For some years now, researchers from several countries have formed an international network on the issue of men, women and gender balance in the ECEC work force. Since 2010, members of the network organised research symposia on the annual conferences of EECERA. 2012, the network initiated a Special Interest Group within EECERA.
The SIG focuses on the issue of gender balance in the ECE work force, and on the important role gender plays in adult-child-relations. Although there have been discussions about rising the proportion of male ECE workers for more than two decades, the theme remains an issue. Recently, several research projects were conducted, and in some countries governmental funded programmes have been started for bringing more men in the profession of Early Childhood Education and Care.
The members of the SIG support the aim of increasing the proportion of male workers towards a more gender-balanced ECEC work force. At the same time there is a need for a more differentiated view. Research is necessary e.g. on the significance of ECEC workers’ gender for children’s development, the interrelations of gender balance in the workforce and the promotion of gender equality, on gender-sensitive strategies for recruitment for ECE training and work, on recruitment and retention of men in the ECEC workforce, and on gender relations in ECEC in general.
The SIG focuses on the links of research, practice and policy, intends to provide an academic forum for the promotion, development and dissemination of research, and facilitates cooperation and collaboration between researchers in the field.
More information about the SIG, presentations, publications and projects can be found at http://www.siggender.eu
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