News from the Campus

Recapping our latest Virtual Dialogues: Privilege, power, and Bejing+25

1 January 2020

The reports of the latest Virtual Dialogues by the UN Women Training Centre’s Community of Practice (CoP) are now available!

We held two dynamic Virtual Dialogues in 2019, drawing together more participants than ever before. 

 Our Virtual Dialogue on Privilege, Power and Training for Gender Equality explored why privilege and power matter for training, and how they can be addressed through, and within, training. “Gender training helps us think together about how do we can build ‘power to’, ‘power with’ and ‘power within’ to change some of those conditions of inequality,” explained Dr Andrea Cornwall of SOAS at the University of London, one of the Virtual Dialogue’s four expert panellists.

Dr Cornwall joined Laxman Belbase of the MenEngage Alliance, Dr Lucy Ferguson of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and Dr Joanne Sandler of Gender at Work. Along with 250 Webinar audience members, these experts discussed how training prompts reflection and dialogue which offer a critical entry point to examine the structures and systems of privilege and power that underlie gender inequality. 

 This is a slow process, in which training is only one part. As Dr Joanne Sandler put it, “Training can start to provoke questions, it can start hopefully to provoke dialogue, but eradicating the fear that patriarchy has instilled in all of us is an ongoing and collective initiative that we have to work on in every space.” But by thinking about privilege and power in more complex ways, and considering different dimensions of empowerment, training for gender equality can disrupt privileges and help us to consider how we can each use our power and privilege to advance equality. 

Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action (PFA), and coinciding with the launch of UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign, we hosted a Virtual Dialogue on Beijing+25 and Training for Gender Equality. Four expert panellists and over 200 participants discussed how we can use training for gender equality to bring about the change we need to address the unfinished business of Beijing. 

The dialogue focused on training for gender equality in the cross-cutting area of gender statistics, and in two of the Platform for Action’s critical areas of concern: violence against women, and women and the environment. 

“We need to develop gender-responsive actions – that is what works,” pointed out panellist Itza Castañeda, Adviser for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. “Gender equality is a driver of transformation and co-benefits. In the environmental field, this issue of the benefits and co-benefits of environmental actions is important.” She joined Jessamyn Encarnacion of UN Women, Hemlata Verma of the International Center for Research on Women, and Rania Ayman of Entreprenelle.

Read our Virtual Dialogue reports on Privilege, Power and Training for Gender Equality and Beijing+25 and Training for Gender Equality