In 2020 Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation started the implementation of “Growing Up Equal” project, funded by the European Union, related to the protection of children’s rights. The project is implemented in partnership with the Education trade union at PODKREPA CL. The project is directed at students in primary education (3 – 4 grade) and aims to promote equal treatment of boys and girls at school.
Motivated to overcome outdated and imposed perceptions among adolescents, we turn to those who spend much of their day with them and influence a lot in building their character and perceptions of the world. These are the education professionals.
The role of teachers and school administration in the process of establishing equal treatment between girls and boys is of paramount importance. In this regard, we focus on increasing their sensitivity and awareness of the negative consequences of unequal treatment of children.
We will stimulate the interest of people engaged in education in the training and self-assessment tools developed within the project. The materials will be uploaded to the project site and will would be freely accessible.
Why this project is important?
The project Growing Up Equal put on the agenda an important topic for the contemporary Bulgarian society and it is the perception of equality between men and women.
It is a well-known fact that in Bulgaria conflicts arise very often on the basis of which is the role of men and women in society. A misunderstanding of equality between men and women has a strong impact on the professional and life choices of girls and boys, so the negative effects of society-imposed perceptions must be prevented.
What inspired this project?
The problem in education
There are no courses in our country that inform teachers of their role in building a strong mindset for equal treatment of men and women.
Neither the university curriculum in pedagogy nor the teacher training institutes and licensed training providers in their work offer courses to inform teachers of their role in building a way of thinking about equality between men and women. Teachers often do not realize their own subconscious biases that affect their communication with students in the classroom.
Bulgaria lacks a platform with easily accessible open resources in Bulgarian to guide teachers on how to deal with this type of problem. Primary teachers have never before been involved in equal access training projects for development opportunities for boys and girls.
Since 2018, the impact of certain public circles has negatively impacted the topic of the role of men and women in society. This severely limits the work of teachers and NGOs engaged in the topic of gender equality in education.
What are the expected results?
It is expected that the awareness of more than 500 education professionals would be raised about the importance of addressing the negative effects of mistreatment of men and women among adolescents, as well as providing adequate tools and resources for over 300 teachers and school administrations who are committed to the problem in order to manage it without causing public discontent on the subject of gender equality.