerance, and acceptance among students, as they go back to their school. Through interactive lessons and activities, students learn to appreciate diversity, respect differences, and create an inclusive school environment for all.

Moreover, through mainstreaming gender sensitivity in school policies and program, the school ensures that its curriculum, instruction, assessment, facilities, and other policies adhere to the principles of gender-responsive education.

Teachers have become more aware of gender issues and are making conscious efforts to integrate gender sensitivity in their teaching. For example, they now assign traditionally “feminine” tasks like sweeping the floor to both boys and girls, breaking gender stereotypes.

Students, on the other hand, are learning to be more respectful and accepting of their peers regardless of gender. The school has also seen a decrease in gender-based bullying and discrimination incidents.

However, challenges remain, deeply rooted gender biases and stereotypes in society are difficult to change overnight. The school will continue to work closely with parents and the community to promote gender equality values beyond the classroom.

Sustainability is another concern. The school hopes to institutionalize gender sensitivity training as a regular professional development program for teachers. It also plans to integrate gender issues more comprehensively in the curriculum from an early grade level.

Lastly, San Isidro Central School’s gender and development training is a good move in the pursuit towards creating a more equitable and inclusive education system. By empowering teachers and students to challenge gender norms, the school is helping build a society that respects diversity and celebrates the equal worth of all individuals.

Article by Rocelle Villanueva.


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