PRESS RELEASE: VILNIUS UNIVERSITY ADOPTED ITS GENDER EQUALITY PLAN 2021-2025
SPEAR partner Vilnius University (VU) in Lithuania adopted its Gender Equality Plan (GEP) for the period 2021-2025, with a decision approved by the University Senate in December 2021.
VU Gender Equality Plan has been developed following the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) guidelines for developing gender equality plans (Gender Equality in Academia and Research — GEAR tool), the European Commission’s Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025, and the UN SDGs. Moreover, it complies with the laws and regulations of the Republic of Lithuania, the guidelines of the Lithuanian University Rectors’ Conference, and Vilnius University’s academic strategies and codes.
The recently adopted GEP aims to consolidate VU’s commitment to be open to its community about gender, language, nationality, citizenship, social status, religion or views, sexual orientation, marital status, disability experience. Furthermore, it strives to ensure that the principles of gender equality, i.e. non-discrimination based on gender and other grounds, equal representation, work-life balance, and clear career opportunities, become an integral part of the University's organisational culture.
VU GEP tackles 11 objectives across five strategic areas, identifying specific goals and steps to achieve the expected results while recognising the actors and bodies responsible for their implementation.
Aim I: Ensure the effective and continuous implementation of gender equality at VU
VU is establishing institutional structures, practices, and instruments, consolidating the understanding of gender equality and enabling systematic information on the implementation progress.
Aim II: Ensure equal gender representation at the management and decision-making levels of the organisation, considering the capabilities and harnessing the potential of all individuals
VU aims to establish conditions for gender-neutral career opportunities and achieve equal gender representation at all the highest institution’s management levels.
Aim III: Ensure equal, gender-neutral working and career conditions at the staff level at VU
To this end, gender equality principles must be applied in all staff selection, recruitment, and certification procedures, as well as in retribution policies. Moreover, the University is committed to promoting good work-life balance practices and ensuring a discrimination-, mobbing- and sexual harassment-free work environment.
Aim IV: Strengthen gender equality awareness at the level of research, experimental development, and innovation (R&D&I) and the level of studies, ensuring equal opportunities for participation in a wide range of R&D&I and study activities, regardless of gender
In the upcoming years, VU organisational and decision-making bodies will develop recommendations, collect data, and analyse gender equality indicators in students' satisfaction and project-based study and research activities.
Aim V: At the level of organisational communication, develop an organisational culture that ensures gender equality and treats all genders equally
VU is committing to include a more prominent gender dimension in its internal and external communication and marketing activities.
VU pro-rector for organizational development and community affairs dr. Rita Rekasiute-Balsiene says:
«VU GEP is a big step and commitment for Vilnius University in the development of the gender equality field. Gender equality problems cannot be solved easily or quickly in education or in society. However, education can be crucial to changing attitudes towards gender equality issues. We, as a university, strive to lead by example: raising awareness about gender equality goes simultaneously with the application of structural changes in organizational, communication and educational processes. Systematic and continuous gender mainstreaming initiatives has to take place so that changes in the gender equality field in the university would become visible and tangible.»
You can read the VU Gender Equality Plan here.
For further information about the GEP, contact Equal opportunities coordinator Ruta Ruolyte-Verschoore: firstname.lastname@example.org