STUBE Niedersachsen Weekend Seminar “Women Empowerment: Challenging the Discourse, Closing the Gap”
by Chioma Obiakor, Nigeria (PPRE 2018/20)
The 2- day seminar (March 8-10, 2019 in Goslar) welcomed 24 students from about 14 countries in the world, who are studying in the Niedersachsen region of Germany to discuss on several topics relating to “Women Empowerment: Challenging the discourse, closing the gap”
During the seminar, several presentations were made, some of these topics were;
- “Challenges for the realization of women’s right and gender equality” by Mrs Carsta Neuenroth, from Bread of the World.
- “Women and gender issue in Kosovo” by Albina Islami
- “Male and female crops in northern Ghana” by Evans Kissi
- “Exposing women to technology” by Ms. Diana
- “Little ways to start making a difference towards women empowerment and gender equity” by Ms. Obiakor Chioma.
There were group discussions on the following topics;
- In what way do the existing gender roles and stereotypes affect men and boys?
- How has gender relations with respect to women evolved over the years?
We had several discussions after each presentation on how each topic affects our countries and communities and shared ideas on how to possibly continue this movement to achieve this “Gender equality and women empowerment” goals.
Generally, the event was very enlightening. It gave us to opportunity to share ideas, socialise and network with students from all spheres of life and countries, and to realise the effect and influence of this topic in other parts of the world.
The highlight of the event could be summarised with a writeup from Oxfam Gender Training Manual, Oxfam UK and Ireland 1994 which says that
“People are born female or male but learn to be girls and boys who grow into women and men. They are taught what the appropriate behaviour, attitudes, roles and activities are for them, and how to relate to other people. This learned behaviour is what makes up gender identity and determines gender roles.”
Also, according to the deduction made by Ms. Carsta Neuenroth,
“All human beings regardless of gender identity and cliché roles should throughout their entire lives have the same opportunities and rights to live their lives as they choose, in deploying their skills and to shape political, economic and social life on an equal basis.”
And from my own point of view,
“Grassroot grooming is everything, it shapes our beliefs and instils in us the stereotypes we fight.”
All work and no play, they say makes Jack a dull boy, in line with this, after the discussions and deliberation, we played a couple of games and explored the beautiful city of Goslar.