July 13, 2017
As we began to learn more about the details of the project, and what exactly encompasses Social Accountability- the more we realize just how holistic this approach is and why it is so vital. Community participation and mobilization is at the core of Social Accountability. Here in the rural regions of Al Haouz, where half of the project is being implemented, some schools have limited or no participation of women in their Parent-Teacher-Student Associations (APTE is the abbreviation in French).
So, the project coordinators utilized training materials from CARE-Maroc (another NGO dedicated to the advancement of women and children) to begin implementing gender training in addition to the workshops on project management and financial tracking. In order for us to understand what this encompassed, we received the training too!
The training is gender separated and covers a lot of different aspects of gender and societal roles prescribed to men and women. It goes over the difference between sex and gender, societal expectations of gender, and then there is an exercise at the end that asks how each individual will take action. For the men, they ask them to list 3 “engagements” that they will now do (eg. help my wife with the dishes, let her go to the market alone). For the women, they ask how they will be more engaged with their children’s education (eg. attend an APTE meeting, run for office, etc). Some women feel under qualified to be a part of the APTEs because they are illiterate, but it is emphasized that in this training- that they can still help! Women are given a lot of different roles in society, including planning weddings. If they can do that, they can help plan projects at school!
It was extremely impressive, at least to me, that such advanced gender training is being implemented in such remote areas. It is just another example of how successful development projects address a multitude of aspects of the community in order to achieve sustainability.
-Mavra & Syeda