Within Prout conferences and conventions, disproportionately more men than women have participated as plenary speakers, as workshop conductors or as panellists. This, we believe, is the outcome of widespread and generally unintended bias. It is unfair, it hinders development of all aspects of Prout activity, including internal and external education, research, community development, social and economic projects and it is discouraging to those new to Prout having a desire to actively participate in promoting Prout. It also diminishes our credibility with other progressive movements. Overcoming such bias involves not just awareness but positive action.
Background of experience – If we look at the past conventions (prior to 2017), all have been organized and managed almost exclusively by men. Although there have always been women contributing to the organizing, the dominant roles have been men and the women’s roles have been subordinated.
Current context – This is 2017 and the program planning committee needed to reflect the current events, which followed the millions participating in the Women’s Marches around the world for respect, love, and equity for all marginalized groups. This year’s program planning committee was balanced with three men and three women. This need became very apparent in contentious discussions leading up to selecting the committee. The need for a clear and published gender-equity policy for future Prout conventions became evident.
The 2017 convention was organised in line with the Gender-equity Policy, which was open for review and was put forward for adoption at the 2017 Prout Convention as a policy for future conventions and as inspiration for other proutist events and movements.
You can access and download the Prout Convention Gender-equity Policy here.
Speaker/facilitator spots in the conference program (excludes the cultural/devotional evenings and the knowledge sharing sessions where numbers were not captured):
Female: 20 Male: 24 Third Gender (data not available this year)
Organising bodies: Program planning committee
Female: 3 Male: 3
Convention participants (registered)
Female: 107 Male: 102