Gender Equality in development co-operation among the General Union of Palestinian Teachers (GUPT), the National Union of Teachers (NUT), and the Union of Education Norway (Utdanningsforbundet, UEN) as of 2017
The NUT and the UEN’s co-operation efforts with the GUPT date back to the early ‘90s.
The co-operation was re-established in 2015 as a consortium between the GUPT, the NUT, and the UEN, and the main objectives were to strengthen the organisational cohesion, and to ameliorate the capacity building abilities of the GUPT.
The political, social, and economic environment within which the GUPT operates poses significant challenges. Despite this fact, in 2016 the GUPT developed its first organisational strategic plan for 2017 -2020, which defines the framework for and goals of the GUPT’s work, as well as its proposed method to reach those goals. The strategic plan is complemented by an annual implementation work plan. The main priorities for the GUPT in 2017 are to put both the strategic plan and the work plan into action.
The overall goal for the NUT’s and the UEN’s development co-operation projects is to promote strong, democratic, sustainable professional teachers’ trade unions. The hope is to enable teachers’ trade unions to work cohesively and effectively to defend and promote their members’ interests. Between 2017-2018, the GUPT-NUT-UEN co-operation consortium will focus on organisational capacity building based on the GUPT’s strategic plan 2017- 2020, and particularly on:
· Institutional Strengthening
· Gender Development
In co-operation with the GUPT, the NUT and the UEN will contribute towards the implementation of strategic objective one and two of the consortium’s strategic plan:
1) Enhancing the organisational (GUPT) leadership status, and enabling the organisation to support and promote the interests of its members at the national and international levels
2) Advocating for an active female presence, and potentially for female leadership opportunities at all levels of the organisation
The strategic objectives will be implemented and conducted through different training activities, and on different levels within the organisation.
The GUPT has made positive first step with its action plan as well as its variety of workshops, which were conducted throughout April and May 2017. The purpose of the workshops was to raise consciousness among female members on their rights, to encourage the women to become more involved in union activity, and to encourage the women to apply for positions at all levels of the organisation.
The NUT and the UEN believe that encouraging female members of the GUPT to become more involved both within the GUPT, and with GUPT’s work is vital for the organisation’s long term sustainability. This will allow the GUPT to become the voice of all teachers in Palestine. It is for this reason that gender forms an essential and inseparable part of the co-operation agreement among the three organisations in the consortium.