During the UWE Conference 2014 in Bucharest lots of interesting material was presented. We will post them if possible with a report on the website. Ligia Tomoiga presented some proposals which can help to increase membership and the visibility of higher educated women. Let her know what you think@ you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward the information.
proposal 1. University courses on women’s issues – to inform students and help them form another outlook on such issues like women and their social role, fight against violence towards women, the importance of education, women’s health, raising political and social awareness. AFU members with expertise in these domain could come and help Romanian professors write courses. Universities in Romania could start offering these courses for free, as a volunteer activity on the part of the professors, but with credits from the Ministry of Education (if possible).
2. Versions of such courses – to be offered to all types of schools ( in the cities and towns and in the country), to such institutions as the police, town halls, social services, hospitals, etc. They could be delivered as interactive course, for more success. Teachers and doctors in the country side (mostly women) should be involved.
3. Romanian women politicians should be involved in this fight against the public display of women’s bodies in magazines, outside on the streets, in adverts and boards, during TV shows, as these are present in our children’s eyes wherever they look. Women politicians should join forces to stop such practices.
4. Series of conferences should be organized, in which our organization could promote women whose lives and careers are inspirational: scientists and writers, politicians and social workers, artists and teachers, whose example can be used to replace the popular role-models. Such conferences can be organized in every public library, in every school, town hall, village house of culture. Getting to know real women, with real careers and lives, women who are accomplished, intelligent, and independent can have a great impact on young women’s minds.
5. More exposure of real examples of accomplished women in the media. We should all concentrate and write articles about women, propose documentary materials, suggest interviews, starting from the local televisions and radio stations and going up to the public television, even commercial ones. Let us start our own glossy magazines, which could promote true models. Let us organize exhibitions and artistic events in which such women are shown and celebrated. Make them fashionable!
6. In order that all of the above might happen, we should attract new members in our association. University professors, especially those who teach future teachers of all subjects ALREADY HAVE THE NETWORK. Let us use that network. Teachers come back for at least three exams in their careers to their alma mater. They could bring our message concerning the importance of education in-depth in our society, as they form the minds of the young generation in schools all over the country. This will bring to the so-much-wanted evolution in mentalities, and to a counter-balance to the overwhelming power of mass-media.
Ligia Tomoiaga, member of AFU (Association of University Women) of Romania, affiliated to UWE, holds a PhD in Philology and is a Senior Lecturer at the Technical University of Cluj Napoca, the North Centre in Baia Mare, the Faculty of Letters, the Philology and Cultural Studies Department. She teaches British and American literature, UK and American history, culture and civilization, and Popular Culture. Her research interest is in genre studies, especially. She is also an international conference organizer at her university.