Education: Network Celebrates Women's Decade of Education Gains

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Byline: ANDREW CLARKE

WOMEN have come a long way in the world of education in the last 10 years.

And to give them the recognition they deserve, the Women in Education Network (Wenet) invited a host of prestigious speakers to their 10th anniversary celebrations.

Improving women's lives by providing accessible education and changing male-orientated cultures in the workplace are some of the greatest challenges that have been faced by the network since it was founded in 1992.

Initially set up to create a support group for women educators, Wenet celebrated its anniversary with a conference at the Celtic Manor Hotel attended by Glenys Kinnock MEP, Jane Davidson AM and First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

The conference reflected positively on how far women in education had progressed and on the many achievements of the organisation in furthering the cause of women in education.

A registered charity since 1995, The Wenet Team has produced works on important issues such as equal opportunities, how to change largely male-oriented organisational cultures and developing best practice in professional development.

Ms Davidson, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning, said that Wenet had been instrumental in changing the lives of women in all educational environments, from Early Years Learning to Higher Edu-cation and Lifelong Learning. ``The collaborative research with the Equal Opportunities Commission (Wales), Fforwm and Wenet gave members a voice,'' she said. ``They were able to speak with confidence and present evidence at the Welsh Affairs Select Committee Debates on important issues such as nursery vouchers and the disparity of funding for post-16 education.''

Wenet came about when founding Chair Angela Atkinson was Advisory Teacher for Equal Opportunities in Mid Glamorgan and recognised the need for women educators to have a means of comparing notes and experiences and supporting each other in their professional development. …