5.6.1 Does your university as a body have a policy of non-discrimination against women?
What is the meaning of Gender Discrimination?
Gender discrimination means discrimination based on a person’s gender or sex, which more often affects girls and women. Because of gender discrimination, girls and women do not have the same opportunities as boys and men for education, meaningful careers, political influence, and economic advancement.
Where does it happen?
Gender-based discrimination happens throughout the world. Because of gender discrimination, women who perform the same tasks as men are often paid less and receive fewer benefits from their work. Even in developed countries like Canada, women earn only 70.4 percent of what men earn – a percentage lower today than in the 1990’s.
Why does it happen?
The root cause is based in culture. A society’s culture both shapes the way ‘things are done’ and explains why that is. Culture defines who women and men are, what they do, and establishes the structure of the relationship between them. Cultural explanations describe “women’s work” and “men’s work” in the home and community. These explanations differ among societies and change over time. Generally, women have less personal autonomy, fewer resources and less influence than men regarding decisions which affect and form their societies and their own lives.
Are there laws against gender discrimination?
Canada has laws opposing gender discrimination. Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms states, “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”
There are also several international agreements upheld by Canada, which guarantee gender equality.
Gender equality means both men and women can exercise their rights and realize their full human potential, regardless of their gender.
The UAE places education at the cornerstone of Vision 2021. The Ministry of Education (MOE) and its strategic partners have laid out a strong strategy to harness the national human capital’s full potential by maximizing participation in high-quality education, encouraging entrepreneurship, and nurturing public and private sector leaders. The 2016 merger between the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has enabled the UAE to focus on equity and quality from kindergarten to higher education to fill the gap between academic requirements
and labour market demands. MOE is accelerating progress towards the SDGs by infusing Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) (such as Artificial Intelligence) in the education system through a smart learning program and a specialized data centre.
Policies and Initiatives
The Early Childhood Policy (2018) targets children from birth until the age of 8 and calls for the establishment of a national framework with a comprehensive and integrated approach for the care and learning of children
The Inclusive Education Policy Framework (2018) defines an Emirati school model focused on providing quality education from birth through its five tracks (Specialization track, General/Academic track, Professional track, Advanced track and Professional Advanced track).
Quality as measured by students’ learning outcomes: Although recent international assessment results (TIMSS and PISA) are showing improvements
Teacher preparation and professional development: Increased quality of teachers (with a shift from a supply-driven to a demand-driven focus of all professional development programs) to ensure that teachers adopt teaching and learning methodologies and assessment practices that reflect the intent of the curriculum, the need of students, and system expectations for effective teaching
Clear, consistent and sustainable SDG 4 Monitoring Framework at a global level: Although many efforts are under way to develop a holistic monitoring framework for SDG 4, it is still a global challenge to finalize all components of a sound monitoring framework including operationalization of certain targets, development of indicators, standards and tools to match the ambitions of SDG 4.
Based on the above; Canada and UAE government policies; we notice that CUD achieves gender equality and empower all women and girls by applying these policies at every sector of the university.
Canadian University Dubai (CUD) Assistant Professor Jeanette Teh has revealed that 'double standards and gender stereotypes' are still significant barriers to women's progression in the workplace, in a recent article published by industry magazine, Gulf Business.
The opinion piece, entitled "Held To Higher Standards: Why The Glass Ceiling Still Exists", is the latest in a series of commentaries by professor Teh to feature in the leading business publication. In it she discusses the recent research findings issued by American independent research organization, Pew Research Center, on the subject of 'Women in Leadership'.
"The findings were interesting," reveals professor Teh, "While the American public generally felt women were equally capable as leaders, women were held to a higher standard than men and these gender stereotypes will continue to prevent true equality."
She continues, "While men were perceived to be stronger at risk-taking and negotiating profitable deals, women were seen by the majority as being more compassionate and organized. Female business leaders were also generally seen as better at compromising, being honest and ethical, mentoring, and providing fair pay than their male counterparts.
"Theoretically, then, women are deemed as capable as men. However, they have to do more to prove themselves to surmount the expectation that men are more naturally suited to leadership positions."
Teh considered the Center's recent research findings in the context of the upcoming International Women's Day, which will run under theme 'Make It Happen', and concluded the article with her own ideas on how to 'Make It Happen' and eliminate the need for women to perform to higher standards because of outdated expectations.
November 27th, 2016: Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has marked the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women with an event to raise awareness of the important global issue.
Speaking at the event were Dr. Louise Lambert, Assistant Professor in the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Lina Khalife, founder of SheFighter, the first self-defence studio for women in Jordan and the Middle East.
Gathering together both male and female students, faculty and staff, the event sought to reinforce the UN’s message about the incidences and threats surrounding rape, domestic violence, harassment and other forms of violence against women.
Opening the event, Dr. Lambert reflected on one of her earliest professional experiences, studying domestic violence for the Justice Project in Canada. She talked about the findings of her work, during the course of which she counselled men convicted of domestic violence.
Dr. Lambert revealed, “They were given the choice of a week of counselling or a year in jail. Some of them still chose the one year option. What I found during the study was that domestic violence is a symptom of a much bigger issue. When I asked the men ‘why did you do this?’, the final answer was usually ‘because I could’.”
Likening this issue with prescribed gender roles that both men and women grow up with, Dr. Lambert discussed the cultural, religious, social, parental pressures and expectations adding to the mix. She said, “Girls are told from when they are little: ‘don’t be bossy, don’t be dramatic, tone it down’. While boys are told: ‘don’t be a wimp, don’t cry or how can you let this go?’”
Dr. Lambert also spoke about the different expectations men have for their partners versus their daughters. She revealed, “The Shriver report on 21st century men tells us that 66% of surveyed men would like the quality of independence in their daughters but only 34% wanted it in their partners. For a partner, the most preferred qualities were found to be sweet, attractive, understanding. These gender roles create a power imbalance, which is usually propagated through life.”
