Crucial to understanding EUR’s perspective in this area is the difference between ‘Sex’ and ‘Gender’. In short, gender describes the characteristics of women and men that are socially constructed, while sex refers to biologically determined characteristics. Most individuals are born female or male but learn to be girls and boys who grow into women and men. This learned behaviour makes up gender identity and determines gender roles.
Regardless of sex or gender EUR believes fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities between all individuals regardless of sex or gender.
EUR considers gender to consist of three related aspects:
- gender roles, socially constructed norms and behaviours which are essentially based on stereotypes associated with the sex assigned at birth;
- gender identity, which is a person’s internal perception of their identity; and
- gender expression, which is the way a person lives in society and interacts with others.
Advancing all aspects of gender equality within our institutions, institutes and departments, is a key objective. EUR understands the advancement of gender equality as removing the structural barriers, including – social, cultural and economic barriers- and addressing the gendered norms and stereotypes that prevent students and staff from achieving a sense of safety and achieving their full potential.
This process begins by taking a considered evidence-based approach, starting with a robust evaluation of our current organisational position, this can be achieved through a gendered analysis.
A 'gendered analysis' focuses on the different experiences of men and women and the reasons behind them – it is a tool of identifying issues and developing solutions to benefit the unequal or underrepresented gender within that context, this is one approach EUR will look to employ.
EUR has taken significant steps to address its notable gender disparities within staff in leadership positions, and there is more that can be done to tackle this issue adequately. EUR is fully committed and will eagerly pursue compliance with national guidelines on gender representation at the highest levels.
Erasmus University Rotterdam holds a network that relates to gender.