The call for action to end gender-based violence has been published within the scope of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union (2nd part of 2022) (https://eu2022.cz/).
We as the ENHANCE Alliance consider the content of this call for action highly relevant for our association and our vision. We support this call for action and we will take action where we can.
The full text of the call for action can be found here: Call-for-Action_GBV-2022_final.pdf
We have taken note of the call for action to end gender-based violence in academia. We commit ourselves to work towards safe and respectful higher education and research for all in ENHANCE and in the spirit of this call. This four page long call for action summaries the most important pain points in our opinion. Especially the part addressing “research performing organisations and their leaders” has clear relevance for us:
- Take gender-based violence seriously by giving it a prominent place in your gender equality plans.
- As a starting point, establish the situation at the institutional level by conducting prevalence surveys and collecting intersectional gender disaggregated statistics on incidents and case handling.
- For the institutional leaders specifically, use your role and engage senior members of your communities in particular to drive institutional changes that serve all but especially those who are disproportionately impacted by gender-based violence.
- Appoint units responsible for addressing gender-based violence and ensure their well-informed and gender-sensitive training and institutional resourcing.
- Adopt and disseminate among all staff and students relevant robust institutional policies and protocols for prevention, protection and case handling, including measures to prevent revictimisation and stalking of those reporting cases, that reflect the intersectional, gender-based and systemic nature of violence. These should be developed in partnership with relevant stakeholders including student and early-career researcher organisations and should address the broader campus environment.
- Create and disseminate specific and confidential channels for reporting cases that assure confidentiality and speed in the process of investigation.
- The responsibility for a safe environment lies with the higher education institutions and research organisations and it is their role to support the students, PhD candidates and staff.
- Advocate for the adoption of gender-based violence policies, consider the impacts of gender-based violence on the institution’s goals at all levels of decision-making, and lend support to other leaders who are advocating for shared outcomes, especially those that are in initial stages of institutional policy development.
As ENHANCE, we support the concrete actions listed. ENHANCE dedicates one of its work packages of their Erasmus+ funded collaboration to diversity and gender equality. Our work in this regard is overseen by the ENHANCE ombudsperson for diversity and gender equality and representatives of each member university. Our diversity working group will consider the suggested actions within the scope of ENHANCE. This initiative will be further developed in close collaboration with the diversity and equality offices of the ENHANCE member universities.
We expect active involvement from all members of our ENHANCE community to end gender-based violence. Only by collaborating, we can achieve safe and respectful higher education and research for all.
ENHANCE Steering Committee