UN: 'HeForShe' report urges gender equality in global universities

New York, US (PANA) - At the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly on Tuesday in New York, UN Women unveiled the first-ever "HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 University Parity Report", in which 10 leading global universities lay out concrete commitments to chart progress toward achieving gender parity.

Launched in 2015, the "HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10", is an initiative that convenes ten Heads of State, ten global CEOs and ten University Presidents to fast-track gender equality in boardrooms, classrooms and world capitals.

The group of 10 IMPACT universities span across eight countries on five continents.

They are Georgetown University, US, Institut d’etudes politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), France, Nagoya University, Japan;, Stony Brook University, US, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, the University of Leicester, UK, University of Oxford, UK, the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, the University of Waterloo, Canada, and the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Speaking at the event, Executive Director of UN Women, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said: "Each generation of university students that emerges from these formative years of education is a new chance for the world to make progress."

"Now that our IMPACT Champions are leading such well targeted initiatives to tackle current barriers to gender equality, we can look to these cadres of HeForShe graduates, and the changing profiles of academia, with renewed hope," she said.

She noted that the launch of the report marked the completion of the first year in the IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative for participating universities, stating that, "in the report, University HeForShe IMPACT Champions present transparent baseline figures on the representation of women across their student and faculty populations against which future progress will be measured and published on an annual basis."

"This dataset refers to women at undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as faculty and senior leadership roles.

In total, the ten universities have committed to monitoring their progress on 30 commitments. 70 per cent of IMPACT Champions have committed to closing the gender gap in administration; 40 per cent have committed to closing the gender gap in academia, 30 per cent have committed to creating centers of excellence in gender equality, and 40 per cent have committed to ending violence on campus," Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said.

On her part, Director-General of the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Ms. Irina Bokova, stated: "Sustainable development is not possible and peace will not be lasting, without empowering every girl and woman."

"I see the face of the new global agenda as that of a 12-year-old girl, in school, not forced into marriage or work. It is the face of a 20-year-old woman, at university, creating and sharing knowledge.This is the importance of the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Initiative," Ms. Bokova said.

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, who launched the HeForShe movement in 2014, and took part in the report launch said: "A good university is like a tiny utopia, it is a miniature model of how the whole of society could look. All our IMPACT Champions have chosen to make gender parity a central part of the way they educate their students."

She also noted that, gender-based violence remains a serious challenge to campus security and educational opportunity for students across the world.

"One in three women worldwide is known to experience some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Many more victims remain silent due to shame, guilt, or fear. Men and boys are also the victims of physical and sexual violence, and are statistically less probable to report an assault to authorities.

"In some countries, the incidence of assault and violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer students is estimated to be higher," she said.

Created by UN Women, the "HeForShe" solidarity movement for gender equality provides a systematic approach and targeted platform on which men and boys can engage and become change agents towards the achievement of gender equality.

"HeForShe" invites men and boys to build on the work of the women’s movement as equal partners, crafting and implementing a shared vision of gender equality that will benefit all of humanity.

IMPACT 10x10x10 engages key decision makers at governments, corporations and universities around the world to drive change from the top.

IMPACT Champions make gender equality an institutional priority, committing to real change within and beyond each of their organizations, and each IMPACT Champion implements the "HeForShe IMPACT" framework and develops three bold, game-changing commitments to advance and ultimately achieve gender equality for all.
-0-  PANA  AA  20Sept2016

20 september 2016 19:22:29

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