Gender analysis: results and future commitments
Arising from a commitment to reflect on progress in the area of gender equity, Centre Maurits Coppieters carried out a gender analysis; a self-assessment on the participation of women and men in research activities and public debates organized by our think tank between 2008 and 2016.
This study involved quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection taking into account different patterns of participation and involvement that women and men in their diversity have, and the different ways in which gender inequalities are experienced and expressed.
The results were humbling. The beneficiaries of research and project opportunities have been overwhelmingly male. We found that only 18% of publication authors and 20% of policy paper authors have been female. Similarly, our public debates brought together 292 panelists (not including moderators as their role is not to share expertise, but steer debate), of which 23% (67 panelists) were female. More events had all male or mostly male panels than events with gender mixed or gender balanced debates.
However, the gender analysis showed some positive signs of improvement, which we are determined to build upon with future initiatives. While the inclusion of women in debates showed no clear evolution until 2016, our think tank has made a leap forward.
Last year’s event Feminism on the Peripheries of Europe significantly increased the proportion of female speakers at our events. We do acknowledge that women should not only feature in ‘women-only’ projects or speak about women’s issues exclusively, since their research contributions and expertise undoubtedly extend beyond this issue area. Women should (also) be recognized within their respective fields of study or work. We understand that the process of rethinking Europe also means bringing men into the conversation about gender equality in order to foster new progressive alliances and generate stronger commitments.
Nevertheless, while in 2012 women accounted for only 19% of speakers and in 2013 only 18%, last year women represented 33% of all speakers even when excluding our feminism event (and 44% when including it) in our analysis.
Our Centre shares a responsibility in promoting gender equality in Europe and we understand that it starts with making sure our projects, budgeting, internal organisational structure, procedures, culture and human resources are in line with our values of gender equality.
Centre Maurits Coppieters is committed to reaching gender parity and plans to take concrete steps to improve performance by developing a gender policy, gender mainstreaming project cycles, keeping track of progress with measurable indicators and actively monitoring barriers to female participation.