gender education, gender socialization, gender competence, gender equity, gender justice, social work.


This paper searches for a response to whether gender education and expected gender competences of social workers fit the idea of transformative gender justice proposed by Nancy Fraser. Our research is aimed to review approaches to gender education and expected gender competences of social workers. We also critically look at the gender-centered courses taught at the Ukrainian universities for social workers. Qualitative in nature this study is based on an examination of gender perspective of social work education both internationally, and in Ukraine. The study reveals that the coexistence of various theorizations of gender makes controversial for social work educators and practitioners to use the gender-centered approach to teaching and practice. Distinctions between conservative and transformative approaches are reviewed in different areas of social work – practice, research, pedagogy and teaching, policy. The study’s findings indicate that development of gender competences requires a wide range of activities. A set of gender competences that could be tentatively divided into practice competences and research competences is presented. The review of selected educational programmes of Ukrainian universities demonstrates needs for enhancing the transformative approach to teaching gender competences for social work students. Currently, training programs for social workers are mainly focused on gender education, rather than on the means of achieving gender equality. They pay little attention to the gender perspectives of research in social work.

Author Biographies

Sergii Dvoriak, Academy of Labour, Social Relations and Tourism, Kyiv, Ukraine,

Dr. in Medical Science, Professor Professor of Social Work and Applied Psychology Department,

Olena Karagodina, Academy of Labour, Social Relations and Tourism, Kyiv, Ukraine,

Dr. in Medical Science, Professor, Head of Social Work and Applied Psychology Department,

Tetyana Semigina, Academy of Labour, Social Relations and Tourism, Kyiv, Ukraine,

Dr. in Political Science, Professor Professor of Social Work and Applied Psychology Department,


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How to Cite

Dvoriak, S., Karagodina, O., & Semigina, T. (2020). GENDER COMPETENCES OF SOCIAL WORK STUDENTS: DO WE NEED A TRANSFORMATIVE APPROACH?. Social Work and Education, 7(3), 279–288.