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Clare's #ThursdayThoughts

For weeks we worked without rest.  Researching, writing, re-writing, editing, designing. Bit by bit our creative and determined team pulled together an incredible toolkit for teachers in Africa - a toolkit to guide the creation of a gender sensitive educational environment. Everyone on the Creative Action Institute team was pushed to their max, but somehow we made it. Here in Kenya, we have been able to feel the impact of this effort in a profound way. 

What an incredible few days.  Powerful, inspiring and brilliant women and men, who have been instrumental in advancing gender equality across Africa, convened to validate the toolkit we developed to support teachers throughout the continent in their efforts to create a classroom environment that equally and adequately supports both girls and boys as learners  After months of intense work and collaboration across many borders, our team presented the draft of the 160 page Gender Responsive Pedagogy Toolkit developed in collaboration with FAWE (the Forum for African Women Educationalists), UNICEF and UNESCO/IICBA.

Building on the handbook created by FAWE in 2005, and using a human rights framework, Creative Action Institute augmented the toolkit and included current research on gender equality and gender in the education, as well as adding creative and participatory practices.  Men and women working in strategic roles in education came from Burkino Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia to affirm the toolkit and provide useful input. We shared stories and built connections; we deeply examined the toolkit to ensure it would resonate in the different cultures and we made commitments for our continued collaboration in support of creating a gender responsive classroom.

There are tough days in this work.  Days where proposals are rejected, and cash flow is tight, but today was a good day. Today we were reminded of the privilege we hold to be working with so many brilliant and determined warriors in the battle for gender equality across Africa. We walked away from the convening knowing that those long nights were worth it. That the toolkit in the hands of these visionaries would impact schools across the continent.  Yes, today was a good day.


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