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Edukasyon.ph launches toolkit for gender-equal tech-voc education and employment

News Stories /19 March 2021

By breaking away from limiting gender stereotypes, young women and men expand their opportunities for employment, while employers widen their talent pool and leverage the benefits afforded by workforce diversity. Edukasyon.ph, in partnership with Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, recently launched a gender communication toolkit to help technical-vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and prospective employers attract urban millennials to non-traditional work—that is, consider occupations not usually associated with their sex.

Meet five tech-voc students defying gender stereotypes in their fields! #TalkVoc

Transformative toolkit
The Yaring Pinay Gender Communication Toolkit (Yaring Pinay) promotes gender diversity, inclusion and equality in both schools and workplaces. Fostering labor market-responsive vocational education and recruitment is expected to increase the participation of women in fields commonly dominated by men, and vice versa. This, in turn, will improve overall competitiveness and achieve inclusive economic growth.


Gichelle Cruz, a gender and media expert who worked on Yaring Pinay, explained that the toolkit has three parts:

– perspective setting, to establish the need to invest in gender equality and diversity in TVET systems;

– managing gender and diversity issues and concerns through gender-responsive communications and strategies; and

– developing a re-entry gender action plan (REGAP), which serves as a roadmap and monitoring tool towards a gender-equal and diverse workforce.

 

With the toolkit, TVET educational institutions learn to integrate gender perspectives in curriculum development, and align these principles in organizational culture and practices. For their part, TVET employers may use the toolkit to ensure that their marketing, placement, recruitment and talent attraction efforts are free of gender bias and discrimination, and thus accessible to both women and men. Ultimately, Yaring Pinay serves as a practical guide in understanding how gender norms impact gender-equal recruitment and occupational segregation in TVET schools and companies. With this understanding, key institutions can aim for gender equality in TVET training and employment—something which will deliver real benefits to business and the Philippine economy.

Gender-equality in practice
Skilty Labastilla, an anthropologist from the Ateneo de Manila University, noted during the Yaring Pinay launch that TVET career choices are often shaped by what trainees and/or their parents consider as gender-appropriate fields and this has limited the choices of both women and men. Women gravitate towards garments and textiles, food and beverages, healthcare, tourism, and social and community development and other services. On the other hand, men train and are employed in maritime transport, metals and engineering, construction, automotives, and electrical and electronics—often better-paid occupations. Affirmative action from TVET institutions and companies could shift the balance towards more equal job opportunities and better economic opportunity for women.

At the launch, Georgina Harley-Cavanough, First Secretary at the Australian Embassy in Manila, commended the campaign for advocating women’s economic participation, particularly in highly technical industries with high earning potential. “Technical vocational education and training are important for economic inclusion. Tech-voc bridges both male and female students from education to employment through its affordability, breadth of trade specialisations, and flexible delivery modes…Edukasyon.ph’s Yaring Pinay campaign is promising as it recognises the need to address gender gaps through both the supply and demand side of the tech-voc workforce,” she said.

The Yaring Pinay Gender Communication Toolkit is part of an ongoing Edukasyon.ph campaign to promote gender diversity in the tech-voc industry. Its dissemination was welcomed by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), which has supported gender and development initiatives and encouraged women’s empowerment via the TESDA Women’s Center.

The toolkit launch kicked off a workshop series centered on acquainting proponents with the document. In the process, these early adopters also assessed their current organisational culture and practice and identified key action steps towards a more gender-inclusive school and workplace. For inquiries and to participate in future Yaring Pinay activities, email Regina at ragustin@edukasyon.ph or Mae at eteotico@edukasyon.ph.

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