Women and men shall have equal power to shape society and their own lives. This is Sweden’s gender equality policy goal, and we at the University actively work to realise it through the gender mainstreaming strategy. This means that gender equality issues must be included and considered in all activities at the institution.
Gender equality – an obvious part of quality management
At Halmstad University, we view gender equality as an obvious part of quality management and the work towards achieving our three goals:
- Providing students with a top-quality university experience
- A creative and innovative university
- Collaboration for mutual vitality and benefit
This means, among other things, that a gender equality perspective must be considered in the content of courses, that women and men must have equal opportunities and conditions to participate in the education and grow during their studies, and that the institution must continuously monitor all programmes from a gender equality perspective.
Gender equality is about equality between genders. The starting point for the gender mainstreaming work is therefore always gender, but based on a so-called intersectional perspective, the University assumes that women and men are not homogeneous groups and that analyses based solely on gender can become simplified and stereotypic. This is due to differences both within and between the groups of women and men related to class, ethnicity, disabilities, age, and sexual orientation. In practice, this means that gender will always be a starting point, but it is also possible to include multiple power structures and social categories.
Legal requirements and review
The Swedish Higher Education Act, Chapter 1, Section 5, sets out that equality between women and men shall always be taken into account and promoted in the operations of higher education institutions.
The Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) defines gender equality and gender mainstreaming as important quality factors. Gender equality is therefore one of six assessment areas when the Swedish Higher Education Authority reviews the quality assurance work of Swedish higher education institutions. As a higher education institution, we are expected to ensure that gender equality is systematically considered in the content, design, and execution of the programmes. We are also expected to promote gender equality in research opportunities and execution thereof.
Plan for Gender Mainstreaming 2022 to 2024 – who does what at the University?
Halmstad University has a plan for its work with gender mainstreaming between 2022 and 2024. The plan sets out goals and challenges as well as activities to achieve the goals and follow up on the work. Managers and members of staff have a responsibility to include the gender equality perspective in daily operations. The University’s Programme Director for gender mainstreaming, Anna Isaksson, is responsible for supporting this work in both core and support operations. The Programme Director conducts university-wide gender equality analyses within the scope of the University’s quality management, and contributes to the work on gender mainstreaming documents, routines, and processes.
A network consisting of representatives from the University’s four schools is tied to the Programme Director. The network consists of:
- Emma Börjesson, School of Information Technology
- Kalle Jonasson, School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences
- Martin Danielsson, School of Health and Welfare
- Jeanette Gullbrand, School of Business, Innovation and Sustainability