Promoting gender equality within teacher trade unions and in the teaching profession (2008-2009)

The ETUCE Standing Committee for Equality is a consultative body to the ETUCE Committee. It seeks to move forward the priorities and recommendations on equal opportunities set out in the ETUCE Work Programme. It also puts forward recommendations about priority themes and working methods regarding equal opportunities in education, the teaching profession and teacher unions.

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The ETUCE project "Promoting gender equality within teacher trade unions and in the teaching profession" aimed at informing national teacher trade union organisations on the 50-years-old EU legal framework and on the current EU policy priorities and instruments on gender equality, including its importance for the achievement of the EU Lisbon goals. By improving teacher trade unions' knowledge, understanding and therefore ownership of gender issues, this project tried to enhance teacher organisations' work at national level – but also within their own structures - towards accomplishing gender equality. The European Social Partners instruments on the issue were also presented to teacher trade unions which were trained on how these instruments could be implemented specifically within the education sector.

To achieve its goals within the project period, several activities were planned during the 16-months long-term project period. These activities varied from an awareness raising and information Seminar, through the development of a survey amongst ETUCE member organisations aimed at identifying the situation of women within their own structures and the situation of the teaching profession regarding gender balance. A proactive policy for action by the ETUCE at European level and by its member organisations at national level and at their own structures level was therefore developed.

On 1st December 2008, a questionnaire was sent to all ETUCE member organisations. The questionnaire aimed to identify how gender equality is managed and promoted at unions' level (structures and policies), and also in the education policies at national level. Furthermore, the questionnaire aimed at assessing to what extent and by which measures national teacher unions have been implementing the European Framework of Actions on gender equality.

The responses to this questionnaire were analysed and the preliminary results of the survey were presented in an information and rising awareness seminar, which took place in Brussels on 25-26 May 2009.