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.

International Women’s Day 2017

The theme of International Women’s Day 2017 was to Be Bold for Change. All members of the IPED board are committed to gender equality, particularly intersectional approaches to advancing women’s participation in public life.

Susan Sayce attended a ResNet event for IWD at the University of East Anglia, where the theme was inclusive change especially for disabled women. More information on ResNet can be found here


Maria Tsourfouli (University of Wolverhamption) discussed, along with, Dr Subashini Suresh and Andrea Mondokova, an intersectional approach to gender equity approaches in higher education: ‘Being a woman/man and a migrant in Higher Education: Double exclusions?’. This presentation forms part of a week long celebration of IWD alongside the University of Wolverhampton’s Athena Swan work.

Chrissi McCarthy was very busy on IWD, giving two talks. The first was for the National Association of Women in Construction and a second for the University of Reading

Kate Sang (Heriot Watt University) presented at the Scottish Young Planners’ IWD event (Royal Town Planners’ Institute in Scotland). Kate’s presentation proposed intersectionality as a tool for bold and far reaching change, asking what would our built environment look like if more women were in charge of its design and build.

We hope you had a fantastic IWD and look forward to a year of bold change!

Call for rapid responses to Trump and Women’s March

Call for rapid responses to Trump and Women’s March

The Women’s March on 21 January 2017 was conceived and initiated in the time between the US election result of 8 November 2016 and the 20 January presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. US-centred, it also saw global impact with over 600 marches in dozens of countries. Estimates of participation number as high as 4.5 million people. Trump, his close advisors and cabinet are regarded by many commentators to reflect a new far-right or illiberal leadership previously unknown in the US, with potentially radical national and international effects. The cabinet is currently the least diverse in terms of ‘race’ and gender of recent times, and has rapidly instituted a growing list of measures targeting marginalised groups such as The Global Gag Rule, the removal of the Affordable Care Act and bans on refugees from predominately Muslim countries.

We welcome submissions which address the Women’s March and the Trump administration. We have provided a list of questions which may inspire commentary, but broader analyses are also welcome.

Submissions may include blog posts, research agendas, activist perspectives, creative writing, policy analyses or position pieces. We expect submissions to range from 1500 to 8000 words. Submissions may be in English, French, Greek, Spanish, German, BSL, American Sign Language or International Sign Language (for sign language submissions please contact the editors first, so we can ensure appropriate support). We ask that all submissions include a title and abstract in English as well as the original language. Submissions will be reviewed by the editorial team, and where appropriate subject to a rapid peer review. IPED is fully open access with authors retaining full copyright of their work. To submit please visit this link

In your covering email please note that your submission is for the Call for rapid responses to Trump and Women’s March.

Deadline – 27th February. Planned publication end of March 2017.

Please direct queries to: Christopher Lyon or Kate Sang


  1. What is the potential for intersectional approaches to scholarship and feminist activism to provide a robust and effective response to the rise of autocratic leaders such as President Donald Trump?
  2. Can the Women’s March of 21 January 2017 act as a catalyst for progressive and inclusive social change, and in what ways?
  3. How can intersectionality be used to provide a basis for social change and resistance to encroaching attacks on human rights? Where are the pitfalls and limits of intersectionality both as a theoretical construct and a basis for social change?
  4. Does the Women’s March reflect a different form of protest or action beyond normative activism? How can we understand the Women’s March in the context of broader debates around violent and non-violent protest?
  5. What can the Women’s March learn from previous social justice protests, for example, the Civil Rights movement, the women’s Suffrage movement?
  6. What role did technology play in organising this march? What might this mean for its potential?
  7. Where does The Women’s March sit with other forms of protest, for example, Black Lives Matter and the North Dakota Pipeline?
  8. What are the lessons for efforts outside of the US, for example, responses to Brexit and the rise of far-right politics in France and other parts of Europe and Australasia?
  9. The massive scale and global nature of the protest meant that it likely included many people who would not normally identify with or participate in protest activism. What does this level of participation mean for intersectional discourses and practices that normally define participation in this form of activism?
  10. How does the social justice focus of the Women’s March connect with other highly controversial Trump administration policies such as those related to climate change, international trade, and toward Russia and China?


Photography courtesy of Danielle Eiseman (Chicago March) and Kate Sang (Edinburgh March)

Call for papers on ‘Climate change and intersectionality’

The Open Access journal Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity has opened a call for submissions to a themed issue on ‘Climate change and intersectionality’.

Editors: Christopher Lyon Kate Sang Susan Sayce  Nisha Onta 

The effects of climate change are not felt equally across national contexts, with poorer countries facing more immediate and stronger effects. Global efforts to address climate change have recognised that gender is a factor in both the impacts of climate change and adaptation and mitigation. However, gender still remains peripheral to climate policy making, regardless of the gender composition of policy making teams (Mangusdottir & Kronsell, 2014). Further, there is increasing understanding of the importance of working with indigenous peoples and knowledge. This has been highlighted in terms of policy making, and media representations of climate change (Roosvall and Tegelberg, 2015).

