Oxfam has teamed up with Disaster Ready to provide a new online course on how Gender Justice impacts humanitarian and development work. Jemma Stringer introduces why a course such as this is so important in today’s climate.
Sign up for ‘Gender Justice: An Introduction’ at bit.ly/GenderJustice. The course is provided in English, Arabic, French and Spanish.
Wherever I go and whoever I meet, explaining what I do for a living never fails to get people talking. Working on achieving gender justice and women’s rights for Oxfam captures everyone’s imagination – when it comes to gender all of us, women, men, boys, girls and gender minorities , have a stake and we all have something to say. Some people have strong opinions; others feel they know little about the issues but would like to know more; still others feel the reality of gender inequality is in the past, and does not need thinking about now.
Unfortunately, gender inequality is alive and well, and the effects are being felt every day around the world. And as we can see from the Global Women’s March in January, many people want to challenge the status quo.
“Great simple course. Should be taken by the whole society.”
Despite everyone being affected by gender inequality, now don’t all necessarily have the knowledge and information we need to do something about it. Indeed, without the relevant knowledge we may believe that nothing needs to be done at all.
Add to this the fact that in order for our work to be sustainable and to benefit all, everything we do in development and humanitarian organisations must take into account existing gender inequalities. We must not only counteract these inequalities but also transform them in order to achieve gender justice for all.
It is precisely because gender crosscuts and is relevant to all aspects of our work, that it is often considered something of an ‘unskilled’ job – something we all have to do and therefore something we all can do easily.
Developing a gender justice online course?
But as I have been doing this job, it has become clear to me that people don’t just know this stuff. Like other specialist subjects working towards gender justice involves specialist skills and knowledge that people must be given the opportunity to learn.
Opportunities for conventional face-to-face gender training, whilst necessary and useful, may only come around once a year, if at all. Meanwhile, we are all tasked with incorporating an understanding of gender into everything we do. In short, there was a huge gap – between what we were all expected to know, and our access to high-quality training on gender justice and women’s rights.
“I just completed the course on gender justice…[it] has really ignited something in me to do more for myself and for others.”
Having seen an immediate need within Oxfam and the development sector as a whole, we set about developing an online course to enable people to understand the ‘basics’ of gender justice and build a foundation on which to work towards a more gender equitable world.
What will you learn?
Through interactive activities and real life examples, the online course ‘Gender Justice: An Introduction’ gives development and humanitarian professionals and students a chance to explore why gender justice is important. It examines some of the issues caused by gender inequality and delves deeper into how gender affects participants personally, which is really powerful.
The course helps anyone to feel more confident with concepts, terminology and approaches related to gender. I meet a lot of people who have the ideas, passion and energy to achieve gender justice and women’s rights, but feel reluctant to get involved as they have never been taught the ‘official’ language. Giving people the confidence to express their opinions and ideas, and therefore have their voice heard, is fundamental to achieving gender justice.
“…the module helped me realize… how at deeper levels gender operates” related to it.”
Finally, using the experiences of Oxfam and our partners as case studies, the course explores approaches to gender justice work in development, humanitarian and campaign contexts and gives practical examples of what they mean in practice. Applying real world examples allows us to move beyond abstract ideas of gender to consider how achieving gender justice really relates to the work we are doing.
How will this course help you?
This course is designed for everyone, at all levels, who wants or needs to learn more about gender both for themselves and to improve the impact of their work. It’s free, wherever you are in the world, at whatever time and place suits you… and all in under 2 hours!
It will give you the confidence and information you need to begin the journey of incorporating gender considerations into your work and to take actions to ensure that what you do everyday not only recognises gender injustice, but actively seeks to transform the world we live in into a more equitable place.