Continuing the debate, Lina Khalife spoke about her experience growing up in Jordan and how a high school friend who was visibly abused did not want to raise her voice against her father and brother who routinely beat her. She said, “I started questioning gender roles and the injustices based on it. My friend’s plight triggered the idea of starting a self-defence training centre for women.”
SheFighter has trained 12,000 women so far and Khalife’s work has been acknowledged globally. She has worked with the actress Emma Watson, training her in martial arts, and has a number of fascinating stories that illustrate the importance of her work, including a woman she trained who was able to overpower her attacker and have him arrested.
Khalife went on to provide some tips and demonstrations to female students on how to stay safe, including the importance of body language, showing self-confidence, being aware of one’s surroundings, not getting into enclosed spaces if there is a sense of danger and most importantly, learning self-defence.
She concluded by saying that, “The main thing to remember is that attackers are cowards. Men harass women because they have low self-esteem and because they can get away with it.”
On the occasion of the International Women’s Day and in recognition of her active role in the societal development, and the keenness of Al Ain University to highlight this role, the Deanship of Student Affairs at Al Ain University, Abu Dhabi Campus, organized a visit to the General Women’s Union.
Mrs. Ahlam Al Malki -Director of the Research and Development Department welcomed the AAU delegation and accompanied them in a tour around the Union, she talked about the Union’s establishment and its role in Women's Empowerment. The delegation also visited the Fatimah Bint Mubarak Library, and the last phase of the visit was in the craft and handicraft center to know more about the role of the General Women's Union in preserving the UAE’s heritage.
Coinciding with the International Women’s Day, the Deanship of Student Affairs at Al Ain University in Al Ain Campus, hosted Author Iman Al Yousif, the first Representative of the UAE and the Gulf in the International Writing Program 2018 organized by the University of Iowa, USA, and Poet Zainab Al Refae, the winner of Sheikha Latifa Childhood Creativity Award for Nabati poetry. The two guests talked about their success stories and the challenges they faced through an interesting dialogue moderated by Dr. Ibtehal Aburezeq, Dean of Student Affairs amid a remarkable presence of female academic and administrative members and students.
Author Iman Al Yousif started by talking about her engineering studies as a chemical engineer and a certified trainer, her experience at the University of Iowa, and her experience in writing a script of the first Emirati women's film, Ghafa, which was screened at the Dubai Film Festival 2017. She Also talked about her three stories and two novels, most notably, the sun guard, which won the first place in the Emirates Award for the novel 2016.
Poet Zainab Al Refae, a graduate of Chemical Engineering from the UAE University and a technical support engineer for the Boeing 777 at Emirates Airline, talked about her poetic journey that began 11 years ago, her winning of Sheikha Latifa Childhood Creativity Award for Nabati poetry, her participation in many poetry festivals, the most important is the Sharjah Arabic Poetry Forum in its fifteenth session. She also talked about her experience in writing a number of national and social operetta during her studies at the UAE University.
For her part, the Dean of Student Affairs expressed her pride of all the women who are creative and capable of meeting the challenges in order to achieve their ambitions, calling on all girls and women to work diligently and encourage themselves to reach their dreams. She also congratulated each woman on the occasion of International Women's Day.
On the sidelines of the event, the Deanship of Student Affairs hosted a group of health and beauty centers to provide various services for students on the occasion of International Women's Day, which included medical examinations, massage services, nail polish and henna, as well as the distribution of souvenirs.
AAU honors Emirati women in Abu Dhabi Pride volunteer group on the occasion of UAE Women’s Day
GEMS Wellington School, Silicon Oasis: Students from GEMS school accompanied by CUD staff recorded a song, celebrating the diversity of Dubai titled ‘You’re Dubai.’
The song was written by Dr. Franziska Apprich, Assistant Professor and Head of Learning Zones and Incubation in CUD, in collaboration her Communications students.
The recording of the song is a follow up to an initiative in early October when students from the Communications Department worked closely with GEMS students on the subject of bullying. During their classes the GEMS students wrote and recorded lines about anti- bullying.
The students were so impressed by the creativity of the students that they felt motivated to prolong the relationship and as a result encouraged Dr. Fran to pen a song.
The song was recorded by the GEMS School Choir ‘Resonance’, under the supervision of music teacher Olivia Shields and, music coordinator Danielle Boylan. The choir was accompanied by members of staff from CUD.
The song is about the beauty and innovation of Dubai and how it has given us all a home. We’re all part of Dubai and are happy to be living in this peaceful and tolerant place.
Many of our students have been born in Dubai and consider this to be their home. Every time Fran comes into a classroom she is reminded of the diversity and beauty of Dubai.
Dr. Fran expressed the hope that the song would receive the maximum exposure through Radio and Social media as she felt that many people share the values of the song and music video.
The song is the end product of an initiative between CUD and Gems School addressing issues around bullying and examining strategies for coping.
Speaking on behalf of the GEMS School, Thomas Nelson, Head of Emerald House and Physical Education teacher who originally invited CUD to participate in the anti-bullying campaign said that it was important to encourage students to acquire confidence when discussing issues around bullying in the classroom, making it easier for students to talk about bullying issues when they happen, and also providing a better understanding of why they happen and how people are affected.
We wanted to establish a link with The Canadian University of Dubai and with the help of Dr. Fran and her students, we were able to work together to deliver songwriting workshops that allowed our students to express their feelings and experiences around the theme of prejudice and discrimination.
For the future, our ambition is to ensure that this awareness and message remains a focal point at the Academy throughout the academic year. As a school we know we have made a positive difference to our students in recognizing, reporting and responding to bullying.