Another group of public service employees will soon be trained in gender awareness and analysis.

Word of this has come from Programme Officer in the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Nalita Gajadhar, who said the Gender Awareness course would run from September 16 to 17, while the follow up Gender Analysis workshop is slated for October 7 and 8.

Mrs. Gajadhar pointed out that approximately 50 persons would undertake the training, which was not exclusively for civil servants, but also for private sector workers and members of non-governmental organisations. She has, therefore, encouraged those who are interested to contact the Bureau at 310-2105.

She added: "At the end of the workshops, participants should know the social construction of gender, better understand the reality of women and men and the implications of sex and gender stereo-typing, and identify barriers and obstacles men and women face as they attempt to perform their multiple roles.

"They should also understand the method by which policy is formulated and the extent to which these processes determine the achievement of national development goals. They will also learn about the importance of incorporating gender into development policies and how to develop strategies that empower policy makers to integrate gender in national policies, plans and projects."

Mrs. Gajadhar explained that most international agencies were demanding that governments pay special attention to gender equity and equality. "The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the agencies of the United Nations and most recently, the Millennium Development Goals, have all recognised that there can be no real sustainable development without gender equality.

"Our workshops are designed to increase the capacity of officers to operate in this new global environment, where knowledge of gender and gender analysis determines to a large extent, the international ratings of countries and states, the success or failure of proposals and projects for funding; and at the individual level, recruitment and promotion," she disclosed.

Four gender training workshops are held yearly, and since 2005, close to 600 persons have been exposed to the subject matter.

Mrs. Gajadhar described the gender training as an "awesome opportunity" for people to reflect on their personal lives, understand their own prejudices and the decisions they make, and how they impact on their lives and the nation’s development. She noted that course participants had reported that the information was very valuable.

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