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Doing the Gender Boogie

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Today was the last day of the gender and development training for the education department staff. A good group of participants in a congenial environment. No one got mad or defensive or insulted. Sure, there were the usual "you need a thunk on the head" type comments but usually other participants were quick to respond.

This time around I added a session on the role of men and also invited a Burkinabé consultant to give an overview of the situation in BF. (I figured I could share the same info but it sounds more legit coming from a fellow Burkinabé rather than the resident foreigner.) I also had photos up of Ewan McGregor wearing a kilt, three Samoan boys in lava-lavas, and elderly Ghanaian men in traditional dress, to show that skirts were not an exclusively female phenomenon.

The participants this time include a couple of people who aren't traditional "programming" types - two engineers who deal with school infrastructure construction and a commodities manager - and I wondered if they were a bit lost because we talked about the project cycle, indicators, etc. In addition to the education folks there was one person from microfinance and another from general relief, plus two ministry people (education and social affairs). It always amazes me to how a micro-environment is created during a training. I enjoy it most of the time but I also find it exhausting. I don't know how people can do this for a living in addition to traveling to the training site.

And everyone watched the World Cup during the breaks and over lunch. Ack!

But I did get a nice piece of cloth as a gift....
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On June 15th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC), flemmarde commented:
heh heh... there's that world cup again :)

how did the new section on the role of men go down?

well done that it went so well! i'm sure you're a great trainer. but i agree... i don't mind doing it occasionally, but i couldn't do it all the time, it's so exhausting
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On June 15th, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Thanks for the good vibes!

There were only 4 women (out of 20 participants) so I think the men appreciated some time to talk about themselves...it didn't seem like they had realized that so many negative aspects of their lives were gendered (violence, criminality, increased health risks due to smoking, drinking, and multiple sexual partners, etc.). Most of the comments I got on the final evaluation concerned the epiphany that gender does not automatically equal women - glad that got through at least! The negative comments centered on the consultant surprisingly - she didn't seem prepared and had lectured too much.
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On June 15th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC), flemmarde replied:
that's amazing if you got that message through! wonder how it might impact on things they do in the next little while...

not a good look getting bad comments on your consultant!
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On June 16th, 2006 12:29 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Men in Skirts
Somewhere I'll have to find you a picture of burly gay men in utili-kilts. Then you'll an additional subset of a demographic that wear skirts and have penises. :-)

Janet
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On June 16th, 2006 01:40 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Re: Men in Skirts
Yum!
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On June 17th, 2006 02:57 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Gender Bogie
Mmmmm, Ewan McGregor in a kilt...

Adriana
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