First workshop on measures to prevent gender-based violence, including sexual harassment was organised 3rd June 2022 in Ljubljana, and the full workshop can be watched (in Slovenian language) via this link: Youtube link
The workshop was led by Dr Jasna Podreka (Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana), co-author of the professional guidelines Prevention of Sexual and Other Harassment, Bullying and Violence (Podreka, Antić Gaber, Pihler Ciglič & Kenda, 2021 – link), which was issued by the Commission for Quality of the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, and are also used at other faculties of the University of Ljubljana.
The second workshop on measures to integrate a gender perspective into research and teaching was organized 15 June 2022 in Ljubljana, and is also fully available on this link: Youtube link
This workshop was led by Dr Jovana Mihajlović Trbovc (ZRC SAZU), co-author of the Toolkit for Integrating Gender-Sensitive Approach into Research and Teaching (Mihajlović Trbovc & Hofman, 2016 – link) and Gender Advisor at ZRC SAZU.
On 12 July 2022 in Salerno, Italy and online, R&I PEERS project partners orgnised the project’s final multi-sectoral conference on the theme of “Gender Equality policies and actions: Lessons. Impact. Sustainability.” Presentations from the event are included below, and feedback is welcome.
R&I PEERS – ANPR Flagship Event: Gender equality facing the challenges of the R&I ecosystem – The GENDER EQUALITY PLAN of the National Agency for scientific Research Promotion
Through the ambitious R&I PEERS project, the National Agency for scientific Research Promotion (ANPR) in Tunisia, has succeeded in developing its Gender Equality Plan (GEP), which respects the Guidelines proposed by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) and adheres to the European Commission format. This document has been externally reviewed by members of an International Advisory Board, appointed by the European Commission.
To share this achievement with the stakeholders of the R&I ecosystem, ANPR organized a flagship event in the form of a seminar entitled “Gender equality facing the challenges of the R&I ecosystem: The GENDER EQUALITY PLAN of the National Agency for scientific Research Promotion”, on June 30, 2022, at the cultural space of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR). The opening of the seminar and the welcome address were jointly provided by Prof. Chedly ABDELLY, the Director General of ANPR and Prof. Francesca ROMANA D’AMBROSIO, representing the University of Salerno, the coordinator of R&I PEERS project.
The first session on “Cross-experiences on the Gender approach in R&I”, was an opportunity to shed light on the flagship experiences, in terms of the gender approach, maintained within the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and its institutions. For that, a first framing presentation on “The integration of the Gender approach in the public policies of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research” was provided by Mrs. Habiba TALBI, the Director General of the Budget Management by Objectives Unit and the Representative of the Ministry on the Interministerial Council of Peers.
Immediately afterwards, a specific presentation on “The ANPR’s Gender Equality Plan: genesis and perspectives” was shared with the public present by Mrs. Amani MAHJOUBI CHARRAD, the coordinator of the R&I PEERS project at the ANPR level. This was an opportunity for the public to discover the details of the first GEP developed by a public administration in Tunisia.
The transition was with a presentation on “The Gender Cell of the University of Sousse: motivations and aspirations”, the first and only Tunisian University having structured the gender dimension. This inspiring presentation was provided by Mrs. Insaf BEKIR, founding member of the Gender cell and the Director of IHEC of Sousse (University of Sousse).
A conceptual and illustrated review of “Gender and Limiting Beliefs” was provided by Dr. Hafsi BEDHIOUFI, HDR Lecturer in Sociology, from the University of La Manouba. The first session was closed with a presentation on “Women and the Environment”, given by Mrs. Farah MNEKBI from the Center for Research, Studies, Documentation and Information on Women (CREDIF).
At the end of these presentations, a debate was triggered between speakers and participants focusing on the contours, the state of the art and the achievements of the gender dimension within the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and its institutions.
The second major part of the seminar was dedicated to the second session, that the objective is to promote networking between the representative actors of the R&I ecosystem in order to fertilize their respective experiences on the gender approach and this, to evolve “ Towards a pooling of efforts for an anchoring of the Gender approach”.
The very first intervention in this context, focused on the policy level “The Gender Approach: The national strategy of the Ministry of Family, Women, Children and the Elderly” and was provided by Ms. Akila BENTAIB, in her capacity as Director of Women’s Affairs.
Ms. Boutheina HAMMAMI, Program Coordinator at UN Women, ensured the transition, from the point of view of an international organization, to paint the panorama “The strategic axes of UN Women in Tunisia”.
A representative of the Arab Women’s Center for Training and Research (CAWTAR) was scheduled to speak on “Gender mainstreaming in economic research: the GERPA experience”, but for health reasons linked to the CORONA virus, Dr. Souleima MAJLEDI MANSOURI, Sociologist – Project Coordinator, could not ensure her intervention. From the perspective of the German Agency for International Development Cooperation (GIZ), Mrs. Rihab BEN YAGHLANE, Technical Expert of the Project “Support for Accelerated Tunisian Energy Transition-GIZ”, provided an intervention on “Gender & Energy – Multi-sectoral approach ».
