Implementation of ‘Gender Inequality in Workplaces’ (SOI-ES-113)

This learning scenario, created by Marina Stanojlović Mirčić was implemented in the Vocational course Higher Technician in Social Integration within the Socio-Labour Insertion subject. This activity was a part of the reality analysis prior to the implementation of the social intervention in the third sector organizations based on the PBL methodology in which the final aim is the awareness of equality. 

Students doing the activity. CC-BY-SA Maria Isabel Vila

The implementation context

The age of the students is between 18 and 35 years old. Although they have previous knowledge related to gender violence (they carried out different creative activities about this topic), the issue of labour inequality is something really important for them because the majority of the students are girls. They are aware of the disproportion between what should be and what really is.

The preparation

We started with a brainstorming session on the concept of inequality, areas and dimension of this differentiated situation. Based on their own experiences in their internships, the students looked at images and illustrations in Europeana where inequality is expressed graphically: Men and women working at a variety of trades and Men and women performing various trades and professions. They also commented on the origin of inequality in the workplace and how this aspect is a decisive factor in their career choice.

Researched topics

The students became aware of the inequality in the workplace that is still being experienced today. They watched a video that emphasizes this situation: Do you know what gender inequality at work looks like? Inequality in different aspects of social and working life was analysed and the students were asked to give examples to support their opinion. More women than men work in the field of Socio-Cultural and Community Services and in services related to health and care.

Teaching process

The first three sessions were spent on the initial consideration on inequality, based on their own internships experience, and in the search for illustrative images of this situation. After this first approach, in groups of two or three, the students had to comment on these questions: Do you know that in ancient Sumer, women and men had the same rights and privileges in both society and commerce? When did inequality start? Have a look at The Ascent of Woman (BBC article). What happens at work? Look at the jobs women and men do.

Students doing the activity. CC-BY-SA Maria Isabel Vila

Finally, after this previous analysis, in the same groups, they did some research (two sessions) about the situation of inequality, focusing on access to work (invisible door), wage gap, women and men in social work, household, political power and created different presentations.

Learning Outcomes

The students really liked this activity, especially because one of their future objectives in their professional tasks will be to achieve social and labour equality, where differences do not exist for any reason. It is surprising that even though it is a group that already has previous knowledge of this subject, they realized that Gender Inequality still exists in workplaces. A blog was created to upload all the tasks done in this Learning Scenario.

The analysis of the causes of inequality based on the images available in Europeana helped us to understand the origin of the differentiation. Currently, this web portal is a resource that allows us to think and imagine the past in order to provide a future with the hope that equality will be a reality soon.

Students doing the activity. CC-BY-SA Maria Isabel Vila

Teaching outcome

Personally, I am grateful to have been able to implement this activity and guide students to this Gender Inequality research. In this sense, we have noticed the feminization of some professions related to health, education and social services, and the results are really amazing. I strongly believe teachers should promote Gender equality in our classrooms.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario:

Gender inequality in the workplaces created by Marina Stanojlović Mirčić

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The featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and belongs to the public domain.

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