The University of Cagliari constantly strives to shape its organisation and its operational policies to overcome any kind of gender gap and to guarantee the expression of a full gender identity by all. The adoption of an inclusive strategic direction constitutes a constant and all-round commitment, which takes the form of three actions:
- Creation of a place of excellence training and socialisation in the fight against inequalities and the application of the equity principles of substantive citizenship.
- Work organisation characterised by multiple diversities, deserving to be recognised, protected, and valorised to prevent them from resulting in undue asymmetries in the distribution of positions and progression along professional paths.
- Public actors aware of their impact on the territory in terms of spreading an inclusive culture, in cooperation with other institutional actors operating on a local, national, and international scale, with the business world and with third sector associations.
In order to best pursue these objectives, in June 2020 UniCa adopted its first Gender Equality Plan (GEP), consisting of 32 strategic actions that concretely articulate a path of reflection that had long been initiated by the University and based on certain premises:
- The realisation that the way scientific knowledge is generated, applied and disseminated is not detached from the global structural system, which reproduces gender inequalities within organisations related to research and its funding, where significant role asymmetries between men and women emerge.
- The assumption that research activity that is not free of gender stereotypes can fuel discrimination and limit equal opportunities within organisations themselves;
- The peculiarity of the undergraduate and postgraduate research and education sector, whose training mission makes it necessary to adopt specific measures aimed at combating and overcoming persistent gender gaps.
UniCa has been committed for many years to consolidate policies to promote, raise awareness and disseminate the culture of equal opportunities, and to support work-life balance.
In particular, we would like to highlight the following measures aimed at students with dependent children: the Tessera Baby project, the guaranteed access to the 'Stanze Rosa' (Pink Rooms) located throughout the University, and the play and recreational space. For detailed information, please refer to the specifically dedicated pages, accessible through this link
In 2018 UniCa equipped itself, thus becoming in the process one of the first universities in Italy, with a regulation for the activation and management of an alias career for subjects in gender transition, the application and implementation methods of which are specified in the specific document:
The entire matter is being updated in order to ensure that it functions more adequately, from the point of view of its completeness and extension and its effectiveness, with a view to promoting better organisational wellbeing for all and everyone and combating all forms of discrimination related to gender identity.
The fight against the phenomenon of horizontal and vertical segregation due to gender is one of the constant commitments in the definition of the University's inclusive policies, to which specific sections of the Gender Equality Plan are dedicated.
In particular, reference is made to the strategic actions aimed at guaranteeing support for the return to work after leave, maternity, parental leave and illness, aimed at maintaining the career path, with the specific provision of the possibility of choosing the most convenient time slot for the provision of teaching activities by new parents, measures to support researchers for participation in international scientific groups, conferences, panels and expert commissions, and support for inclusiveness and gender equality in the organisation of programmes of scientific and popular events and their visibility.
The guarantee of a fair and inclusive representation in the University's organisational architecture as well as the participation in top management bodies is one of the objectives increasingly pursued by UniCa: specific actions of the Gender Equality Plan are dedicated to this.
These include the establishment of the Gender Equality Delegation among the University's top governance and measures to promote a fair gender composition in the evaluation committees for the recruitment of teaching, research, technical, administrative and library staff, starting from the current rule on the presence of women in the evaluation committees of the teaching staff.
One of the main commitments undertaken by UniCa and codified in its Gender Equality Plan is that of integrating the gender dimension into the content of research and innovation, as well as into training programmes, in order to improve the scientific quality and dissemination of the knowledge and technologies produced in the broader social context from an inclusive perspective. Among the main actions carried out on this front is the establishment of the CEING Interdisciplinary Centre for Research and Gender Studies, configured according to criteria of representation and complementarity of all the disciplinary souls present in UniCa, from the social, legal, political and economic sciences to the psychological and pedagogical disciplines, humanities, medical sciences, and all the STEM disciplines. The aim is to increasingly promote a declination of excellence of research paths marked by the application of a gender-sensitive perspective, as demonstrated by the participatory response of the initiatives already consolidated in the University in this area, including the interactive seminar event 'Women and Girls in Science', held annually.
In terms of training offerings, starting from the academic year 2022-2023, UniCa has also activated a 20-hour teaching course, transversal to all PhD courses present in the University, of any disciplinary field, entitled Gender Equality in the Academic and Research Context: Policy Tools and Strategies, in order to act also on the post-graduate training front.