As a last presentation, Pr. Habiba CHAABOUNI, Member of the Tunisian Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts -Beit Al Hikma, concluded with an intervention that opens up perspectives on how “Building a career in research for women “
These presentations were crowned by a debate on development paths, with and for R&I actors, having gender sensitivity as a common denominator. This debate has put into perspective, a collective intelligence for potential synergies and new initiatives in this area. Indeed, a range of strategic and operational recommendations were noted, such as the establishment of a working group and inter-institutional gender monitoring unit, working on advocacy with decision-makers, setting up collaborative projects on gender (Horizon Europe and others).
In addition, the Ministry of Family, Women, Children and the Elderly is committed to bringing together stakeholders to maintain this excitement and perpetuate this dynamic around the gender approach.
On the sidelines of this flagship event, a tribute was awarded to talented and shining Tunisian Researchers Women, distinguished by their research work: Prof. Faouzia CHARFI (Senior Researcher) and Dr. Hasna Ellouzi (Early Stage Researcher), each received a Statue of a woman, made by the pottery of Sajnane. Note that Sajnane pottery is recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. These prizes have a symbolic value and convey messages of inclusion, solidarity and complicity between both researchers and rural women.
The seminar was closed on a high note by both Ms. Francesca MALAGUTI, the Gender Focal Point at the Delegation of the European Union in Tunisia and Dr. Helmi MARDASSI, the Director General of the Management Unit for European R&I Programmes who recalled that the GEP is a prerequisite to participate in the Horizon Europe Programme.
In conclusion, the embroidery of the ANPR’s Gender Equality Plan, which remains a perfectible, evolving and dynamic document, is an inspiring pilot experience able to constitute a strength of proposal and/or influence of the public policies of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the structures under its supervision and other stakeholders’ institutions, far beyond!
The third R&I Peers Multisectoral Conference took place on 9 December 2021 with the purpose of discussing and showcasing results and good practices from Gender Equality Plans implemented within R&I Peers and other projects. The aim was to disseminate activities, practices and policies that could eventually become best practices.
Learnings from the conference include that an effective GEP should consider gender equality both in terms of an organisation’s internal processes, as well as the impact of its broader research outputs. When building and implementing a GEP there are several “building blocks” that need to be present in order to insure success. These success factors may be categorised, along with examples, as the following:
Process-based – including dedicated resources, internal monitoring, official endorsement, etc.; and
Content-based – including organizational culture, gender balance in decision making bodies, gendered research, etc.
These success factors were the basis of an exchange of good practices at the conference where the changemakers in the environment were discussed in the context of various GEP implementing bodies. To enrich and dive deeper into organisational realities, hands-on experiences were shared by stakeholders that had implemented and managed such changes internally.
The Third R&I Peers Conference was joined by science and innovation leaders, decision makers, researchers and practitioners who eagerly shared their experience on gender equality in R&I. The original event communication may be found here. Outputs and presentations from the conference may be found below, with more added as they become available.
In the context of the second R&I Peers Multisectoral Conference, participants had the opportunity to receive first-hand feedback from external project stakeholders about their experience of implementing Gender Equality Plans. One panelist, Niki Karoulla, President of Active Zone Outdoor and Physical Education Teacher in Primary Education, shared her experience of a GEP implementation at Active Zone Outdoor, a non-profit organisation she runs in Cyprus.
As a first action in their GEP implementation, Karoulla says Active Zone Outdoor–which enjoys a membership of fifteen organisations and reaches 250 young people with sporting activities in Cyprus–focused on creating gender balance in two key areas: Within the AZO board of directors, and among participants in AZO external events that focus on outdoor sports activities for youth, ages 18 to 30.
In both cases, AZO reported successes. As of 2019, their 15-member board of directors enjoys involvement by seven women, with Karoulla herself as President. Karoulla also reports that “Click and Go, ” a project promoting non-traditional sports to women, succeeded at reaching equal gender engagement across trainers, leaders, and participants. Key to this success Karoulla says, was “promoting ‘atypical’ sports to women, like mountain climbing, and also by including women leaders in mountain climbing among their training team. This latter especially “challenged important gender stereotypes in this sport,” Karoulla said.
An additional success story Karoulla shared was a program called the Youth Policy Project, which aimed to “cultivate a culture of awareness for equal gender representation in Cyprus. In dialogue among policy-makers, youth, media, coaches, trainers and athletes, Karoulla says their event succeeded in having fifty-fifty participation across the board, a genuine accomplishment.
Karoulla says that key to these successes may be that Active Zone Outdoor is an organisation “made up of young people with an open mindset” which facilitates actions to support gender equality. “Maybe also because I am female,” she adds. Looking forward, Karoulla says she hopes the experience of implementing a gender equality plan at AZO can show that other NGOs can benefit from such strategies. Critical to this she says, is that “people in charge of the organisation have to treat gender issues as impacting both male and female. It is not just an issue for women,” Karoulla says. “It is an issue for all of us.”
