Women, Education and Empowerment:
Pathways towards Autonomy
edited by Carolyn Medel-Anonuevo
Report of the International Seminar held at UIE, Hamburg, 27 January - 2 February 1993
With contributions from: Namtip Aksornkool • Anita Digheu Jenny Horsmann • Lucita Lazo • Carolyn Medel-Anonuevo and Bettina Bochynek • Nelly P. Stromquist • Miryan Zuñiga
The UNESCO Institute for Education, Hamburg, is a legally independent entity. While the programmes of the Institute are established along the lines laid down by the General Conference of UNESCO, the publications of the Institute are issued under its sole responsibility; UNESCO is not responsible for their contents. The points of view, selection of facts, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily coincide with official positions of the UNESCO Institute for Education, Hamburg. The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the UNESCO Secretariat concerning the legal status of any country or territory, or its authorities, or concerning the delimitations of the frontiers of any country or territory.
Cover photograph: UNESCO/Hunnar Publicity
© UNESCO Institute for Education 1995 FeldbrunnenstraBe 58 P.O. Box 13 10 23 20110 Hamburg, Germany
ISBN 92 820 1013 9
Printed by Robert Seemann u Neumann-Reichard-Str. 27-33 Haus 8, I Stock 22041 Hamburg, GermanyuTel 040/656-0003
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface The International Seminar on Women's Education and Empowerment Carolyn Medel-Anonuevo and Bettina Bochynek The Theoretical and Practical Bases for Empowerment Nelly P. Stromquist Some Reflections on the Empowerment of Women Lucita Lazo Women's Literacy and Empowerment: The Nellore Experience Anita Dighe The Organization of American States Multinational Project on Education and Work; An Experience of Popular Education for Women's Empowerment in Colombia Miryan Zuniga E. Educate to Empower Namtip Aksornkool Thinking about Women and Literacy: Support and Challenge Jenny Horsman List of Participants of the Seminar
As women's education has become one of the key development objectives in the nineties, it is crucial to examine the assumptions under which policies, programmes and projects are formulated towards this goal. More recently, the concept of empowerment has been tied to the range of activities undertaken by and for women in different areas, education included. In all these, a related question is: From what and whose perspective are we going to evaluate such assumptions and its empowering outcomes? The International Seminar on Women's Education and Empowerment was convened by the UNESCO Institute for Education (UIE) together with the Principal Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (PROAP) precisely to look into these issues by gathering women educators and researchers from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds to collectively examine the different education practices and their theoretical implications for empowering women. At several instances during the seminar, it was evident that there were similarities in the conditions of women's education in the different parts of the world, e.g. stereotyping in the formal education system which further reinforces the traditional gender roles. On the other hand, it was also pointed out that one should not gloss over the differences of the conditions of women as a result of specific economic, political or socio-cultural factors. As the participants summed up the similarities and differences, it was clear in our discussions that it is critical that the women's perspective be taken as the reference point for evaluating the effectiveness of educational policies, programmes and projects. As such a women's perspective is continuously evolving, it is imperative that this be clarified at certain points so that the...