The concept of gender is vital around the world where women are often underrepresented on the labour market and in politics. Adult learning and education (ALE) has the ability to empower women, who make up the majority of participants in ALE programmes in Tunisia, Morocco, Palestine and Jordan. For this reason, women must be at the core of ALE strategies and practice in order to maximise ALE’s positive contribution to gender equality. This in no way negates the importance of ALE for men, or the need for strategies in order to encourage men’s access to ALE.
To make sure that the Gender Toolkit included useful and meaningful methods for the stakeholders, a participatory approach was adopted. 46 stakeholders were interviewed in the four countries and were later involved in the design of this toolkit, actively taking part in a process of co-construction. This close collaboration allowed for a greater understanding of their needs and expectations.
Consequently, the developed tools are inspired by best practices used in the different countries. The divergences between the four contexts create certain limits for the toolkit in applying it across various countries, regions and subject areas. However, all tools can be used individually, combined and adapted to various contexts.
Finally, the challenges identified in this toolkit do not pretend to exhaustively represent all and any challenges faced by stakeholders, and should rather be understood as a partial insight into the everyday challenges faced by stakeholders in the field of women, gender and ALE in four countries (Tunisia, Morocco, Palestine and Jordan). Even though the toolkit emanated from the experience of DVV International and its partners in these countries, it is aimed at all stakeholders in ALE in the four countries and beyond, where stakeholders can draw inspiration from the methods and best practices suggested by the toolkit in different contexts.
The Gender in ALE Toolkit is organised around five modules (Getting ALE to the Women, Getting the Women to ALE, Reaching out to Men, Sustainability and Advocacy). The module themes respond to the main challenges at the macro, meso and micro level regarding women, gender and ALE. Each module describes the challenge addressed and introduces between three and five tools around the issue.
Each tool can be used separately, and is comprised within one page, making it printer friendly. It includes a short overview which provides information about when and with whom the tool can be used, as well as an easy-to-follow, step-by-step description, including necessary material and ideas on how to further develop or adapt the respective tools. It also specifies whether it is intended for use at the macro, meso or micro level.
It is up to the users to identify which tool(s) are more relevant to their needs and context, and to potentially adapt them to fit their purposes. Users of this toolkit may also find that not every tool is applicable in every context. Nevertheless, the authors of this toolkit wish for these tools to be able to work as ideas and door-openers, as sparks and incentives that may support stakeholders in ALE in Jordan, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia - and beyond.