Launch of a francophone Observatory on gender issues in universities in 2018

06 March 2018

“A francophone observatory on gender issues in universities will be launched in 2018’’, Leila Saadé, President of RESUFF, announced in her keynote speech at Think Education on 30 January 2018 at Paris Dauphine University.

The threefold mission of the observatory will consist of:

  • fostering knowledge, by means of indicators, on the role of women in higher education institutions;
  • developing policies that promote equality;
  • assessing the evolution of actions implemented by the observatory

“In France, women represent 16% of rectors, 23% of professors and 58% of undergraduate and graduate students," says Leila Saadé, who is also professor of Law and president of the Middle East Doctoral School of Law. "Even though universities should embody an egalitarian culture, on the contrary, a strong discrimination towards women persists."

The establishment of the observatory is the third measure that was considered by the AUF in 2014, in continuity with the São Paulo (Brazil) Declaration of Francophone University Rectors and Presidents, adopted in 2013. “The previous two actions have already been put into effect”, Leila Saadé added, and these involve:

  • the creation of the University Women's Network RESUFF (Dakar, 2014);
  • the setting up of training modules "to help women evolve through the hierarchy". The three modules of the "Gender: Concepts and Approach" training course were designed in partnership with the University of Rennes 2.

RESUFF, promoting women in universities

"RESUFF’s main objective is to encourage women's access to senior positions in higher education and research," Leila Saadé declared.

RESUFF was created by the AUF, and at its constitutive assembly (Paris, 2015) it brought together nearly forty women university managers, presidents and vice-presidents, rectors and vice-rectors, and deans, from AUF member institutions.

RESUFF also intends to "promote good practices" and "solidarity between women from different geographical areas," stated Leila Saadé. "Gender equality is a great ideal, Resuff is here to serve it."

This news was first published on the online media News Tank in French.

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