Participant teaches course on gender and Islamic Community development

rosita_1Rosita Tandos, a lecturer at the State Islamic Institute (IAIN) Syekh Nurjati
Cirebon in Indonesia, was a participant in RWI’s “Equal Status and Human Rights of Women in Southeast Asia” course in 2014.

The Institute recently held its last meeting in Bangkok with participants from all of the four courses, and Rosita Tandos attended.

Rosita Tandos, can you talk about what you most appreciated about this course?

Taking a part in RWI Blended course on Gender Equality Human Rights of Women in 2014 provided me a comprehensive understanding on the issue in terms of gender concepts and frameworks, skills, possibilities and knowledge of legal standings and international conventions for enhancing the protection and empowering women all over the world.

Fortunately, I have an opportunity to disseminate the knowledge, information and experience to my students who take a gender and Islamic community development course. In my opinion, discussing the issue of gender equality and human rights of women that is connected with the Islamic perspective is a great point to study and emphasize religious and cultural values of equality, justice and prosperity for women and all human beings.

As part of the RWI blended course, we as participants had to present our work and received feedback that could be used to improve the work we have conducted. This is one of the most invaluable chances for me to listen to professors and other participants on the work I did and contribute ideas or thoughts for future actions.

Additionally, sharing knowledge and experiences with other participants can enhance my thoughts of the issue in different places of the world. What I can learn is there is still hope, passion and possibilities to enhance strategic and collaborative work for creating a better world that ensures human rights and gender equality.

Do you do anything differently in the classroom today after participating in this course?

After coming back from this second session, I made some changes to the method of learning and teaching in the class based on the feedback. Then, the class was run in a more communicative and reflective way and provided more international insight on the issue of gender equality and human rights of women. In addition, I let the students make a class project on the issue using different ways (performing drama, conducting group facilitation, and group presentation). At this point, the class is quite different as my students said in the last session of the class. They enjoyed the process and learn much more knowledge and skills throughout the class.

How do you plan to work in the future?

For the future, I expect to integrate the issue of gender equality and human rights of women in every class topic and discussion as discrimination and oppression against women occurs daily at any aspects of life (social, economy, culture and politic). Therefore, this issue might be integrated in any topics of the class.

The activities seriously integrate the issue of human rights and gender equality and make the activities as strategic efforts to handle internalized oppression in form of gender inequality and injustice, especially what is experienced by women groups. At the national level, I plan to raise the concern of Islamic higher education to focus and work more and more towards the issue of gender equality and human rights of women. This might be achieved by conducting academic activities at national and international level such as conferences, research, publications and cooperation.

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