Social identities cannot be viewed in isolation. Efforts to understand how multiple identities may affect an individual’s experience have been advanced by drawing on intersectionality. Developed by Kimberle Crenshaw (1991) intersectionality does not aim to add together sources of discrimination or oppression, rather how these sources interact to inform experience (Hancock, 2007). Analyses of intersectionality are moving towards understanding how privilege and disadvantage may interact (Yuval-Davis, 2006: 201). Early steps have been made to understand, from an intersectional perspective, how communities respond to climate change (Vinyeta et al., 2015). There is considerable scope for further studies which can adopt intersectionality in order to provide nuanced and contextualised understandings of how to best respond to the threats posed by climate change.

This themed issue aims to provide a forum for the discussion of how intersecting social identities can be incorporated into climate change research, in order to provide a more holistic understanding of how we can respond to the global threat of climate change.

Empirical and conceptual submissions are not limited to, but may wish to consider:

  •   How intersecting identities, such as age, race, sexuality, gender, religion and disability inform experiences of working within organisations dedicated to mitigating the effects of climate change.
  •   How are intersecting social identities, (re)produced within climate change organisations, policies and discourses? What are the effects of these (re)productions on efforts to mitigate climate change and its effects?
  •   Analysis of the dynamics of intersecting identities for understanding and mitigating the effects of climate change.
  •   How incorporating methodological approaches which enable the inclusion of temporal, material, discourse and contextual elements may help to reveal the intersectional dynamics of climate change.
  •   How intersectional understandings can be used to inform climate policy, and associated practice?
  •   Given the particular local effects of climate change, to what extent (and in what ways) are global organisations adapting their policies to local concerns. This may include working relationships with indigenous peoples.
  •   What do indigenous, and other non Western perspectives, contribute academic debates on climate change? Are these perspectives welcomed?
  •   How, and to what extent, do new initiatives such as Green/Sustainable Human Resource Management create opportunities for organisations to challenge existing patterns of privilege/oppression?
  • What does climate change mean for intersectional understandings of identity?

We are keen for this themed issue to embrace diverse ways of disseminating knowledge. If you have a submission idea which is broader than that mentioned above, please get in touch.

Submissions may be full research papers (approx 8k words), research notes (up to 5k words), book reviews, pedagogical reflections, activist and practitioner research/policy analyses, position pieces or student essays. Submissions will be subject to a double blind peer review. IPED is an OA journal and authors retain the rights to their submitted work. Submissions may be in English, Thai, Greek or German. If you wish to submit in another language (including American, British or International Sign Language) please feel free to contact us.

The deadline is 28th February 2017. Please  contact  Christopher Lyon , Kate SangSusan Sayce or Nisha Onta, if you have any questions.

Submissions can be submitted via – in your covering letter, please clearly indicate that your submission is for the themed issue ‘Climate change and intersectionality’.

Fully funded PhD scholarship

We are delighted to share news of a fully funded PhD scholarship with one of our board members: Dr Maria Tsourfouli at the University of Wolverhampton.

Title of Study:- ‘Facilitating career development of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM): Towards increasing understanding, participation progression and retention’.

Enquiries to Dr Maria Tsouroufli

Location: Wolverhampton/Walsall.

Funding amount: The studentships consist of full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a Doctoral Stipend of £13,750 for 3 years.

Hours: Full-time.

Full details can be seen here.

Joan Acker 1924-2016

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the death of Joan Acker a Professor from the University of Oregon in the US on the 22nd June 2016. Joan was a renowned feminist, sociologist, educator, researcher and writer who carried on working in her eighties.

I had the pleasure of working with Joan as guest editor on compiling a special edition of articles for the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Journal in 2012 for an edition that celebrated her contribution to theorising gender and organisation.   What was exciting about working with Joan was her generosity to other academics, as she reviewed the other academics contribution for this journal which underpinned her claim that academic dialogue is needed to bridge the generations between academics. In her work on gendered processes in organisations she outlined the reoccurring need to be reflexive about inequalities regimes and new patterns of gender, class and race inequalities. It the continuing existence of these gendered, racial and class sub-structures that continue to make discussion about outcomes linked to the intersectionality of class, gendered and racial processes relevant to theorists today.

What came through from Joan was her humanity whether it was towards her family, or to other activists or academics.  She was always an approachable feminist academic who was driven by the belief that academics in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion can make a difference. She was supportive but clear-sighted when advocating change.  Even in 2011 she considered that there was still work to be done by academics to challenge ideas of gender neutrality within the idea of the abstract worker as well as recognising the complexity of other competing forms of inequalities in periods of crisis.

