24.03.2017 - GENDER

First-of-its-kind meeting with UNESCO Chairs on Gender

In the framework of International Women’s Day 2017, the Division for Gender Equality in the Office of the Director-General organized a first-of-its-kind meeting with ten UNESCO Chairs in the field of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. The aim of the meeting was to discuss their contributions to UNESCO’s Gender Equality Action Plan and Major Programmes (Education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, Culture, Information and Communication), as well as to establish future collaboration mechanisms.

The UNESCO Chairs Programme promotes international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. Today, the Programme involves nearly 700 institutions in 116 countries including 29 Chairs in the field of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. Each Chair focusses on a particular theme: girls and women’s education, gender-based violence and sexuality, political and economic participation, climate change, and many more. The programme also includes UNESCO UNITWIN Networks in key priority areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence. Three formal Networks on Gender Equality currently exist, including informal networks such as the Global Network of UNESCO Chairs on Gender.

The meeting took place on 6 and 7 March and included the participation of Prof. Gloria Bonder, from the UNESCO Regional Chair on Women, Science and Technology in Latin America (Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLASCO)); Prof. Mary Koutselini Ioannidou, from the UNESCO Chair on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (University of Cyprus); Dr. Patricia Ruiz Bravo Lopez, from the UNESCO Chair on Gender Equality in Higher Education Institutions (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru), Dr. Hülya Şimga, from the UNESCO Chair on Gender Equality and Sustainable Development (KOÇ University in Istanbul); Dr. Ma Ángeles Espinosa Bayal from the UNESCO Chair in Policies on Gender and Equal Rights between Women and Men (Autonomous University of Madrid); Dr. Asha Mukherjee, from the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender Culture and People-Centered Development (Boston University); Prof. Ines Sanchez de Madariaga, from the UNESCO Chair on Gender Equality Policies in Science, Technology and Innovation (Polytechnic University of Madrid); Prof. Renata Siemienska-Zochowska, from the UNESCO Chair Women, Society and Development (University of Warsaw); Dr. Asmara González Rojas, from the UNESCO Chair on Gender, Leadership and Equity (University of Guadalajara); Dr. Elisabeth Ilbouldo, from the UNESCO Chair on Women, Gender, Sciences, Society and Sustainable Development (University of Ouagadougou Burkina Faso); and Prof. Teresa Langle de Paz, from the UNESCO Chair on Gender, Wellbeing and Culture of Peace (University of Wisconsin).

The meeting, co-chaired by Saniye Gülser Corat, Director, Division for Gender Equality and Professor Gloria Bonder was organized in four thematic sessions and a final session for the elaboration of specific policy recommendations:

  • Gender In/Equality at all levels of Education and in Professional Careers
  • Gender Equality in Communication and Cultural Life
  • Gender Equality and Gender Analysis in Science, Technology, Engineering, Innovation and in STEAM Education
  • Women's Equal Participation and Leadership in Political and Economic Life

In each session, the UNESCO Chairs shared their main lines of work, their research findings and other initiatives with the rest of the group, while proposing possible synergies and collaboration between them and UNESCO.

During the final session, the Chairs worked together to deliver specific policy recommendations and to establish mechanisms of collaboration and consultation. This meeting was also the occasion to reinforce the Global Network of UNESCO Chairs on Gender, established in 2010 and coordinated by the UNESCO Regional Chair on Women, Science and Technology in Latin America. A final report summarizing the outcomes and recommendations of the meeting will be available soon.  

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