Adult Education Academy

Prof. Natália Alves

Natália Alves is an associate professor at Instituto de Educação, Universidade de Lisboa. She holds a PhD on Sociology of Education. 

Her main fields of research are school to work transitions and IVET and CVET policies, forms of provision and practices.

CG8: Adult Education policies and gender equality: women in STEM education 

Co-Moderator: Ana Guimaraes Duarte

Debates about and incentives for gender equality in the labour market and female representation in areas called STEM - an acronym for “science, technology, engineering, and mathematics” (UNESCO, 2017; Chavatzia, 2017) have proven to be a relevant agenda for the empowerment of women and the development of contemporary societies (Dockery & Bawa, 2018).

Several studies have focused on the relationships between gender, STEM areas, education, and the labour market demonstrating the challenges that women face to develop (and keep) careers in these areas, which are strongly dominated by men around the globe (Charles & Thébaud, 2018).

Considering the scenario presented, it is important to identify, analyse and compare the national educational policies, initiatives and programmes that promote the participation of women in STEM professions on an equal basis with men.

Given the lack of consensus on the STEM professions and courses, it is necessary to choose a framework to guide this research. In this CG, we use the UNESCO definition (UNESCO, 2017, pp. 33-34).

Based on a document analysis of the national policies, initiatives and/or strategies targeted at increasing women’s participation in STEM education, we expect the students could:

  • compare policies and/or initiatives to women’s access to STEM education.
  • compare the national mechanisms of support for women to keep studying in STEM courses (e.g. scholarships, loans, etc.)


  1. ALVES, N; SCHMIDT-LAUFF, S; DOUTOR, C.; CAMPOS, L. (2020): Contexts of Recognition of Prior Learning. Andragoške studije, 2, 87-110.
  2. NEVES, T.; ALVES, N.; CONCETTA, A.; DOMOVIC, V. (2019): The changing meanings of Lifelong Learning policies: consequences for young adults and their life courses. In: AMARAL, M.P.; KOVACHEVA, S.; RAMBLA, X. (Hrsg.): Navigating between Knowledge and Economy. Lifelong Learning Policies for Young Adults in Europe. Bristol. S. 209-2016.
  3. RODRIGUES, M.; QUEIROGA R.; RIBEIRO, A. B.; ALVES, N.; NEVES, T. (2019): Lifelong learning policies supporting young adults in two Portuguese regions, International Journal of Lifelong Education, DOI: 10.1080/02601370.2019.1690596
  4. ALVES, N.; GUIMARAES, P. (2017): COMPALL Winter School students’ motivations. In: EGETENMEYER, R.; GUIMARAES, P.;
  5. NÉMETH, B. (Hrsg.): Joint Modules and Internationalisation in Higher Education. Reflections on the Joint Module “Comparative Studies in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning. Frankfurt. S. 143-158.
  6. GUIMARAES, P., ALVES, N. (2016): Adult educators in Portugal: from the European Union guidelines to a national public policy of lifelong learning technicians. In: EGETENMEYER, R.; SCHMIDT-LAUFF, S.; BOFFO, V. (Hrsg.): Adult Learning and Education in International Contexts. Future Challenges for its Professionalisation. Frankfurt. S. 75-76.
  7. ALVES, N.; ALMEIDA, A.J.; QUEIROGA, R.E.; GUIMARAES, P. (2018): Vocational education and training policies: the tension between inclusion, employability and democratization. IN: GÓMES CHOVA, I.; LÓPEZ-MARTÍNEZ, A.; CANDEL-TORRES, I. (Hrsg.): EDULEARN18 Proceedings 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies. Valencia. S. 76697678.



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