DECLARATION OF THE POPULAR EDUCATION NETWORK AMONG WOMEN - REPEM
The member organizations of the NETWORK, in their internal seminar on the document of "Belem´s Framework for Action" and
1. Globalization and the current global financial crisis have given rise to serious problems for girls, young women, adult and older women, who remain in situations of discrimination and exclusion on the basis of gender, ethnicity, class and other conditions manifested in the family, social and political spheres, and particularly in the spheres of education, culture, work, health, citizen participation, affecting mainly poor, indigenous and African-descendant women, women with diverse sexual identities, women with disabilities, migrant women, women deprived of liberty and internallydisplaced women that experience national and cultural uprootedness..
2. The above-mentioned multiple discrimination and exclusion constitute a violation of human rights, the principles of equality and equity, fundamental freedoms of individuals, and especially of the right toeducation throughout life.
3. The role of education is fundamental in the transformation of values, attitudes, imaginaries and cultural practices that promote women´s autonomy and organization in order to participate in decision-making processes both in public and private spheres.
4 .In regions of the world such as Africa, South Asia, Latin America and some Northern countries evaluated as having low or very low human development levels, women´s situation is even more severe.
5. Looking upon the social debt that States have with their population, to whom the right to education in timing, with pertinence and in equity has been denied, the disadvantage experienced by young and adult women is put into relief.
6. Notwithstanding the diversity of education practices developed by civil organizations and other instances, official youth and adult education programmes merely try to compensate for the so-called "education lag" in relation to the female population, giving priority to the fulfillment of quantitative over qualitative goals.
7. Taking into account the gravity of the outcomes of EFA, held in Dakar, in 2000, little importance is given to the work developed by those who foster educational processes with young people and adults, most of them women, who reproduce female work´s unremunerated character and the little legitimacy
granted to it, failing to achieve the professionalization and a decent remuneration for the work they do.
8. Notwithstanding the advances in the incorporation of gender perspective at legislative and programmatic levels in many countries, said perspective fails to be concretized in education processes, remaining merely as a reference, neither impacting on nor transforming the lives of women and men so that they can assume diversity and alternative ways of living with equity.
9. The factual grounds posed in the preliminary draft of Belem Framework for Action proposed by UNESCO, titled "Harnessing the power and potential of adult learning and education for a viable future" leave aside the commitments to proposals and actions assumed at CONFINTEA V to strengthen and broaden youth and adult education.
10. The Sixth International Conference on Youth and Adult Education constitutes an opportunity to establish measures that contribute to overcoming the structural and historical problem of discrimination that affects women in particular.
WE RECOMMEND TO:
1. Call on States and governments to comply with the national, regional and international covenants and agreements on gender equality and equity in women´s education as was envisaged in the World Conference on Education for All, Jomtiem-Thailand, 1990; the World Education Forum, Dakar, Senegal,
2000; and the CEDAW and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
2. Demand that education as a human right be considered as one of the preventive measures to overcome the multiple discrimination that deteriorates the conditions of women´s access, permanence and promotion in the education system throughout their lives, including formal and non formal
education, continuing education and other forms of lifelong learning in all dimensions of life.
3. Recognize human beings as the subject of education; therefore, education must become the means for their personal and social development.
4. Recognize education as a tool for the promotion of new democratic practices to value differences, as a mechanism to ensure real and effective equality and equity of opportunities for girls and young and adult women.
5. Increase the financial resources to achieve the EFA goals, the effective equality in the access, permanence and promotion of girls and young and adult women at all levels and in all education modalities.
6. Recognize that secularism in education is an indispensable condition to promote and guarantee the exercise of women´s rights.
7. Foster education for work in order to close gender gaps, horizontal and vertical discrimination in the world of work and increase the capacity to generate decent incomes that meet the needs of women and their families.
8. Call on States and governments to transform educators´ formation and training systems so they promote the development of their autonomy, professional dignity and the power for deliberation in order to adapt their practices towards an education for non discrimination and social inclusion.
9. Call on States and governments to incorporate to the education curriculum contents aimed at preventing and eradicating gender discrimination and violence as political and ideological strategy that enables the creation of a culture of peace and the respect for difference.
10. Call on States and governments to ensure an intercultural and inclusive formation and training framework with gender justice to be at the service of all individuals living in their territories, independently of their place of origin.
11. Urge States and governments to effectively acknowledge previous learning (non formal education, life education, education in practices and trades), curricula and degrees for migrant population through validation agreements, particularly of girls, young and adult women, victims of catastrophes and internal conflicts.
12. Urge States and governments to protect the right to citizenship and the enjoyment of different life styles, with positive shifts in the pertinent legislation, in education policies and in the policies that are in effect regarding mass media.
13. Increase women´s active participation in the management and decision-making process of education programmes, both governmental and civil.
14. Recommend States, governments and civil society organizations to encourage mass media to supply information and images that do not discriminate and depreciate women on the basis of their gender, race, age, disabilities, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity and, in general, any situation that generates discrimination.
15. Promote a pedagogy that incorporates, really and effectively, gender equity in order to allow women in particular to be autonomous for participating and getting organized collectively in decision-making processes and formal structures.
16. Review the express and tacit contents of the institutions that play an educational and socializing role such as mass media and churches, which perpetuate and aggravate gender discrimination.
17. Call on States and governments, the UN System and the International Cooperation to allocate a percentage of their budgets to the implementation of the Plan of Action of CONFINTEA VI.
Translation: Beatriz Simonetti - ICAE