Education through the Prism of Gender. Aspects of Key Risks
The tenth publication from the series Aspekty (Aspects)
This study is a contribution to long-term efforts to map and reflect upon gender discourse and gender relations in Slovakia. The inquiry into the issue of gender equality in various spheres of society should lay foundations for a more differentiated thinking about gender in society as well as for the formulation of recommendations for both short-term and long-term policy-making. This study, the tenth from the series Aspekty (Aspects), is one of the outcomes of a long-term cooperation of partner organizations from the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia with the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Warsaw office. This year the common theme focused on gender aspects of education in the given countries.
Our material sketches out some facets of the overall situation in education in Slovakia from the gender perspective. It mainly reflects the work of NGOs in this field (since the official circles basically do not pay attention to this problematique). Within the project ruzovyamodrysvet.sk (pinkandblueworld.sk) Gender Sensitization in the Educational Process at Elementary and Secondary Schools as Preparation for Future Job Desegregation (Program of the European EQUAL Community Initiative) in cooperation with the Institute for Public Affairs and the FOCUS agency, ASPEKT has carried out gender research (based mostly on focus groups interviews with teachers of both sexes) the findings of which were published in the book The Teaching Profession. Aspects of Gender Equality in School, and which was the first of its kind in Slovakia. It was also in part related to the publication Equal Pay for Equal Work? Aspects of the Gender Pay Gap published last year.
In the presented study we identify the situation of the main actors i.e. teachers as one of the key risk factors in fostering gender equality in the heavily feminized education system. Especially in remuneration, the education system is an exemplification of gender-based inequality and injustice: on the one hand it affects both women and men in this feminized profession (when compared with other sectors of the national economy), on the other hand it impacts specifically women when compared with men working in education.
Given the limitations on the scope of the study as well as the lack of other gender research in education we decided to pay attention to some key risks that in our opinion either contribute to the construction and reproduction of several gender inequalities in schools (be it on the part of students, teachers or teaching methods, curricula and the like), or even directly prevent an efficient implementation of gender sensitive pedagogy. In this summary we present the main findings of the research.
 The whole project focused on gender sensitization of society, specifically on gender sensitive education and pedagogy as a possible tool of occupational gender desegregation. Further information on the project in English and the summary of this publication are available on the website www.pinkablueworld.sk, the whole publication in Slovak is accessible on website of the project www.ruzovyamodrysvet.sk.