Workshops on Gender Mainstreaming and Development of Gender Policy for Open School (OS), Bangladesh Open University (BOU) were organized by Open School, Bangladesh Open University in collaboration with Commonwealth Of Learning (COL), Canada. The workshops were conducted during 27th – 29th May 2018 at Regional Center, Bangladesh Open University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Day 1 began with self-introductions by 32 participants. AKM Iftekhar Khalid (Deputy Director, Training and Research, BOU) presented the following objectives of the workshop:
- To conduct disseminate the result of national and educational related gender policy analysis;
- To prepare a draft policy using national context and based on the result of the policy analysis;
- To strategise and prepare a plan of actions to implement the policy in open schooling activities;
- To build the capacity of the faculty of the Open School on gender aspects.
Dr. Sabina Yeasmin (Professor, BOU) as a Chair of the Inaugural session welcomed the facilitators- Ms. Priya Gupta (Assistant Director, NIOS), Dr. Saumya Rajan and Ms. Anshul Kharbanda (Academic Officers, NIOS)- of the workshop and declared it open.
Professor, Md. Mizanoor Rahman (Assistant Professor, BOU) gave a brief presentation on the History of Feminism and the Gender issues of Bangladesh. He made all understand the history of feminism by introducing pioneers of feminism. He thereafter touched upon the prevalent gender issues of Bangladesh.
Ms. Priya Gupta (Assistant Director, NIOS) welcomed the participants and told everyone how UN Women advocates equality in education through the revision of school curricula and policies to counter gender bias and equal access to vocational education and training.
Ms. Anshul Kharbanda (Academic Officer, NIOS) presented the objectives of the workshop and defined the glossary of Gender terms to be used in the workshop. She explained the reason why COL supports such projects and that how Sustainable Development Goal 5 ensures gender equality to empower all girls and women.
Dr Saumya Rajan (Academic Officer, NIOS) presented the Gender Policy of NIOS with its brief background to facilitate the development of the Gender Policy of BOU-OS. Her presentation included the objectives, needs and scope of NIOS Gender Policy. She also foregrounded the strategies for implementation of the Gender Policy and its areas to be monitored.
Thereafter the participants were divided into 4 groups- Learning Support, Academic, Administrative and Evaluation- to understand the issues of concerned areas. The groups presented the gender issues one by one and gave recommendations to address them.
Day 2 began with the presentation of the Group reports which were later uploaded on COMOSA-CONNECT for discussion. Thereafter the development of draft Gender Policy started and groups initiated the work. The draft was prepared and suggestions were given by the facilitators to improve it.
Day 3 began with the presentation of draft Gender Policy and thereafter suggestions were given for its improvement. The participants and the facilitators then finalized the draft Gender Policy (that can be seen as Annexure I).
Furthermore, Action Plan for implementation of the Gender Policy was worked upon and prepared. Thereafter, the Action Plan was presented and finalized (that can be seen as Annexure II).
In the Valedictory session, the BOU faculty and NIOS expressed their views on the workshop. Dr. Sabina Yeasmin (Dean & Professor, BOU) proposed the Vote of thanks.
Original article submitted by Anshul Kharbanda, Chapter Chair for Asia.