LeTSGEPs’ project aims at developing Gender Equality Plans of our RPOs within a Gender Budgeting perspective. A significant part of each partner’s activities consists therefore in implementing GEP measures, some of which may be defined “Best Practices” because of their innovative approach. Thanks to a scientific methodology developed by LeTSGEPs’ partner ICM, we selected a “Best Practice” measure for each of our six partners, and we are now very happy to share them with the RPO’s community.
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BEST PRACTICE TITLE: Promoting the creation of UNIT TO SUPPORT GENDER EQUALITY at the University level. The case of UT.
The Context and the Identiﬁed need(s)/ Inequalities addressed
At the time LeTSGEPs started, the University of Tirana offered 174 programmes in all three cycles of study, with 842 full time academic staff and around 23,551 students, in the academic year 2019-2020. The majority of academic staff (65,4%) were women. Meanwhile, the representation of women in decision-making bodies was weak, with 10% of the Rectorate and 37% of members of the Academic Senate. Gender balances were very different in permanent commissions with 57.1% of female members in the Academic Staff Promotion Commission, but in the Commission of the Progress of the Activity and the Relations with the Students there were only 28.6% female.
The University of Tirana had no institutional structures in place to promote gender mainstreaming and gender equality or any approved strategies/plans that were gender sensitive.
Best Practice Description:
The University of Tirana did not have a responsible unit for gender equality issues. The appointment of one dedicated staff as gender focal point has been accomplished since December 2021 as contribution of LeTSGEPs project.
The main objective of this measure was to set up a dedicated structure to advance gender equality issues, build capacities to address gender issues in the institution policies, as well as promoting projects led by women researchers in UT.
Several stakeholders were included in implementation of this action. The team of the LeTSGEPs project held several meetings with the Deputy Rector and Director of Internal Services to discuss the skills, experience and competencies needed for this position.
Based on the GEP detailed description document and after consulting the LeTSGEPs training materials, the GEP working group has drafted a job description document, which has been forwarded to the Rectorate for their approval. They have revised and the ﬁnal document was included on the University’s main Regulation. Based on this job description, the GFP coordinates and monitors the design and implementation of the GEPs and identiﬁes the needs for gender statistics and gender indicators in all UT activity with the help of relevant structures. The GFP coordinates and provides cooperation with the academic and administrative support units of UT for the inclusion of gender statistics / gender indicators in their periodic reports. The GFP supports and cooperates with the statistics and innovation sector for the collection and processing of gender statistics / gender indicators, assists in increasing the capacity of staff by providing technical assistance to human resource structures on issues related to gender mainstreaming, gender-based violence, supports working groups for the inclusion of gender perspective in drafting of policies, procedures and project proposals, as well as actively participates in activities developed within the GEP and promotes gender equality between staff and students at UT. The GFP will cooperate with the Public Relations Sector to inform all stakeholders on the implementation of the GEP and will promote good achievements and practices of gender equality at UT.
This was an institutional change that required a lot of institutional and administrative efforts from LeTSGEPs project team. Even after the GFP has been appointed, the LeTSGEPs project team of UT has continued communication and promoted the presence of GFP in GEP & GB training session activities.
During this period for implementation of the ﬁrst GEP of UT, LeTSGEPs project team have created an excellent network of stakeholders from the Albanian Parliament and Government, public institutions, other public and private universities and research organizations, international donors in Albania, etc., which would be great support for the GFP in the future.
– The appointment of the ﬁrst GFP for UT, which will coordinate and monitor the design and implementation of the GEPs in the future.
– A detailed job description for this position, which is prepared based on the latest requirements and guidelines of the EU and which will serve as a road map for the GFP in the future.
– The creation of a wide network of national and international stakeholders (reported in two national and international events) which will support the GFP in the design and implementation of gender mainstreaming initiatives in the future.
Strengths of the measure/action and key elements for success:
Appointing a GFP for UT is an institutional governance measure with clear and measurable objective and impact which will guarantee sustainability as regards institutional gender equal treatment and gender opportunities at UT.
It is an example of good practice achieved with dedicated work and persistence of the LeTSGEPs project team which is expected to produce signiﬁcant institutional changes in the future.
This position will facilitate the approval of future GEPs and GE measures and will serve as a communication bridge between the Rectorate and the faculties. It will also facilitate the approval process of important decisions in the most effective way and on the highest levels of UT.