POST RI has recently initiated a new project under the title of Gender and Peace Education project in cooperation with KTOS (Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union). The project is being implemented with the financial support Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
The overall aim of the project is to create gender aware generations through peace education with regards to gender equality and increasing capacity of future trade unionists as pioneers of the society.
The specific objectives of the projects are the amalgamation of the gender equality perspective with the discussions on the functioning of the school system; empowerment of female teachers in the trade unions; and making female teachers agents of change in the schools that will promote gender equality amongst students.
The textbooks studied in Cyprus across the divide are proved to be written in a gender-biased way, certain ways school systems function also reproduce gender segregation. Yet, teachers who have certain autonomy in the classroom have the chance to educate young people with values of equality for all human being without participating in normalisation of gender-based discrimination.
An expert has been recruited as a trainer to provide the required tools and techniques for the selected educators and unionists for awareness raising on gender equality. The trainer has also designed a questionnaire for needs assessment in order to evaluate the responses and develop a report about it. The questionnaires are now ready to be distributed to 250 teachers in the northern part of Cyprus. The questionnaire seeks to find out how the current education system provides equal opportunity to the Turkish Cypriot women teachers. The second part of the project is the workshops.
The project will comprise of two ‘peace education and gender equality workshops’ for women trade unionists and educators working in schools situated in the rural areas. The workshops aim at promoting peace education techniques in relation to gender issues. In addition to this, the trainings will also include sections aiming at empowering female teachers within the trade unions; therefore, the final beneficiaries are both the teachers and the students. The first workshop will take place on 23 October in Famagusta and be followed by another one on 25 October in Morphou.