Education International
Education International

India: Unions develop Action Plan for gender equity

published 6 February 2014 updated 12 February 2014

A South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Women’s Network Planning Meeting has been held in New Delhi, India. Three union leaders from EI affiliate All India Secondary Teachers’ Federation (AISTF) National Office, six AISTF representatives from the Indian Maharashtra State, as well as six AISTF representatives from the Indian Himachal Pradesh State participated in this event. The meeting, from 14-16 January, was organised by EI along with its Swedish affiliate, Lärarförbundet.

EI Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific Pathma Krishnan and Lärarförbundet’s Eva Elmstedt led the planning meeting for AISTF.

Gender-specific objectives

A presentation on EI, its 2013–2015 Gender Equality Action Plan, and on Lärarförbundet started proceedings. Later, participants shared their experiences and were also presented with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis, strategic planning, key difficulties encountered, stakeholders and finally an action plan at national level.

The planning meeting’s objectives were to:

  • Identify and agree on priority areas
  • Provide updates on the current status of Gender Equality Plans
  • Provide updates on the status of women in education, union and society
  • Review plans and budget
  • Finalise an Action Plan for March 2014–February 2015

Minor changes were made to the action plan and EI and Lärarförbundet will draft an agreement soon.

Women teachers and girl education priorities

Lärarförbundet recommended that representatives from another Indian state be invited to the 2015 evaluation and planning meeting. The AISTF National Office and the two AISTF state branches agreed that the decision will be left to the education union’s federal General Secretary and that the latter will inform EI/Lärarförbundet accordingly.

“Affiliates are debating on ways to improve the collection of dues and enrol more teachers into a representative organisation,” Krishnan said. “They are also looking at the possibility of encouraging the emergence of young women leaders and enhancing girl education. We strongly believe that these efforts will improve the status of teachers and ensure quality education in this country.”