8 March 2014

Africa: New Educational Website On Gender, Women's Empowerment and Development


On International Women's Day IDS celebrates the launch of a new educational website by the Pathways of Women's Empowerment programme that promises to reinvigorate teaching on a range of subjects connected to gender, women's empowerment and development.

The Pathways Learning Platform has been designed especially for the teaching and learning of a wide range of subjects connected to women's empowerment. This free resource is designed to engage learners, enhance teaching and save time on lesson or workshop planning and resources preparation.

All resources included in this platform contain repurposed research taken from the Pathways of Women's Empowerment - an international research programme, co-ordinated by IDS and the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex with partners in Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Palestine and Nigeria, that links academics with activist and development practitioners.

This unique platform is important for all learners, as the materials within give value to the stories of women embarking on personal journeys of empowerment, explore the rich variety of pathways available to women from different parts of the world, examine routes these women have taken and looks at what assistance they have had and whether this assistance has helped or hindered their journeys along the way.

Andrea Cornwall, Pathways' Director and Head of Global Studies at the University of Sussex said, "Through this learning platform we are seeking to make visible women's pathways of empowerment and to provide materials for a diversity of learners to share the lessons Pathways has learnt about how positive change happens in women's lives".

Within the platform there are four modules exploring: Empowerment and Women's Work; Politics, Equality and Voice; Women, Representation and Sexuality; and Understanding and Evolving Empowerment.

Modules contain case studies from ten countries, a wide selection of engaging resources - including films, photo galleries, info graphics, timelines, text resources, interactive comics and a range of flexible activities that vary in length of time, learning styles and skills. The Platform has been designed with usability and accessibility in mind. It can be used in lessons or workshops, by groups or independently outside of the learning environment on a range of devices.

All resources can be downloaded and used without Internet connection and every resource and activity is also included in vibrant specially designed workbooks, which are available to save, print - ready for use anytime. These features allow users complete flexibility in how they choose to teach and engage with the learning materials within this platform.

A wide range of users can access the materials in this platform as it has been filtered by age and content appropriation. Non-school age learners, community groups, women organisations, those facilitating workshops and those studying gender related undergraduate programmes can access resources under the 'other groups' category.

The platform through its curriculum guidance page links materials to a range of national curriculum subjects in key stages three, four and five, and International Baccalaureate syllabuses. A lesson planning document and 'How to Use' instructional film is also included to enhance understanding and provide further support to educators and learners.

The Pathways Learning Platform offers flexible learning materials for others to use and build on to inspire a radical shift in policy and practice.

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