MODULE 7

ICT METHODS FOR GENDER EQUALITY

Interactive methods in engendered education of older women – methods of delivery

Introduction

This module is a demonstration of how to use new technologies, ICT skills and learning methods in older women’s education.

 

Module in a nutshell                                

The module consists of three units followed by Check Your Understanding and References.

  • Unit 1. Digitizing interactive face-to face learning methods: ICT methods in education
  • Unit 2. Gender equality and ICT
  • Unit 3. ICT and education for (older) women
  • Check your understanding. Are the following statements True or False?
  • References

Unit 1. Digitizing interactive face-to face learning methods: ICT methods in education

 

Face-to-face learning is a teaching/learning method where course contents are transmitted to learners and the group members’ learning is triggered to create new knowledge. This ensures live interaction between adult learners themselves and the educator. Face-to-face learning is a traditional type of learning. Adult learners benefit from a greater level of interaction with their counterparts in the study group. Face-to-face learning gives group members the opportunity to bond with each other. Such methods are for example: collaborative learning, exploratory learning, group projects, role-playing, games, simulations, debates, group discussion, etc.

 

These methods are rather useful in adult learning and education. However, in the digital age and since the onset of the Covid-19 health crisis, it has become more and more important to adjust these learning methods by using new technologies[1]. Now, you are probably wondering how to proceed with the digitization/digitalization of these interactive learning methods?

 

This can be done through blended learning[2], or multimodal learning, an approach that combines face-to-face education/training/learning with online learning activities, while focusing on the learner’s experience.

[1] Eva Andersson, ICT in adult education

[2] From, Blended Learning for Adult Educators

 

Activities

Face-to-face approach

Blended learning or combined/multimodal learning

Adult learners are involved in project learning

Adult learners meet in a study room to work together and contribute to the project.

Adult learners use online messengers and community, as well as task managers to plan their work and track their progress. They also use file-sharing services (e.g. Google docs) to collaborate and share feedback on the project progress.

Adult learners practice conversation in a foreign language in pairs or small groups.

Adult learners are divided into sub-groups during a session, and they discuss a topic.

In addition to group discussions, adult learners use online text and voice services (e.g. chat, Facebook group).

Adult learners practice debates

Adult learners watch a video in their learning group and discuss what they have understood.

The educator can share a link to a video, giving learners the opportunity to view it at home, send feedback by email, and then discuss it in the study group.

Evaluation

Adult learners complete written assignments and take mid-course and terminal (final) tests.

Activity statistics are used to track adult learners' progress. They take online quizzes and tests, submit digital materials, and participate in cross-evaluations with each other.

 

Unlike exclusively online courses, the online part of the blended course does not completely replace face-to-face education/training/learning with an educator or learning facilitator. He or she incorporates technology in the learning process to enhance the learning experience and expand the understanding of some topics.

Unit 2. Gender equality and ICT

 

According to ITU “In 2019, the share of women using the Internet worldwide amounted to 48%, as compared to 58% of men[1]. The gender gap has been shrinking in Europe while in the Arab States, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa, the gender gap has been growing. Since 2013 there have been more male than female new Internet users.

 

Moreover, the “ICT Gender equality paradox”[2] has been brought to light. Countries that are much better than other countries at achieving overall gender equality, such as European countries, have the fewest women acquiring the advanced skills needed for careers in the technology sector. Currently, only around 17% of the almost 8 million ICT specialists in Europe are women[3]. This paradox reveals the need for measures to encourage inclusion of women in digital skills training, notwithstanding their age.

 

It has also become obvious that ICT have led to the creation of jobs for both men and women (according to the UNESCO document named ITC and Gender[4]). Nevertheless, the information economy goes on reproducing forms of gender segregation, with men in high-skilled, high-value-added jobs, while women remain concentrated in unskilled, low value-added sectors.

 

On the other hand, ICT skills are also tools for social transformation and promotion of equality.

 

Let us consider some examples:

  • In many places, NGOs are testing e-commerce initiatives that link craftswomen directly to global markets via Internet. NGOs support their activities by providing the market and production information to them. For example WTFO[5] (World Fair Trade Organization), supports marginalised small producers while 74% of them are female farmers and craftswomen.
  • Governments have initiated e-governance programs that use ICT to provide citizens with a better electronic access to government services, accompanied, in some cases, by an explicit strategy to ensure effective access for women and those who face difficulties in accessing these services. For example, in Denmark, in Portugal[6], in UK or in Estonia[7].
  • Health educators use radio broadcasting to disseminate information on women's sexual and reproductive health in some countries. On the radio France Inter[8] are broadcast programmes dealing with the female sexuality and related society's cultural imperatives.

