PROUT Convention Gender-equity Policy


Why a gender policy?

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.

What are the advantages of having a gender policy?

  • To demonstrate the principle of coordinated cooperation creating an atmosphere of free minds positively interacting so that no one should be subordinated. 
  • To give much needed diversity to meetings as well as aiding the visibility of women, as well as people of other gender identities, which is crucial for their ongoing contribution to Prout activities and provides valuable role models for younger proutists.
  • To increase the diversity of thought in our community we need to bring forward more women’s views on the issues and make the entire convention more balanced in all aspects.
  • To avoid contentious discussions that can become divisive.
  • That this gender policy can serve as a point of reference for other activities within our global Prout community.
  • To provide a point of reference for establishing policies, procedures, and practices, within our Prout organizations.

 

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.

 

2017 PROUT Convention – Gender Balance Data

 

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