On 20 April 2021, the R&I Peers project hosted its Second Multisectoral Conference addressing “the impact of gender equality plans on internal and external stakeholders.” The purpose of this conference was to disseminate the results and contribution of the R&I Peers project to advancing gender equality in research and innovation in EU. The conference dove into questions about the real impact of gender equality plan (GEP) implementation, both internal and external to the GEP implementing organisation.
The following topics were discussed:
The impact of the GEP implementation on internal stakeholders
Gender Equality Plan in engaging external local, regional and national stakeholders
Most successful actions in the GEP implementation
Science and innovation leaders, decision makers, researchers and practitioners ready to collaborate, were invited to the conference to share and learn about gender equality in R&I.
Tanja Petrović, R&I PEERS team member representing partner ZRC SAZU, joined the 12-13 November 2020 international conference entitled “Gender equality in CEE countries: Policies and practices 2020; Institutional change through implementation of GEPs at RPOs and RFOs in CEE countries.” The aim of the event was to bring together promoters and implementers of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) developed in the framework of Horizon 2020 projects, along with researchers who are exploring gender issues in science in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The conference was organized by the Lithuanian Social Research Centre (LSRC) and Vilnius University, and sponsored by the Research Council of Lithuania.
On the first day of the event, Petrović presented the R&I PEERS project and the process of GEP design and implementation at ZRC SAZU. On the second day, she participated in a panel on “Removing barriers to the recruitment, retention and career progression of women researchers,” and discussed the ways in which the GEP adopted at ZRC SAZU addresses female researchers’ careers, excellence and prospect for career advancement. In particular, Petrović emphasized mentoring, work-life balance, and construction of excellence as three important domains that shape female researchers’ careers and define their possibilities in academia. These domains are covered in a series of strategies and actions detailed in ZRC SAZU’s GEP. Petrovič also addressed the ways these strategies have been adjusted in the monitoring phase of GEP implementation in order to better respond to researchers’ actual needs.
One of the target areas of the ZRC SAZU’s Gender Equality Plan (GEP) focuses on practices to promote of female researchers’ results and achievements. Analysis of existing promotion practices at ZRC SAZU conducted in the GEP preparatory phase revealed that senior male researchers’ results are promoted more frequently than those of female researchers.
The disparity is particularly visible when it comes to awards. The analysis of award honoring practices, focusing on the past twenty years, was based on the data on winners and nominees for ZRC SAZU awards: The ZRC SAZU Gold Award, the ZRC SAZU Silver Award, the ZRC SAZU Researcher of Merit, and the ZRC SAZU Member of Honour. Currently, more female researchers than male researchers are employed at ZRC SAZU, but the data show that the majority of awards was received by male researchers, who lead in all categories. Specifically, 18 men and 9 women received the Gold Award, and 10 men and 5 women received the Silver Award. In the investigated period, not a single woman became an ZRC SAZU Member of Honour. The Member of Honour award is given to top researchers who make an important contribution to the establishment of the ZRC SAZU at home and abroad.
This trend, however, was reversed in 2020, when the ZRC SAZU Member of Honour Award was bestowed upon Dr. Heidemarie Uhl, a senior researcher at the Institute of Culture Studies and Theater History at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and lecturer at the universities of Vienna and Graz. In her research, Dr. Uhl focuses on constructions of identity in 19th and 20th Century Central Europe, on National Socialism and the Holocaust in Austria, and on selected episodes of 19th and 20th century European cultural history.
In February 2020, four seminars took place in Athens and Thessaloniki that targeted media stakeholders and tackled sexism in the public sphere. Participants included journalists, university students in media and journalism, and women participating in public fora.
The seminars were hosted by the Greek General Secretariat of Family Policy and Gender Equality (GSFPGE) as part of a European Union project whose objective is to recognize, address and prevent gender discrimination in public debates by reinforcing the capacity of two kinds of stakeholders:
Female politicians in the public sphere ; and
Women in media, including journalists, media studies students, bloggers, etc.
The project, entitled “Gender Public Debate: Capacity building for women candidates and media stakeholders in public debates in Greece,” is co-funded by the EU Program REC 2014-20.
As part of the PEGASUS project, the event also saw launch of an Online Pension Calculator designed to help people calculate future pension benefits based on current and projected employment. By completing three fields, users are given the option to evaluate different career and family life scenarios and assess the impact of their choices on pension benefits. On this basis, they are encouraged to make informed decisions today that will support them in securing pensions.
The Online Pension Calculator aims to create awareness about the so-called “pension gap,” or difference in pension benefits between men and women, which approaches 30% in the EU and 25% in Greece in favor of men. The calculator was developed in the context of the PEGASUS project, whose aim is addressing the Gender Pension in Greece. PEGASUS is being implemented in collaboration between the Greek General Secretariat for Family Policy and Gender Equality (coordinator), the Research Centre for Gender Equality (KETHI) and the National Center for Social Research (EKKE). It is funded by the European Union’s “Rights, Equality and Citizenship” Program 2014-2020.
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