Addressing all aspects of gender equality in education and the teaching profession is essential, especially promoting gender equality through social dialogue and collective bargaining with a focus on increasing salaries and decent working conditions, concluded participants of the ETUCE Conference on “Enhancing gender equality in and through education” on 7-8 May 2018 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The Conference was organised with the support of the ETUCE member organisation in Azerbaijan, the Independent Trade Union of Education Workers of the Azerbaijan Republic (AITUCEW). Minister of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov and President of Azerbaijan Trade Unions Confederation Satar Mohbaliyev addressed participants highlighting the importance of providing equal opportunities for men and women in education and socio-economic system of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The Conference provided the opportunity for trade unions representatives from more than 15 countries to exchange experience and ideas on how education trade unions can address challenges for gender equality in education and the teaching profession, in particular in Central and Eastern European countries. Members from Poland, Tajikistan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Romania, Georgia, and Kazakhstan presented trade unions’ good practices looking at how to overcome gender stereotypes, enhance the representation and participation of women in decision-making in all education sectors, and make the teaching profession more attractive to both men and women.

European Director Susan Flocken highlighted that gender equality is one of the top priorities in ETUCE’s work: “ETUCE promotes gender equality within the teaching profession and seeks to provide education trade unions and education personnel with the knowledge and tools necessary to enhance gender equality in and through education in their national, regional and local contexts and to address new challenges for gender equality arising from technological, economic, and social changes in our societies”.

Participants also learned about gender mainstreaming actions and gender equality standards of the Council of Europe, presented by Dr Anne Nègre, Vice-President in charge of Equality of the Conference of INGOs in the Council of Europe. Gender equality challenges and their solutions in education system and in the society of the Republic of Azerbaijan were also presented by Jamilya Sattarova, President of the Republican Committee of the Trade Union of Cultural Workers of Azerbaijan.

During smaller working group sessions the conference participants discussed concrete education trade union activities aimed to promote a gender sensitive approach in education, challenge gender stereotypes in education and society as a whole, and overcome gender segregation among different education sectors and subjects.

Please find Conference pictures here.