Saint-Joseph University’s Corporate Practices and Institutional Policies Aiming at Accelerating the Achievement of Gender Equality (SDG5) and Women’s Economic Rights
As a private institution, Saint-Joseph University enshrines, among its primary objectives, the principle of gender equality and the development of women’s economic rights, through good practices on the one hand and a targeted institutional policy on the other. The dedication and effective pursuit of these essential objectives will be developed hereunder based on the following three axes
- Ensuring a better knowledge and advancement of the “Women Empowerment Principles” (WEPs) through the Charter of the University and various research works and academic studies on the theme.
- Achieving equal opportunities in terms of the University’s student admission, human resources and employment policies.
- Achieving and enhancing gender equality in terms of leadership, management and decision making within the University frame.
Ensuring a better knowledge and advancement of the “Women Empowerment Principles” (WEPs) through the Charter of the University and various research works and academic studies on the theme
In the Charter of the University:
The objective of gender equality is implicitly included in the Charter of the University, the implementation of which is ensured by the University’s various faculties and institutions, each in its own field of activity.
Hence, the Charter of the University recognizes in Article 4 “the spirit of personal liberty” which excludes any discrimination based on sex or any other parameter. Furthermore, Article 6 expressly states that the University is not “at the exclusive service of a […] class“, which implies that no advantage will be granted to the class of men over the class of women. Finally, Article 7 affirms “the principle of participation” and “diversity of recruitment” with regard to students, teachers, as well as to management and administrative staff. Naturally, this implies respect for the principle of gender equality.
In the various research works and university studies:
Numerous seminars, round tables and conferences organized at the University address the theme of equal opportunities and are then widely disseminated, both in specialized academic publications and in the mainstream media in Arabic, French and English.
Following are the themes that have been chosen:
- Gender Equality and Public Policy
- Women’s access to public service
- Women creators in philosophy
- Women’s nationality and their right to grant their nationality to their children
- Women’s rights to custody of their minor children
- Impact of religion on women’s rights
- Women’s rights and the general principles of Sharia law
- Women’s rights in Lebanon and in the Arab world
- Conformity of the Lebanese Law to the 1979 CEDAW Convention
- Protection of associations fighting for women’s equality
Achieving equal opportunities in terms of the University’s student admission, human resources and employment policies:
- At the student level:
Equal access to all academic careers without distinction of gender is ensured at the University, whether in the humanities faculties or in the scientific faculties, at the Master’s or Doctoral level. To be effective, this equality of access is coupled with equal access to financial aid, scholarships, tuition discounts and financial support of all types granted to students.
a- Distribution of registered students by gender:
The University’s overall statistics show that girls account for 62% of the students enrolled in full-time studies, while boys account for 38% of them.
b- Distribution of financial aid by gender:
Gender equality is achieved at this level since the Social Service department presented statistics showing that 37% of girls enrolled at the University benefit from financial aid compared to 33% of the boys enrolled.
- At the level of human resources and employment policy:
a- Posts at University: academic and administrative positions:
According to the report of the USJ’s Audit and Control Department, the University has a clear strategy to promote diversity and gender equality with a men-woman parity (50% men and 50% women). However, in practice, in both academic and administrative positions, this parity is largely exceeded since women constitute a clear majority in both categories.
Moreover, the University strictly applies the same salary scale for all academic and administrative staff regardless of gender, the only criteria taken into account being degrees, job level, qualifications, professional background and experience.
b- Guarantees of women’s maternity rights:
In accordance with the Lebanese law and the University’s own policy of non-discrimination and promotion of women’s work, all women’s rights related to maternity are guaranteed: pre- and post-delivery leave, job security during pregnancy, and various maternity benefits. Moreover, the University has provided, on one of its campuses, a daycare center for the children of its employees as well as a playground and sports field designed to provide them with a recreational space during their hours of presence on campus.
Achieving and enhancing gender equality in terms of leadership, management and decision making within the University frame
The University applies strict gender parity in leadership positions and decision-making mechanisms. Thus, many positions of Deans, Vice-Deans, Directors of Institutes, Directors of Research Centers and Directors of Laboratories in the various faculties and institutes of the University are filled by women.
This perspective has resulted in the implementation of numerous initiatives, innovative approaches and partnerships:
– Research scholarships awarded to women on a variety of topics, among which their contribution to public law issues.
-Positions of science managers, project managers and directors of academic Chairs held by women.
-Training within the framework of projects with UNWomen
-Promotion of women’s competences among employers in the field of agronomy and agri-food.
-Awarding of a Special Science Prize dedicated to girls as part of the “Science Fairs” organized by the Faculty of Science.
– Participation in projects aiming to sponsor and support women through international science programs such as “UNESCO-L’OREAL”. It is noteworthy that four women teachers at the Faculty of Science of USJ have been awarded the “UNESCO-L’OREAL” prize.
Blog post written by Professor Nada Nassar-Chaoul; Professor at the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the Saint-Joseph University – Beirut
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