Women and the change for gender equality in Europe.
In this syllabus there are some starter points which could be good for teachers to think about before applying the syllabus in the classroom. The first is to avoid using the term ‘women’s history’. It can result in women and their roles as historical agents being seen as an add-on in history, rather than an integral and natural part of all the change processes which schools study. It can, of course, be appropriate to look in detail at women agents. Their history has, as a representation, its natural place in the teaching of history. However, it can be hard to apply this perspective exclusively and still be able to give explanations that do justice to the strands of continuity and change running throughout history. New perspectives are needed in order to understand the driving forces of history. The syllabus is therefore more in alignment with the history writing that many gender historians now favour. When we, for example, discuss power, sexuality and capacity for various individuals to act from a gender perspective, it is important to point out that this is always relational constructions. Changes in the power and influence that women have will always bear a relation to men’s means to obtain these same things. The concepts power and power structures are therefore crucial for analysing and understanding the history that is described in the syllabus.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
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