 

In addition, today’s social networks are a powerful tool used in the struggle against gender inequality[9]. They allow the sharing of information and liberate the voice of women due to the emergence of social movements such as the "Me Too". This movement focused on sexual abuse in America, has expanded into all gender issues and sexual abuse in society as a whole. This keyword has spread throughout Europe applying to inequalities and abuses of women in various professional environments, from fun or cultural industries to sports and politics.

 

These studies show that although ICT is now well established in Europe, tools are not yet reaching men and women equally. There is still a need to promote their use and creation of the associated value through education and training. It is essential to address the entire population, and more specifically older women, who traditionally are the most vulnerable concerning gender equality issues. The use of new technologies and ICT is urgently needed in older women’s education in order to empower them and move them closer to the social mainstream.

 

[1] From ITU, International Telecommunication Union, Bridging the gender divide, 2019

[2] From UNESCO, ICT Gender paradox

[3] From EIGE, Women in ICT sector

[4] From UNESCO, ICT and Gender

[5] From, WTFO website

[6] The Portugal Plan, in ICT for Elderly People: «Yes, ‘They’ Can!»

[7] The underlying causes of the digital gender gap and possible solutions for enhanced digital inclusion of women and girls

[8] France inter

[9] Les femmes à l’assaut du numérique

Unit 3. ICT and education for (older) women

 

From their appearance in the 50s with the automation of tasks, to the democratization of the Internet, new technologies have considerably changed society and the work environment. They have constantly created new ways of doing things. As a result of it, many jobs have gradually disappeared and new tasks requiring specific skills have emerged. Today more than ever, it is important for adults to learn continuously in order to upgrade their professional skills, learn new skills and be able to remain socially integrated and active.

 

The study conducted in the communication document named "Making a European Area of Lifelong Learning a Reality", published by the European Commission and Council Resolution on Lifelong Learning[1], has highlighted the importance of lifelong learning for competitiveness and employability, but also for social inclusion, active citizenship and personal growth. This is even truer regarding older people and older women who are often excluded from society because of their lack of education and training.

 

For older women, organized learning is a way to get out of their daily routines of housewives or retirees and find a new career path.

 

Several organizations have emerged to take up the challenge of reaching out to the least qualified older people as to train them to face current and future digital transformations.

 

For example:

  • Silver geek:[2] is the result of a collective dynamics in Poitou-Charentes (France) initiated back in 2014, which has made digital technology available to older people. The project aims to break the isolation of older people and promotes intergenerational social bonds. Since then entertaining digital workshops have been led by a hundred or so civic service volunteers. They are offered every week using the facilities of organizations for older people or of older people or community centres. In the workshops, tablets and game consoles have been used.
  • Old’up[3]: develops actions for older learning audience that include two older generations from 70 to over 90 years of age. Actions take place in nursery homes and residential homes as well as within the network of public nursery homes. In 2019, Old Up launched an experimental project concerning the use of digital tablets by nonagenarians.

 

This has been made possible through different digital learning approaches:

  • Edutainment: a blend of educational material and entertainment (ex: escape game, serious game).
  • Mooc: an open type of distance learning that can address many participants.
  • Numerical simulations: Virtual simulations, also called screen-based simulations, are a recreation of reality depicted on a computer screen. It is focused on humans by exercising their motor skills, decision-making skills, or communication skills by using adequate software and virtual reality.

 

With access to the Internet and ICT skills women, older women included, have the opportunity to start their own businesses, sell their products on new markets, find better-paying jobs, and access education, health and financial services. This also aims to struggle against gender inequalities.

 

[1] From DDV International, Adult Education and Development

[2] Silver geek website

[3] Old'up website

Bergmark, P. (2020). Women in Tech 2020: The role of climate, gender and ICT. Retrieved from:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/blog/2020/3/women-in-tech-2020-climate-gender-ict

 

European Institute for Gender Equality. (2018). Women and men in ICT: a chance for better work–life balance - Research note. Retrieved from:

https://eige.europa.eu/publications/women-and-men-ict-chance-better-work-life-balance-research-note

 

McCoshan, A. (2017). Les TIC dans le domaine de la formation des adultes: ne parviennent-elles toujours pas à fournir des solutions optimales et durables? Retrieved from EPALE:

https://epale.ec.europa.eu/fr/blog/ict-adult-education-still-failing-deliver-optimal-and-sustainable-solutions

 