She will be much missed.

Dr Susan Sayce

Co-editor Interdisciplinary perspectives on Equality and Diversity

Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia

Women’s careers in museums

Women’s careers in Scottish museums – reflections and a call for interview participants from Steven Glasgow 2nd year PhD student, Intercultural Research Centre, Heriot Watt University

Although there is a small body of research exploring women’s careers in museums, the sector has largely escaped analysis of its gender (in)equality. In this blog post I discuss the background to my PhD research, which is funded by the Moffatt Charitable Trust. I begin by setting out the limited existing information on gender and careers in museums, moving to a call for interview participants.

Museum employment does not spring to mind when people talk of gendered workplaces but research shows that whilst women are well represented in the lower levels of museum employment, some struggle to progress to higher positions (Schwarzer, 2007). When confronted with this, it is puzzling that the sector has largely escaped a gendered lens. That is not to say that there is not research on the employment of women in museums. Levin (2010) provides a collection of articles, case study and essays in Gender, Sexuality and Museums, but there is much scope for further research. The focus of my research is Scotland, there were 27.65 million visits to around the 460 museums in 2014, generating an economic impact of £890.88 million (MGS, 2015). The sector also contributes 3,552 paid roles and 4,667 voluntary positions (MGS, 2015). Women comprise a majority of employees in UK museums whilst making up 84% of museum studies students and having a dominant presence in early-career roles which has led to employer ‘concern’ that few men are in these positions (Davies, 2007).

The lack of gender focus may come from the problem not being sufficiently recognised by governing bodies, equality measures in the sector in recent years have been mainly focused on class and ethnicity. Commissioned reports by the Museums Association on workplace diversity in museums such as Culture Change, Dynamism and Diversity (Davies & Wilkinson, 2011) and Diversify: Reflections and Recommendations (Shaw, 2013) make little reference to gender as a diversity issue. However, research has indicated women face their own difficulties, for example, they can struggle for acceptance in directorships (Adams, 2010) and that there can be pervasive organisational structures that hinder women (Turner, 2002).

My research focuses on the experiences of women in the early-career museum professions, for example, junior curators, educators and exhibitioners. These occupations are competitive spaces for employment despite guideline salaries from the Museums Association (2009) ranging from £16,000 – £23,750, which are comparatively low next to other sectors. The Museums Association (2015) note the strong demand for these positions has meant that a postgraduate education and relevant volunteering experience are needed for most types of entry level position. With much unpaid volunteer work and the cost of a postgraduate degree, access to employment is weighted in favour of affluent individuals or those who can depend financially on others.

Accessing early-career positions is difficult, but progressing in them presents its own challenges. Souhami (2013) in interviews with four women in early career positions note vague career structures, guidance, training or job stability. The struggle to progress for two of the women has led them to enrol on PhD courses as they believe it will place them better to progress. These clear issues affecting early-career museum professionals need to be further unpicked and understood, and according to Souhami, have rarely been heard. Further to this, there is little research that connects these early-career experiences to gender. Through researching the lived experiences of women in early-career museum professions it is aimed for a greater understanding of these gender issues and ultimately for the study to inform future gender policy. As such, I invite anyone in a paid early-career position in Scotland who would like to take part in an interview for my study to contact me ( for a discussion on your experiences. My research has received ethical approval from Heriot Watt University. I anticipate interviews lasting approximately one hour, and will be an opportunity to inform policy and academic debates in the sector.

Reference List

Adams, R. (2010). The New Girl in the Old Boy Network: Elizabeth Esteve-Coll at the Victoria & Albert Museum. In A. K. Levin (Ed.), Gender, Sexuality and Museums: A Routledge Reader (pp. 28-42). Oxon: Routledge.

Davies, M. (2007). The Tomorrow People: Entry to the museum workforce: University of East Anglia.

Davies, M., & Wilkinson, H. (2011). Culture Change, Dynamism and Diversity. London: Museums Association.

Levin, A. K. (2010). Gender, sexuality and museums: a Routledge reader: Routledge.

MGS. (2015a). 2014 Visit Estimates for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries Sector. Edinburgh: Museums Galleries Scotland.

MuseumsAssociation. (2009). Salary Guidelines 2009. UK: Museums Association.

MuseumsAssociation. (2015). Getting a First Job.   Retrieved 01/11/2015, from

Schwarzer, M. (2007). Women in the temple-Gender and leadership in museums. Museum News, 86(3), 56-64.

Shaw, L. (2013). Diversify: Reflections and Recommendations. London: Museums Association.

Souhami, R. (2013). The Low Down on the Life of Early Career Museum Professionals. from

Turner, V. (2002). The Factors Affecting Women’s Success in Museum Careers: A Discussion of the Reasons More Women Do Not Reach the Top, and of Strategies to Promote their Future Success. Journal of Conservation and Museum Studies8.