New research project: Developing whole school Gender Equality Charter Marks

Here Dr Maria Tsouroufli (Reader in Education, Convener of Educational Policy Research Cluster and Athena Swan Intersectionality Working group, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing shares news of her new project funded by the EU

‘Developing whole school Gender Equality Charter Marks in order to overcome gender stereotyping in education across Europe’


Overcoming gender stereotyping in education using a whole school approach to develop an environment that supports gender equality’, UST/2015/RGEN/AG/ROLE, Action grants to support transnational projects to promote good practices on gender roles and to overcome gender stereotypes in education, training and in the workplace RIGHTS, EQUALITY AND CITIZENSHIP/JUSTICE PROGRAMME (2014-2020), awarded 14th November 2016, €344,239.59



Project overview

This two and half year project will design and trial bespoke Gender Equality Charter Marks for secondary schools in UK, Hungary and Italy. Committing to this Charter Mark accreditation process will enable a school to measure progress in tackling the effects that gender stereotyping still has on pupils in relation to both subject (and career) choices and as a root cause of sexual harassment and gender based violence in schools and wider society. The Charter Mark process will address the whole school environment rather than focusing on particular subject choices (e.g. girls and science subjects). This builds on research evidence that shows the important impact of whole school policy, relationships, use of language and curriculum materials as well as curriculum design on subject and career choices.


The Gender Equality Charter Mark will have three levels of engagement: bronze, silver and gold.  To be awarded the Charter Mark at each level, schools will submit evidence of meeting criteria to a national assessment panel. The Charter Mark will support schools through this process by providing the following:

  • a baseline audit to assess current practice in school
  • targets and strategies/guidelines/steps/standards to implement change
  • criteria to assess submitted evidence from schools towards achieving the Charter Mark

The Charter Mark criteria, audit and materials for implementing change will be designed by a focus group of teachers and gender equality specialists. Once designed, this draft Charter Mark will be trialled for one year in three schools in each of the countries. This process will be monitored and feedback from this trial will be used to create a robust national Gender Equality Charter Mark in the UK, Hungary and Italy. The expectation is that following this trial these Charter Marks can be used as templates for other European countries.


The partners involved in this project are:

Development Education Centre South Yorkshire, UK

University of Wolverhampton, UK

Anthropolis Association, Hungary

Central European University Budapest, Hungary

Oxfam, Italy

University of Florence, Italy


The Development Education Centre South Yorkshire (DECSY) as the lead applicant has been working for 30 years with teachers and many others involved in education to promote a development and global perspective in the curriculum. It now has a national and international reputation for its training provision. The education staff are all accredited by SAPERE (Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education) as trainers in Philosophy for Children. DECSY aims to help and inspire people to develop the skills and commitment to work together to bring about a more just and sustainable world.


Dr Maria Tsouroufli, Reader in Education at the University of Wolverhampton, is a gender research specialist and research lead/coordinator for this European study. Dr Tsouroufli has an international research track record in researching gender inequalities in education and the professions. She has conducted research on gender stereotypes, gender and teacher-student interaction and gender discrimination in secondary, higher and medical education across different national and socio-cultural contexts including the UK and Greece. Her most recent work is concerned with the implications of neo-liberalism for gender and higher education pedagogies across Europe.



Anthropolis Association, Hungary

Anthropolis Anthropological Public Benefit Association (founded in 2002) is one of the most active Hungarian NGOs in the field of development education. Anthropolis is a board member of HAND Platform (Hungarian Association of NGOs for Development and Humanitarian Aid). Our work over the past decade has included:

  • publishing the first anthropological periodical in Hungary;
  • producing documentaries on minorities, migrants and the MDGs in East Africa;
  • organising media campaigns and awareness-raising festivals on global issues;
  • initiating a news portal on development (;
  • founding the Global Education Resource Centre (
  • publishing lecture books for students (elementary and secondary)

regularly organising workshops for students; seminars for teachers and youth workers; and roundtable discussions among GE stakeholders.


In the last decade Anthropolis has been working together with more than 40 European non-governmental organisations in the field of education, culture, research and social work. We have built strategic partnerships with local communities, decision makers, universities, NGOs and educational development institutes.


Balázs Nagy works for Anthropolis Association as a project worker and trainer. He has an MA in psychology (gender studies). He delivers global education workshops and trainings for pupils, students and teachers. He is also a trainer of Digital storytelling.


Central European University Budapest, Hungary


Central European University Budapest, Hungary


Central European University is a graduate-level “crossroads” university with approximately 1,400 students and 370 faculty members from more than 130 countries coming to engage in interdisciplinary education, pursue advanced scholarship, and address some of society’s most vexing problems.

Founded in 1991 at a time when revolutionary changes were throwing off the rigid orthodoxies imposed on Central and Eastern Europe, CEU is based on the premise that human fallibility can be counterbalanced by the critical discussion of ideas and that this critical spirit can be sustained best in societies where citizens have the freedom to scrutinize competing theories and openly evaluate and change government policies.

