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Women in public functions in Romania : challenge or necessity?

The Training Course “ Women in public functions in Romania : challenge or necessity? " was developed by the Group for European Integration based on the identified needs in the envisaged field: women holding public positions. Taking into consideration the interest shown by the public society and especially by women towards the thematic of this course, we believe that we could strengthen the impact of the Wo-men project by presenting this positive initiative developed by Group for European Integration.

Introduction:

The Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men (no. 202/2002) regulates for Romania the equality of chances between women and men concerning the participation in decision taking by its Chapter IV (articles no. 21 and 22), which stipulates an equitable and balanced representation of women and men within the decisional authorities of the social partners. Even so, many of the performed studies, surveys and investigations showed in their conclusions that the woman is far of being into an equitable position in society. Articles like “Inequity of the chances in accessing the political life by Liliana POPESCU analyses the political life and women's difficulty in acceding to lead positions and public functions.

The present course is addressed to women in order to enable them understanding the necessity of women in decision taking, the rights that women have by law to hold public functions and also the means of achieving this on a scale as large as possible.

Aim and objectives:

This Training Course wants to be a useful tool able to offer access to up-to-date information and legislation (statistics, reports, surveys, laws, decrees, etc.) in the field of women's right of acceding to public functions and to properly train the women for acting as decision makers. The Training Course intends this way to change the mentality concerning the woman role within the civil society and to improve of the society's general perception related to the woman's place in politics and in the framework of public authorities.

The general objectives of the present Training Course are:

* To provide accurate information about the woman's status in Romania related to holding positions and public functions;
* To offer to women the theoretical knowledge necessary to become a public functionary/civil servant/office worker;
* To enable women to achieve specific skills and abilities necessary when hold a public function;
* To increase the women involvement in the life of civil society;
* To induce a change of mentality both to women and men concerning woman's role in decision taking.

Target group(s):

* First level: women having at least a medium level of education;
* Second level: trainers from the formal, informal and non-formal educational systems, entire civil society.

Topics and description:

* European legislation on Gender Issues;
* Romanian laws and decrees on Equal opportunity between women and men;
* Women in public functions: challenge or necessity
* Elements of masculine psychology, feminine psychology and psychology of the sexes.
* Communication between sexes.
* Using ICT and foreign languages when holding a public function.
* Key issues when you are a women and you are working within the public authority network:
- how to dress yourself;
- how to behave during the meetings;
- levels of protocol;
- relationship with mass media;
- image construction;
- conflicts management;
- decision taking;
- relations with superiors and subordinates;
- working with other people;
* Changing the society mentality in relation with public functions held by women: ways to do it.
The content of the Training Course was thought as a textbook, printed on paper, preserving its feature of interactive educational instrument. In the coming period it is intended to transfer the content on a CD-Rom as well, and to adapt it as an e-learning tool.

We foresaw among the subjects to be taught some topics which will provide the necessary knowledge at theoretical level, but also others that will form/generate appropriate skills and abilities to the woman trainees, in order to enhance their potential of holding public functions, to increase their capacity and to make them ready to compete for such a position. In addition to the already designed content of the Training Course we intend to add the results (at regional and national level) of the future elections that will take place in Romania (at 6 th of June 2004) for the positions in local administration. It will be a good opportunity to enlarge the range of statistic information concerning the percentage held by women in public administration in Romania, and maybe to perform a comparison with the situation obtained in previous round of election from the year 2000 (seeing thus if some changes were produced or not).

Training methods:

The modules of the Training Course are designed to match both the requirements of the individual study (self-learning) and that ones of the learning conducted by a teacher. Course duration is of 20 hours (including the seminars/practical applications).

We intend to use several categories of educational methods:
* Communication methods
* oral communication (description, conversation, dialogue);
* writing communication
* visual communication
* Exploring methods (observation, direct exploration, modelling, problem-solving)
* Practical action - methods (direct action, simulation)

A special attention must be accorded to the group-work methods, which are specific to the adult education. In that category, we consider instance study, brain storming, role acting, educational games, etc.
A good method is represented also by the small-group discussion in tutorials, which can be used for training the subjects that then to disseminate the learned ideas.
Also, it can be developed a computer-assisted learning program, which poses the problem to write an algorithm for teaching a topic.
As a conclusion, all the methods and actions used to reach our purpose must be based on the main idea that the subjects are adult people. From here, results that they do not respond to our actions like schoolboys. Contrary, they reject usually that come like school education; for that reason, we must do not use a teacher attitude but a schoolmate one.

Implementation in Romania :

Because present Training Course was designed as a result of an initiative of Group for European Integration, starting from the real situation of the woman's condition and position within the Romanian society, it follows to be taught for the first time in Romania by the team of the Group for European Integration in year 2004. The courses will be organized in the Arges County, having as trainees women wanting to accede to public functions and not only. Based on the dissemination actions we have done related to the organization of this course, a quite large number of demands on behalf of interested women have been already registered for this course.

Sources/references:

You can obtain more information about this course by emailing at: g.chirlesan@gie.ro
Also you may visit the web site of the Group for European Integration at the address: www.gie.ro where we shall add soon information about this course.


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