RWI recently attended the 7th Gender Summit in Berlin, Germany.
“RWI works with gender aspects in research in cooperation with many partners, notably in China and Belarus,” says Alexandra Ronkina, Programme Officer at RWI.
The summit in Berlin gives participants a chance to discuss the persisting structural gender inequality in academia as well as the challenge of including a gender dimension in all research.
The Institute has just decided to focus its work to promote respect for human rights and humanitarian law within four areas, one of which is inclusive societies. “Improving gender equality is absolutely one key element of contributing towards inclusive societies,” says Ronkina.
7th Gender Summer
The Institute’s Belarusian colleagues prepared a significant contribution to the summit in Berlin. Four researchers both took part in the poster exhibition and presented their research in the conference compendium focusing on mapping gender stakeholders in Belarus, the effectiveness of imposed gender mainstreaming policies in autonomous academic institutions, gender equality as addressed in the context of the existing legislation in Belarus, and gender violence prevention policies.
The Raoul Wallenberg Institute cooperates with Belarusian universities to increase their capacity to give the best possible education in human rights and to increase their capacity to do high quality research and outreach activities.
“As for why we do gender in Belarus: we have a strong legal research tradition, but with a pretty rigid methodology, so this is one of the ways to innovate methodology, alongside the human rights based approach,” says Ekaterina Kouznetsova, Faculty of International Relations, Belarusian State University. “Plus we also piloted a gender at workplace action plan at the Faculty of International Relations in an attempt to strengthen institutional capacity to include diversity and practice democracy, we still have to see how the practical application of the plan will go.”
Gender is treated as a cross-cutting issue in the project with Belarus, says Olga Bezbozhna, Programme Officer at RWI. Since the Institute has an academic cooperation project and works with academic institutions, the project will contribute to the achievement of gender equality in Belarus through education, research, outreach, and institutional structures.
“The research objective of the project is to ensure that the research carried out is gender aware and addresses gender issues relevant in Belarus,” says Bezbozhna.