The role of national libraries in contributing towards the sustainable development goal of gender equality

GAFFET, Mathilde and ESPY, Camille (2016) The role of national libraries in contributing towards the sustainable development goal of gender equality. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 115 - National Information and Library Policy.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

The role of national libraries in contributing towards the sustainable development goal of gender equality

The sustainable development framework aims to promote goals which are environmental and economic but also social and societal. Among the seventeen goals, gender equality (the fifth) is interlinked with the others in a fundamental respect. Women, who represent more than half of the population and who are usually the primary educators, can be involved in the fulfillment of all these goals, on the condition that their equality is recognised. European policy-makers quickly grasped the issues linked to gender equality, understanding their huge impact on development. As an example, in 2013, the French government created the ‘High Council for Equality Between Women and Men’ whose mission is to enlarge the issue of gender equality to all social spheres including the economic, political and cultural. In a context where women are still removed from both high responsibility positions and the cultural and creative fields and, where their place in these environments must be recognised, encouraged and favoured, libraries have an important role to play. As mentioned in the Declaration of Lyon, signed by many national libraries, access to information represents an integral part of the people’s ability to blossom and to empower themselves. We can, then, wonder what the role of the Bibliothèque publique d’information (Bpi). As national institutions have a central role in the library science networks of a country, especially regarding training, professional reflections, and the promotion of collections, and as they are places for experimentation, they offer numerous opportunities for gender equality promotion. All the libraries can have a role to play in the sustainable development and especially in terms of gender equality defence. We will present here how they can lean on the national libraries to develop these issues.

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