March 25, 2024

Diversity, Equality and Inclusivity Office

The University of Cyprus recognises the importance of integrating the gender dimension in issues related to the professional and public sphere and is working towards this direction. Gender equality and the elimination of all forms of discrimination is a key purpose of the University of Cyprus and a priority of the Diversity, Equality and Inclusivity Office operating since 2020.

During these 3 years of operation, the DEI Office has carried out several actions aimed at raising awareness and informing the academic community about the inequalities arising from gender perceptions and, at the same time, it conducts internal research in order to identify areas where gender unequal representation exists. Specifically, as of 2022, a Senate Advisory Committee has been established to submit proposals for the implementation of the Gender Equality Plan (GEP). In addition, the same Committee has formulated a Harassment / Sexual Harassment Management Policy that is in the process of revising some points in order to make it even more accessible and understandable to all. This year, the University of Cyprus proceeded with a two-month employment of three students to collect and process data on the recruitment and advancement of members of the academic community of the university, by gender, for the period 2013-2023.

The findings of the survey revealed the numerical superiority of male academic staff members over women and the majority of men participating as members in special election and promotion committees. The findings of the survey are currently being studied by the Equality Committee for the submission of recommendations to achieve a better level of gender equality both in the recruitment of academic staff and in the establishment of Special Committees.

In 2023, the DEI Office organised a series of three seminars addressed to administrative staff to inform and raise awareness of gender inequality issues and propose actions aimed at eliminating them. Due to their high demand, the seminars were repeated for the second time. In addition, the DEI Office organised a seminar on sexual harassment, which was addressed to the student community and was held a second time.

In addition, events open to the public are organized where attendees are given the opportunity to be informed about the problems women face because of their gender in the effort of their professional development and the ways to deal with them. Examples of such events were “Women’s personal narratives in theatre and History” made on International Women’s Day, as well as discussion on gender-based cyberbullying. Through these actions, the audience was given the opportunity to actively engage in discussions and reflect on the impact of stereotypes on people who experience it and to challenge them.

The above actions are in line with the provisions and good practices of GEP since they satisfy its axes. In particular, it encourages the collection and processing of data that will allow mapping of the current situation and allow the implementation of actions for a more balanced representation in the present and in the future. In addition, they ensure gender balance at all levels, promote gender mainstreaming in research, teaching and innovation, and aim to eliminate harassment, gender-based violence and sexual harassment. Although achieving full equality takes time to achieve, with small steady steps and continuous action we will succeed!

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