Association for Educational Development EKVALIS implemented its own educational program on gender equality “What’s gender got to do with it“. The topics in focus in the framework of this program were: identity, human rights, gender and sex, stereotypes and prejudices based on gender, gender equality, LGBT rights, legislation regarding gender and media presentation of gender and sexuality. The program involved high school and university students who were following intensive 6 weeks process on gender education with 5 workshops and one final event for closing the program.
The first part of the program created a safe space for the participants to get to know each other better, getting familiar with the facilitators and presenting EKVALIS as organisation. During these activities the participants shared interesting aspects of their life through the exercises “The Colour Reveals“ where they had to choose gummy bears and depending on the candy colour they shared something about their education, friends, social life or work. As a next phase the exercise “Two Truths, One Lie“ enabled the participants to have dialogue through presenting two truths and one lie about themselves and trying to guess which of the presented information is true or false.
The core part of the program was focused on the topics in focus. Diverse aspects and complexities of identity as topic were revealed through an exercise where identities were discussed through an illustration of a flower and its constituent parts. We challenged the participants to find out the differences between sex and gender through the exercise “Genderbread“where they discussed the concepts of gender, sex, sexual orientation and gender expression. Through the analytic exercises “Heroes and Heroines“ the group examined the stereotypes and prejudice of the male and female character and body from the society. The topic of media representation in the media in this workshop was discussed with using the newspaper as a medium. The participants were split into groups and created their own magazines and newspapers with using pieces of already existing Macedonian newspapers and to make the portrait of the gender in Macedonian media. Moreover, the body objectification in music videos was analysed as media platform and the media message related to gender in the Disney cartoons. The groups created its own comics images with focus on gender discrimination at the workplace. As a next step they recorded a slow-motion video with using the comic images. Finally, LGBT rights and challenges of the community were discussed with the “World Cafe“ method.
The final part of the program was open air workshop where we evaluated what was learnt during the program with making a newspaper of comparing the fears and expectations that were written by our participants at the beginning of the program with the lessons learnt at the end of the program. We also discussed the following steps our organisation can take in promoting and education about gender equality.
The partners for making this program possible were People to People International Skopje-Macedonia, Social Center Dunja and Velo Coffee.