The establishment of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality of the University of Belgrade, at a time when many women, public figures and even students spoke out about vulnerability and sexual harassment, shows the University’s intention to solve these problems, advocate for women’s rights and position and become a truly gender responsible institution, said the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Brankica Janković, at the opening of the training for future commissioners. The students must be trusted, every report must be approached very seriously, and we, as a national institution responsible for preventing all forms of discrimination and protecting and promoting equality, are available for all kinds of support and assistance, the Commissioner said.
Women are still at a disadvantage compared to men – in the labor market, in decision-making processes, earnings, division of labor, and education. Improving gender equality is a condition for the progress of the entire society, and in order to have such a society, the initiative of higher education institutions is very important. By promoting gender diversity in academic structures and involving women in key decisions, the university community contributes to the dismantling of gender and patriarchal constraints, but also serves as an example to other, important factors in society, said Janković.
The Commissioner reminded that, in 2018, the National Council for Higher Education was sent an initiative to introduce a gender perspective in the procedure of accreditation of higher education institutions. Despite the fact that the Council accepted the initiative and sent it to the National Accreditation Body and the Accreditation Commission, the initiative did not become binding, which is why every self-initiative effort of the university is valuable and very important, the Commissioner pointed out.
Trainings for future commissioners for equality at higher education institutions were organized by the University of Belgrade and the Institute of Philosophy and Social Theory.