Gender Equality No Longer Among the Objectives of Ministry of Education

Education Union (Egitim-Sen) Chair Feray Aytekin - Aydogan has indicated that the Ministry of National Education has made a last-minute change in its Regulation on Social Activities and omitted gender equality from its objectives.

According to Feray Aytekin - Aydogan, the Chair of Education Union (Egitim-Sen), gender equality was one of the 26 objectives set by the Ministry of National Education (MEB) for the 2019-2020 School Year on September 10.

However, in the list of objectives published on its official website one day later, there were now 25 objectives. In other words, gender equality was no longer an objective set by the Ministry for the new school year.

The 25 objectives indicated in the list are the following: Assertiveness, Struggle Against Addiction, Conscious Use of Technology, Respect for Individual Differences, Conflict Resolution Skills, Sexual Education of Children, Emotional Control, Future Planning, Characteristics of Developmental Period, Knowledge of Rights and Responsibilities, Protection from Negligence and Abuse, Communication Skills, Development of Cooperation, Decision Making Ability, Intergenerational Communication, Development of Positive Behavior, Self-Care Ability, Development of Self-Confidence, Development of Self-Respect, Problem-Solving Skills, Healthy Living, Stress Management Skills and Prevention of Violence.

Aytekin - Aydogan has indicated that the Ministry of National Education has made a last-minute change in its "Regulation on Social Activities" and removed the concept of gender equality from all areas.

'Ministry attacks our gains'

"They have omitted the notion of gender equality from counselling activities. It is said that these activities will be done with non-governmental organizations and international organizations", Aytekin - Aydogan has indicated and continued as follows:

"For years, we see that the gains of both women of Egitim-Sen and women's struggle have been systematically attacked. The MEB wants to sweep away our gains one by one.

"The removal of gender equity attitude document by the Council of Higher Education (YOK) is also one of these [attacks]. The Gender Sensitive School Project, which the MEB announced to realize in 162 schools across the country, was cancelled after being targeted by certain tutelary circles, which is another example of that.

"Now, the MEB has made a change in the Regulation on Social Activities. And it means that the notion of gender equality will be removed from schools and it will be replaced with the views of religious foundations.

'Change despite court ruling'

"We previously filed lawsuits against similar changes. That is, we won the lawsuit that we filed against the organization of school activities by organizations such as the ENSAR Foundation. There is a verdict of State Council on that. In the related verdict, the Council says, 'The state cannot transfer the responsibility of education to other institutions". Seen in that light, I can say that the MEB has committed a constitutional crime with this change. They are making this change despite the court order.

"These changes in the MEB indicate a very dangerous course of events. We have been struggling against this mindset for years. Under no circumstances can we accept the removal of gender equality from schools and its replacement with communities and foundations."

Teaching children gender equality is also stipulated by the Istanbul Convention, to which Turkey has been a party since November 2011.

Source: English Bianet