UniCa is constantly engaged in raising the awareness of the entire university community on the relevance of the phenomenon of gender-based violence and to improve its strategies to combat all forms of prejudice and discrimination and all types of harassment (stalking, online bullying, sexism, abuse of power, micro-aggressions based on gender identity and/or sexual orientation, sexual assaults, etc.) practised and suffered in the academic environment.
At present, the offices in charge of defining internal disciplinary sanctions and reprimands in the event of harassment and or violence ascribable to the sphere of gender and sexual discrimination are the Ethics Commission and the Disciplinary Board, although the fact-finding phase, depending on the seriousness of the facts, is preparatory to the involvement of the appropriate protection bodies in the event of criminal offences (with specific reference to the special division of the police anti-crime police of the police headquarters).
Both the Psychological Counselling channel for students and the Student Guarantor can act as the first point of contact for reporting incidents of this kind, and the evaluation forms on the teaching activities carried out by university lecturers, which students are required to fill in at the end of their course, contain a special section for the anonymous reporting of substantiated episodes, to be subjected to further investigation by the Ethics Commission, with a view to possible disciplinary proceedings and, at the same time, to criminally relevant reporting beyond the university context.
The whole matter is being redefined at the moment, in order to provide channels specifically dedicated to advising on and reporting sexist or gender-discriminating episodes, within the framework of the activities envisaged by the Gender Equality Plan, and in the wake of the participation in the first European survey to assess the extent of gender-based violence in academia and to develop appropriate common tools to combat it on an international scale, within the framework of the EU UniSafe project (Gender-based violence and institutional responses: Building a knowledge base and operational tools to make universities and research organisations safe), within a partnership of 45 international research institutions, coordinated by the European Science Foundation.
- Gender Balance Sheet: https://www.unica.it/unica/it/ateneo_cug_bilancio_di_genere.page
- Positive Action Plan: https://www.unica.it/unica/it/ateneo_cug_pap.page
- Gender Equality Plan (GEP): https://unicapress.unica.it/index.php/unicapress/catalog/book/978-88-3312-021-8
UniCa is currently involved as a partner in several prestigious international networks on the themes of promoting gender equity, valuing all diversity and combating all forms of discrimination from an intersectional perspective. Projects in which UniCa is involved include, in particular:
- SMILE (Social Meaning Impact through LLL Universities in Europe), Erasmus+ KA3 Social Inclusion and common values 621433- EPP-1- 2020-1-BE- EPPKA3-IPI-SOC-IN, Project coordinated by eucen | https://smile.eucen.eu | firstname.lastname@example.org). The Project focuses on the topic of inclusiveness in university education, referring in particular to three thematic pillars: migration experience, gender inequalities and socio-economic background. Acting on these three priority areas, SMILE intends to support male and female students and researchers in situations of disadvantage due to ethnicity, gender connotation, and socio-economic background, promoting participation, progress, and academic achievement. In particular, UniCa is assigned the operational competences related to Pillar 2 of the project, focused on the theme "Women in Leadership".
- UNISAFE (Ending Gender-Based Violence. Gender-based violence and institutional responses: Building a knowledge base and operational tools to make universities and research organisations safe). https://unisafe-gbv.eu, within a partnership of 35 international RPOs, coordinated by the European Science Foundation, on the topic of combating gender-based violence in academia and in institutions of excellence. The three-year project included the preparation and administration of a survey on the topic of combating gender-based violence in the university, using an international comparative approach.
- CASPER (Certification-Award Systems to Promote Gender Equality in Research, Horizon 2020 Programme, Science with and for Society. Grant Agreement: 872113). https://www.caspergender.eu The Project is oriented towards the introduction of a European-recognised University certification-award system to promote Gender Equality in Research Excellence.
Furthermore, from 2018 to 2022 UniCa was a partner in the Horizon 2020 SUPERA (Supporting the Promotion of Gender Equality in Research and Academia) Project, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, from 2018 to 2022 (Grant Agreement 787829), in partnership with UCM (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), YW (Yellow Window, Belgium), Sciences Po (Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, France), CEU (Kozep-Europai Egyetem, Hungary), UC-CES (Centro de Estudos Sociais, Portugal), MINECO (Ministerio de Economica, Industria y Competitividad, Spain), RAS (Regione Autonoma della Sardegna). https://www.superaproject.eu As the main outcome of its participation in the SUPERA project, UniCa was provided with its first Gender Equality Plan (GEP).