Vietnamese Women’s Museum, Experimental Secondary School and UNESCO join hands to integrate gender-related concepts into educational programs

This was the first time the Vietnamese Women’s Museum (VWM) had held a training workshop on gender equality and girls’ education for its staff and secondary school teachers. Not only did it provide relevant knowledge about gender-related concepts, the workshop also offered an excellent opportunity for both sides to understand the capabilities of each other, in order to design educational content on gender equality and girls’ education using museum collections and resources.

Several specialists from UNESCO and The Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences joined the workshop to share their practical knowledge with the trainees.

In his speech at the opening ceremony, Mr. Toshiyuki Matsumoto, UNESCO’s educational program specialist emphasized: “Vietnamese Women’s Museum plays an important role in building and developing educational content that teachers can use, both inside and outside the classroom, in order to promote gender equality.”

Mr. Toshiyuki Matsumoto, UNESCO′s educational program specialist delivers his speech at the workshop (Photo: Nguyen Duc Tang)

The content of the workshop was built based on the practical needs of the participants. Therefore, basic knowledge of gender issues, gender equality, and women’s empowerment were expected to be acquired. The staff of the museum will soon work with the teachers of the Experimental Secondary School to design an educational program that involves visiting the museum in the hopes of bringing gender-related concepts closer to secondary school students.

Ms. Tran Thu Thuy, an experienced gender specialist led the training workshop and facilitated discussions by familiarizing participants with key basic definitions and concepts related to gender equality. 20 participants actively took part in practical exercises to learn more about gender stereotypes, gender sensitivity, and gender mainstreaming. Gender issues in education, family, leadership, and sexual health were also mentioned and discussed in the workshop.

Based on the participants’ assessment and observations of the exhibitions and displays, recommendations in integrating the museum’s collections and data with secondary education were discussed and presented in the Q&A form:

– On the theme “Child request”, a variety of questions such as “Is child request related to gender imbalance issue?”, “Is there any prejudice against infertile women?” were discussed thoroughly.

– On the theme “Taking care of new mothers”, participants discussed the role of husbands in taking care of new-born children and men’s behaviors towards male contraceptives.

– On the theme “Portraits of Contemporary Women”, participants expressed their expectations to the update of more relevant examples that would motivate young girls to feel confident and proud.

Trainees actively took part in the discussions (Photo: Nguyen Duc Tang)

A group of trainees are preparing for their presentation (Photo: Nguyen Duc Tang)

The training workshop is a starting point for a further collaboration between the museum and the school. Another training workshop for secondary students will be held at VWM where the staff of the museum and teachers will raise awareness and widely spread the message on gender equality to schoolchildren.