GENDER-ACT - A Laboratory on Gender Equality Policy Reforms in Universities

General Overview

GENDER-ACT stands as a dynamic laboratory engaging students, academic, and administrative staff in exploring and formulating gender equality policies within universities. The core objective is to draft policy recommendations that enhance the well-being of university personnel and students. Each partner institution, drawing on its unique expertise, contributes to a shared programme involving the analysis of international, EU, national, and university norms to combat gender discrimination.

The University of Florence focuses on international treaties related to gender and domestic violence, the University of Murcia delves into UN efforts against discrimination on women, Nantes Université navigates EU norms and procedures on gender discrimination, while the University of Birmingham concentrates on the human rights implications of gender issues.

Purpose and Significance

GENDER-ACT springs from the understanding that universities are pivotal hubs where gender sensitivity should permeate teaching, research, management, and leadership. Recognising universities' significant role in promoting gender equality in society, the project aims to fortify ongoing efforts in eliminating gender inequalities within academic institutions and society.

Aligning with the objectives of EUniWell’s Key Arena 2, "Individual and Social Well-being" (and SDGs 5: Gender Equality and 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions), GENDER-ACT examines implications and policy options for improving well-being in universities. Key Arena 2's emphasis on gender equality reforms at the level of university governance is reflected in the project's focus.

Implementation Method and Timeline

As each academic year commences, students are invited to participate in GENDER-ACT at all member universities.

  • Phase 1: Seminars explore gender equality, delving into international, EU, national, and university norms.
  • Phase 2: Groups draft policy papers, evaluating their university’s regulations, and propose enhancements for gender equality in student and personnel well-being.
  • Phase 3: Online meetings facilitate discussion and refinement of policy papers based on shared insights.
  • Phase 4 (May 2024): Teams present their policy papers at an in-person conference at the University of Florence. This collective forum aims to discuss project outcomes, amplify student voices, and foster dialogue with governance authorities for the betterment of well-being in academia.

Expected Outcomes

GENDER-ACT will yield policy papers on gender equality guidelines within universities, potentially influencing relevant offices in partner institutions or being published on universities’ websites.

The project will encourage the creation of networks among students and academics who share a common interest in the values and ideals of EUniWell, fostering a collaborative community dedicated to advancing gender equality.