Creation of a gender equality unit/office - provided with annual financial and human resources - acting also, as an in-house expert focal point and an advisory source to departments

Main aim of the action

Forming a Gender Equality Committee to oversee, in tandem with the PLOTINA team until 2020, the entire process of the GEP implementation. Ensuring the institutionalization and sustainability of gender equality policies and practices.

Expected impact

Institutionalization of gender equality perspective as a permanent policy and practice at OzU. Creation or raising of awareness of gender-related issues across OzU.

Implementation

We have met with the Rector and she has approved of the creation of Gender Equality Committee. (In fact, it was the rector herself who proposed that this unit be a committee in order to retain more administrative power.) Call will be made in the next university-wide administrative meeting for the interested parties from all faculties and schools to take part in this committee. We will visit all departments and make the same call as well. Once the volunteers are determined, the Rector will officially appoint them and the names she has selected to work in this Committee. We envision that the criteria for the selection of the members of this committee will be a veritable interest shown by the candidates in gender-related issues and studies in their teaching and/or research. This commitment can be expressed verbally by the candidates themselves or displayed in their research and teaching activities.

Challenges/resistance

Since it is a top-down policy endorsed by the Rector and the Board of Trustees, we expect no resistance to this action. The main challenge, though, is the fact that much of the administrative process at OzU depends on the Rector and her personal calendar as well as availability play a crucial role in the timely implementation of such actions. Since the activities of this committee will be recognized as integral to the administrative process, partaking in it should be considered a significant criterion for performance evaluation and be factored into promotion processes that are run primarily by the Higher Education Council of Turkey. Administrative committees at OzU are allocated special budgets for their activities if they require the acquisition of certain services or goods internally and externally. Thus we envision that this committee’s sustainability in terms of material resources will be ensured by the highest administration. As for in terms of human resources, we hope that as a result of our GEP’s success in raising awareness of gender-related issues, new and more academics will volunteer to work in this committee. The foremost aim of this committee will be not only to implement the GEP but also to turn it into a permanent and official gender equality policy of OzU. Our short-term goal is to effect a cultural change in our institution and to achieve the forming of structural mechanisms and bodies that will take on the task of making this change a dynamically sustained process.

Coping strategies

We need to do our best to hasten the process to get together with the Rector and the faculty representatives to effect this implementation. Accordingly, we have been mostly in electronic correspondence with the Rector to make this a priority on her agenda and we seem to be successful in our attempts as she will be introducing the GEP to the entire OzU community in February with a personal communique from the Rector’s Office as well as a personal address to the university staff and students.

Key area

The governance bodies, key actors and decision-makers

Type of action

Creation of structures

Organization

Özyeğin Üniversitesi (OZU)
Higher education institution

Action level of implementation

Departments, staff, students