Gender inequalities in advocacy – participants’ accounts


In December 2016 we held a training on “Gender Inequalities in the Protection of Interest”. Two of the participants wrote an account of the event, which we are happy to share with you here:

“I strongly believe that social equality is a common cause for both women and men. This training reassured me in this belief, and I was very happy to see that men also participated in the training. It is very important to be self-aware of the fact that we live in a patriarchal society, and that it produces a lot of negative things on a systemic level. Among others we discussed topics such as sexism in institutions, the importance of women’s representation, of their public role and their opinion, as well as the situation of homeless women. Moreover, we talked about the situation dominating in residential institutions, and as a student studying social work it was very difficult to hear that so many of the social workers end up burning out, becoming apathetic and start treating the residents badly. The shortcomings of the service provisional system are also present in this area.

There was a talk about the history of feminism, which helped me grasp the causal connections between the past events and the current situation. I have learned a lot of useful and potentially utilizable things during the training. We have also received ideas for possible solutions, and what was even more important, we ourselves could produce solutions while working in small groups. I got to know the School of Public as an open and tolerant organization that is knocking down taboos.”

Gabriella Lakatos

I arrived to the training with a little unease, but a great and accepting group was set up, so I could get relaxed very quickly. Even as a man I did not experience even the smallest sign of rejection or exclusion. Móni Szabó and Mariann Dósa led the training during these two days with great professionalism, and they approached every participant with endless patience and helpfulness. We discussed very interesting and varied topics (feminist movements, the situation of homeless women, the situation in women shelters) and I got to know very interesting people. I strongly hope that I will have more opportunities in the future to participate in the trainings of the School of Public.”

Péter Boros

The participants took home the following from the training: Inspiration, reassurance, good feeling and lots of things to further look into or read after; Ideas, techniques to use in order to let your voice be heard and step up for yourself as a woman; They will be able to talk more easily in front of others; Companions who think the same way; They won’t be ashamed of their expertise anymore; Bigger sense of responsibility; Possible solutions for the identified problems; New viewpoints and new aspects; The thought that we “could look out from the box”; Knowledge and how to relate to things; The life history of other women; View that is even more critical about the system; The decision that “Always everywhere my baby(ies) will be hanging on me”; The thought that “what is personal is also political”.

And they threw the following to the dustbin the following things: Impatience; Deference to unfairness; Fear from being left alone with criticism and bad feelings; Insecurity about standing up for causes; Fears to speak up in the topic; Prejudices; Hopeless atmosphere.

Photo: István Várady