Experiences from Academia Around the World
Edited by Saija Katila, Susan Meriläinen and Janne Tienari
Chapter 7: Gender in Education: An Inclusive Project
Ulla Eriksson-Zetterquist INTRODUCTION In 1998–1999, when I was a doctoral student in Organizational Studies, EvaMaria Svensson, PhD in Law, and I managed a project called ‘Gender in Education’ at the School of Business, Economics and Law1 at the University of Gothenburg (hereafter HGU).2 The Swedish Ministry of Education and Research financed the project that aimed at increasing knowledge about gender in teaching situations at HGU. There was considerable interest in the project by the media as well as by our colleagues who, in various ways, committed to its goals and ideas. A year after the project’s conclusion, an evaluation reported that the most visible result of the project was that gender inequality had become an issue on the agenda in some HGU departments. In this chapter, my aim is to describe general and personal experiences from efforts working with gender inclusion in an academic environment. The case exemplifies how the issue of gender in education needs to be locally situated in the university sub-cultures in order to relate to practice. First, I provide a brief overview of the context of the project. Increasing gender equality has been a political goal in Sweden since the beginning of the 1960s when a national government report stated that men and women should have equal roles and responsibilities in work life, society and child rearing. According to the report, gender equality, besides advancing democratic principles, would also help solve the country’s labour shortage and would increase gross national product. The 1970s debate...
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