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What is gender mainstreaming and why should University West work with it?

Gender mainstreaming is Sweden's main political strategy for achieving the goals of national gender equality policy and a gender-equal society. The political gender equality objectives are based on the UN Declaration of Human Rights (1948).

The purpose of the initiative is for the higher education sector to contribute to the nationally declared gender equality objective of women and men having equal power to shape society and their own lives.

Unlike previous gender equality efforts, which have often been time-limited and have only touched on parts of an activity, the purpose of this initiative is to develop ways that systematically integrate a gender perspective at all levels and in all areas of activity.

Since gender equality is created where decisions are made, resources are allocated, and norms are created, the gender mainstreaming perspective needs to be integrated throughout any activity. The purpose of gender mainstreaming is to counteract the issues that remain in the background and efforts that are conducted as an extra activity instead of being part of the daily work carried out by the employees in the organization.

For University West, it is important that gender mainstreaming efforts are carried out on the basis of a broad understanding of the concept of gender equality in accordance with the intersectional definition of gender equality efforts in general, also recommended by the National Secretariat for Gender Research.

Read more about Gender Mainstreaming in Academia (Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research)

Read more about intersectionality (In Swedish)

The plan and priority areas

The plan is to have an orientation plan, which means that it will be supplemented and revised as work progresses and our needs and opportunities become clearer.

Plan for Gender Mainstreaming at University West 2023-2025

In its efforts, the government has specifically identified three priority areas for institutions of higher education to work with:

  • Equal career opportunities in academia
  • The need to counter gendered education choices
  • Improvements in women’s and men’s completion rates

All sections of the university are involved in identifying initiatives and participating in the university's gender mainstreaming efforts. Working on this also involves participants outside the university, especially the employers that the university collaborates with.

A report on the results based on the plan will be in the university’s annual report for 2023-2025.


Gender equality in academia (Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research)