Mlambo-Ngcuka, P. (2018). Reshaping the future: Women, girls and tech for development. Retrieved from:

https://news.itu.int/reshaping-future-women-girls-icts/

 

https://www.lifeline24.co.uk/technology-for-older-people/

Activity

Gerda Taro
1910 - 1937

Pioneer of war photography
Gerda Taro, nee Gerta Pohorylle, was born in Stuttgart and educated in Leipzig, Germany. As she is from a Jewish family, she flees from the Nazis to Paris in 1933. There she lives a bohemian lifestyle with her friend Ruth Cerf and eventually meets Endre Ernő Friedmann, better known today as Robert Capa. Together, they start documenting the Spanish Civil War in 1935, after Gerda had invented their alter egos in order to better sell Endre's and her own pictures. Inspired by their own political convictions, they only take pictures of the the fight of the republican troops against the rebellious franquist troops. Both of them try to be as close to the action as possible - a goal which eventually led to Gerda's death. Despite the fact that her pictures only cover 1 year of the war, her pictures are those that went around the world. Together with Robert Capa and with David Seymour, she developed modern war photography as we know it today during this short period of time. Since she officially was Capa's agent and he sold many of her pictures as his own, it took until the 2000s until people began to recognize her as an artist in her own right rather than only his partner: In 2007, the so-called Mexican Suitcase was found in Mexico City, a suitcase containing thousands of negatives believed lost by Capa, Taro and Seymour. Since then, many photographs originally attributed to Capa are known to have been taken by Gerda. However, during her short life, Taro was well known and when she was killed in 1937 by a tank, - she was only 26 - thousands of people attended her funeral in Paris. The funeral procession, led by Pablo Neruda and Louis Aragon, became a demonstration against fascism.

Marie-Claire Chevalier
1955 - 2022

The one whose trial for illegal abortion changed the law against abortion in France
In 1971, Marie-Claire Chevalier was 16 years old when she became pregnant after being raped by a boy two years older than her in high school. The young woman asked her mother to help her have an abortion. The mother turned to an underground doctor, but her daughter suffered a hemorrhage that forced her to the hospital. Her rapist, arrested for stealing a car, decides to turn her in against his own freedom. She is directly accused, as are four other women, including her mother, because in 1971 the voluntary termination of a pregnancy was illegal in France and punishable by six months to two years in prison. She was then convicted at the Bobigny trial and all were defended by lawyer Gisèle Halimi. Gisèle Halimi made of this trial and of Marie-Claire Chevalier a political symbol for the right to abortion. The case will forever mark French history and symbolize real progress for women's rights. Extremely mediatized, the trial closely followed by many personalities ends on a brilliant victory. Three years later this judgement, things started to move. This event contributed to the adoption of the Veil law and the legalization of abortion in France in 1975.

Having suffered greatly from this trial, she attempted suicide. Then, she chose to return to anonymity by changing her name. At her death, she received tributes from the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron and feminist associations.

Maria Lejárraga
1874 – 1974

She was writing and her husband harvesting the glory, fame and money!
Writer, feminist, deputy, polyglot and socialist who opposed to the death penalty and legal prostitution. She advocated for education, work and equal rights for women in Spain. A very open-minded and visionary woman who had to pay a high price imposed by her gender.

María Lejárraga comes from the region of La Rioja from an economically stable middle class family. She was able to receive good education and became a teacher. During her teaching career she discovered her passion for writing. She was very talented and ready to share her ideas and stories with the world. But, that´s where she bumped into a big obstacle. At the beginning of the XX century being a female writer was seen as immoral work, especially for an educator. If she had risked meeting her goals, she could have lost her teaching job. She found a solution to this problem in her marriage by publishing her works under her husband's name. So, she was writing and waiting at home and he was the one receiving praise and applause at the premiers of the plays. Before dying, her husband confirmed the rumours circulating in theatre circles that she was the true author of his works.
continue reading

Maria Lejárraga
1874 – 1974

She was writing and her husband harvesting the glory, fame and money!
Writer, feminist, deputy, polyglot and socialist who opposed to the death penalty and legal prostitution. She advocated for education, work and equal rights for women in Spain. A very open-minded and visionary woman who had to pay a high price imposed by her gender.

María Lejárraga comes from the region of La Rioja from an economically stable middle class family. She was able to receive good education and became a teacher. During her teaching career she discovered her passion for writing. She was very talented and ready to share her ideas and stories with the world. But, that´s where she bumped into a big obstacle. At the beginning of the XX century being a female writer was seen as immoral work, especially for an educator. If she had risked meeting her goals, she could have lost her teaching job. She found a solution to this problem in her marriage by publishing her works under her husband's name. So, she was writing and waiting at home and he was the one receiving praise and applause at the premiers of the plays. Before dying, her husband confirmed the rumours circulating in theatre circles that she was the true author of his works.
continue reading

Maria Lejárraga
1874 – 1974

She was writing and her husband harvesting the glory, fame and money!
Writer, feminist, deputy, polyglot and socialist who opposed to the death penalty and legal prostitution. She advocated for education, work and equal rights for women in Spain. A very open-minded and visionary woman who had to pay a high price imposed by her gender.

María Lejárraga comes from the region of La Rioja from an economically stable middle class family. She was able to receive good education and became a teacher. During her teaching career she discovered her passion for writing. She was very...
continue reading