Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research supporting gender mainstreaming in academia

2015-09-21 15:22

The University of Gothenburg and the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research will be commissioned to lead the work with gender mainstreaming in higher education. This is suggested in the Swedish government’s new budget bill, presented Monday.

‘I see gender mainstreaming as an important aspect of the work to achieve gender equality in the academia. Being asked to be in charge of this work gives recognition to the University of Gothenburg,’ says Vice-Chancellor Pam Fredman.

Three years ago, about 40 Swedish government agencies started working with gender mainstreaming, a strategy to create a gender equal society. Now the government wants the country’s higher education institutions to follow suit. To this end, the government wants to invest SEK 20 million in a four-year gender mainstreaming programme led by the University of Gothenburg.

‘They want us to be in charge of the programme because we’re already running a similar programme for other public authorities,’ says Kerstin Alnebratt, director of the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research. ‘Some of the authorities we’re already working with are clearly connected to higher education, like the Swedish Council for Higher Education, the Swedish Higher Education Authority and the Swedish Research Council.

Gender mainstreaming is a way to deal with gender inequality from the very root of the problem, Alnebratt explains.

‘Conventional gender equality work is often oriented towards a set of key targets, for example that a certain percentage of all new professors should be women. In contrast, in gender mainstreaming there’s a focus on exploring what it is in the existing processes and structures that gives rise to gender inequality to begin with. For example, is there something in the way applications for research funding are evaluated that is more beneficial to men than women?

Vice-Chancellor Fredman has been a proponent of gender mainstreaming in academia for several years. She is therefore thrilled that the University of Gothenburg is being asked to lead the work.

‘I’m very much looking forward to contributing to the gender mainstreaming of higher education,’ says Fredman.

Author Eva Lundgren
Source This article was first published at www.gu.se
show more news ›