Gender Equality Plan of the Comenius University
The Gender Equality Plan (GEP) is Comenius University's tool for creating a better working and study environment, as well as for improving the quality of research and education. It consists of a set of measures aimed at initiating structural changes that will lead to an open, supportive, inclusive, and non-discriminatory environment for all employees and students.
The preparation of the CU Gender Equality Plan is closely linked to the implementation of the international EQUAL4EUROPE project (www.equal4europe.eu). It also responds to the current EU requirement that only research institutions with a gender equality plan can apply for support under the Horizon Europe program. However, the plan is primarily a response to persistent gender inequalities that lead to a loss of talent and might have a negative impact on the quality of research and education.
THE GENDER EQUALITY PLAN FOCUSE
The GEP of Comenius University introduces a set of actions in four areas:
1. Promoting gender equality at the University and its faculties
As Comenius University is managed in a de-centralized way, many measures to promote gender equality need to be implemented at the level of individual faculties. Therefore, one of the objectives of this Gender Equality Plan is to create a network of contact points that will assist in the development and implementation of faculty gender equality plans. As implementation of the plan should be supported by data, one of the priorities is also to identify relevant indicators that will be part of the data collection to monitor the state of gender equality at the University.
2. Gender balance in management positions and career development
The first step toward a higher representation of women in management positions as well as in university and faculty governance bodies is to identify the barriers that prevent female academics from applying for management positions – therefore the survey focusing on career barriers at Comenius University is planned. Another measure aims to develop recommendations on how to support staff members returning to work after parental leave.
3. Integrating gender dimension into research and education
One of the objectives of the Gender Equality Plan is to strengthen awareness about the importance of gender as an important research category. To this end, it is planned to conduct in-house trainings and workshops, as well as to create an online platform with information resources and materials. The creation of a university network bringing together researchers already working on gender-oriented research is also planned.
4. Non-discriminatory, safe, and open environment
Planned measures in this area include the development of a clear and binding policy for the prevention and elimination of sexual harassment. The use of gender-sensitive language in official university communications, the organization of awareness-raising activities aimed at raising the visibility of women scientists, and the strengthening of the academic community's commitment to gender equality and diversity would contribute to creating a culture of tolerance, openness, and equality.
THE PLAN DEVELOPMENT
The development of the CU Gender Equality Plan is largely based on the recommendations and procedures developed by the European Commission.
The know-how and amount of data collected in the EQUAL4EUROPE project were also essential for the CU plan development. In this respect, the mapping of the current state of gender equality in the CU, which focused on working conditions and career development opportunities for women and men, gender balance in decision-making, and the gender perspective in research and education, was particularly important. In addition to collecting quantitative data for the whole of the CU, the mapping also included a survey of both staff and students of the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Management of the CU.
The results of the above activities were then used as inputs for the working group, which defined the main areas of intervention and the objectives of the plan and then compiled a set of measures that should contribute to their fulfillment. The plan was presented to the wider academic community in November 2021 and was discussed and approved by the Research Council of Comenius University at its meeting on 6 December 2021. Implementation of the Plan activities started at the beginning of 2022.
For questions related to the Gender Equality Plan, please contact:
Doc. Mariana Szapuová, PhDr., firstname.lastname@example.org
Mgr. Janka Kottulová, PhD., janka.kottulovauniba.sk
Internal Regulation No. 3/2022 Directive of the Rector of Comenius University on the adoption of the Gender Equality Plan for Comenius University.
The regulation is valid and effective as of 24 January 2022.
Annexes: Gender Equality Plan for the CU.