Every woman’s right to learn

19 September 2011

A ten-point manifesto to help ensure every woman has the right to learn is being distributed by NIACE at the three main party conferences, starting on Monday 19 September, at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference in Birmingham.

This is the next stage of a process which was started on International Women’s Day 2011 (8 March) and will lead to the publication of a final manifesto, ‘Every Woman’s Right to Learn’, on International Women’s Day 2012.

The current ten-point manifesto states that, together we should:

1. Lead a debate on women and learning.

2. Inspire women to widen their horizons and achieve their dreams.

3. Involve more and different women in learning.

4. Make sure that adult learning promotes gender equality.

5. Make sure that learning is affordable and accessible to all women.

6. Make sure that work-related learning expands opportunities for women.

7. Make sure that Information, Advice and Guidance opens up the full range of possibilities for women.

8. Train all members of the workforce to understand and advance gender equality.

9. Demand equal participation in adult learning decision-making.

10. Campaign for gender equality across all adult learning providers and partners.

Carol Taylor, Deputy Chief Executive of NIACE, said:   

“Marking the centenary of International Women’s Day earlier this year gave NIACE the chance to think about all those women who fought, and are still fighting for women’s equality. Much of that fight has been for equality of access to education, and the improvements that women know it makes to their lives, families and communities.”

“In the past century, women in this country have won the right to vote, to go to university and to not have to resign from work when pregnant. Universal child benefits, more access to childcare and comprehensive education have opened up educational opportunities and a new world for women. We now have women professors, ministers of state, judges and even, occasionally, plumbers and engineers.”

“But we still have more to do to win full equality for women. There is a danger that some of the gains made in recent years will be lost. This manifesto, born out of a desire to say ‘we have come so far, let’s not lose it all now’, is open for discussion. We want women from all over the UK, and across the world, to help us to shape this manifesto into something that we can launch on International Women’s day 2012. We want a manifesto that will start a process so that, whoever they are and wherever they live, every woman will have the opportunity to transform their lives through learning.”