During a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Universidad de La Frontera, the creation of the Gender Equity Office was unanimously approved. Its tasks will be issues such as gender equality, inclusion, and sexual and labor abuse within the university.
For Gloria Rodriguez, the Vice-rector for Academic Affairs of the Universidad de La Frontera, the approbation of the Gender Equity Office during the meeting of the UFRO Board of Directors is a historic milestone.
“This new Office is, amongst others, one of the results of the big student mobilization in 2018, a mobilization in which also a big number of students and employees of our university participated. As a result of this mobilization, the former Rector´s Office assumed a series of commitments that the team around the new Rector, Dr. Eduardo Hebel, has taken on. Now, we are working on the implementation of these plans, and one of them was the creation of a Gender Equity Office that will be part of the structure of the university in order to install a Gender Equity Policy and the elements it involves,” the Vice-rector pointed out.
One of the main issues this Office will have to address is the elaboration of a protocol for handling situations of inequality and abuse, as it has been discussed and approved by the Academic Council in 2018 and approved by the Board of Directors.
“As a university we know that inequality exists and the institution will work on resolving this issue. There is no doubt that one of the fundamental steps for making a change was the implementation of this Gender Equity Office and future protocols,” the Vice-rector claimed.
Another main function of the Gender Equity Office will be the installation of different units, with the Unit for Case Reception and Tracking being one of the most urgent ones. It will be in charge of the assistance, orientation, accompaniment, derivation and tracking of processes (when applicable) in case of discrimination, or sexual or gender-based violence within the context of the university. Until its approbation, the Gender Equity Office was sustained by a temporary commission, but the university authorities confirmed that it was necessary to institutionalize it.
It is worth mentioning that the gender policy was a requirement by the Chilean Ministry of Education, which demands all universities to install offices or structures that can deal with this kind of conflicts in an institutionalized manner.
Written by: UFRO Communications Office