It is accredited in both the United States and Hungary, and offers English-language Master’s and doctoral programs in the social sciences, the humanities, law, management and public policy. Located in the heart of Central Europe — Budapest, Hungary — CEU has developed a distinct academic and intellectual focus, combining the comparative study of the region’s historical, cultural, and social diversity with a global perspective on good governance, sustainable development and social transformation.

The Department of Gender Studies at CEU strives to meet the growing demand for expertise in gender issues by providing both Master’s and doctoral level programs in gender studies, as well as serving as a base for non-degree studies and other activities in the field. The department attracts students from a wide range of disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities, and focuses on integrative and comparative approaches in gender studies. With an important, but not exclusive, focus on Central and Eastern Europe, both the Master’s and doctoral programs seek to contribute to the development of socially relevant knowledge based on these approaches, and to critically interrogate past and present developments related to gender in culture and society.


Dr. Dorottya Rédai received her PhD degree at the Department of Gender Studies at CEU in 2015. Her research field is the intersections of public education and the re/production social identity categories and inequalities. Currently she is working at CEU in an international gender studies course development project (GeSt), in an international project focusing on assessing gender equity in secondary schools (GECM), and as a visiting lecturer. Besides, she does freelance work as an expert and activist in public and higher education and in NGOs, in the fields of gender and education, sex education, human rights education and training, and discrimination and social exclusion against women and sexual minorities.


Oxfam, Italy

Global Citizenship Education


Oxfam Italia is an Italian Development NGO, non-profit association, full member of the International Confederation Oxfam, which has 18 organizations networked together in more than 90 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from injustice of poverty. Oxfam Italia staff include 77 employees, 276 project-based contracts in Italy and abroad and 822 volunteers.


In Italy and in Europe, Oxfam works in Global Citizenship Education, promoting social, economic and environmental justice, social inclusion and the fight against discrimination. In this context, Oxfam aims at strengthening and supporting responsible citizens who are committed to a just and sustainable world. Global Citizenship Education is an education that defends human rights and the environment, promotes responsible consumerism, nourishes respect for interculturalism and values diversity, that encourages gender equality, participation, co responsibility and a commitment to building a fairer and more sustainble society.


The mission of the Education Office is to positively change the social, economic and political contexts that globally fuel poverty and injustice, fostering active citizenship based on a human rights and sustainable development approach.



Areta Sobieraj


Areta is OIT’s Head of Education and is responsible for developing, monitoring and evaluating educational projects. She’s an educator and international teacher/trainer trainer and has extensive experience in developing teaching and learning resources, training and consultancy for teaching staff and educators on issues focused on education for sustainability, active citizenship education, fair trade and human rights. She has a Masters in Education for Sustainability from South Bank University, London and has attended several courses on issues specifically related to the Sustainable Development Goals .





Alessia Martini


Alessia is a project manager, in the field of education. She has experience in the management of national and European projects financed by various donors. She has also experience in dissemination and exploitation activities. She has experience in project proposals writing, in the preparation and translation of documents and reports, organisation of events, workshosps, seminars and conferences with schools. She has a Masters in Development Economics from the University of Florence.


University of Florence, Italy

The University of Florence is one of the largest organizations for research and higher education in Italy with over 1900 tenured teaching staff and researchers, over 1600 permanent technical/administrative staff and language assistants and over 55 thousand students enrolled. The University consists of 24 departments. A large part of the yearly budget is allocated to scientific research. Recently, the University of Florence has been ranked top among Italian Universities for the distribution of national research funds.

The University of Florence is one of the largest and most productive public research systems in Italy.

Simonetta Ulivieri is a full professor of “General and Social Pedagogy” at the University of Florence, Department of Education and Psychology. She deals with Social History of Education and Pedagogy of Gender and Equal Opportunities. In particular, she focuses on

gender identity relating to “Pedagogy of the Difference”. At the moment, Simonetta Ulivieri is teaching “Pedagogy of Gender and Equal Opportunities” for the Master’s degree in “School Leadership and Clinic Pedagogy in schools and educational services”.

Raffaella Biagioli is Associate Professor in General and Social Pedagogy by the Department of Education Science and Psychology of the University of Florence. She is interested in the Pedagogy ofMarginality, Gender Pedagogy and Intercultural Pedagogy.

Irene Biemmi is Professor of Social Pedagogy at the same Department. Her areas of

research interest concern gender issues in the education sector with particular reference to critical analysis of teaching materials, teacher training and orientation. She edits the illustrated books series “Sottosopra” for the publisher EDT-Giralangolo (Turin), dedicated to eliminating gender stereotyping in childhood.

Valentina Guerrini’s research interests focus on gender differences and equal

opportunities in educational and professional field from an international perspective.

She’s a Professor of Human Sciences in Secondary Education.


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