policy of non-discrimination for transgender people

Canadian University Dubai recognizes and values the diversity of its students’ gender, gender identity and gender expression. The University therefore undertakes not to discriminate against transgender, transfeminine, transmasculine, gender non-binary and non-conforming students. It commits to creating an inclusive trans-friendly culture and learning environment, free from discrimination, harassment or victimization, where all transgender and non-binary students are treated with dignity and respect in the gender in which they choose to present themselves. Throughout this policy we use trans* as an umbrella terms to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, their sex at birth following discussions with our students.

It covers a diversity of gender identities and expressions including non-binary people. There is a wide variety of terms used by trans* people to describe themselves including (but not limited to) transgender, transsexual, gender-queer (GQ), gender-fluid, non-binary, gender-variant, crossdresser, genderless, agender, nongender, third gender, two-spirit, bi-gender, trans man, trans woman, trans masculine, trans feminine and neutrois.

Introduction

The aim of this policy is to set a framework for how the University will support students who express their gender identify different to their sex at birth or have commenced and/or undergone the process of gender reassignment at any stage of the student lifecycle. The policy will give more detail on how the University’s strategic commitment should be applied to and how it will provide support to members of the University in meeting their legislative duties.

As part of the Equality and Diversity agenda, Canadian University Dubai is committed to the development of a culture where all students may live, study and work without encountering prejudice or discrimination because of any of the nine “protected characteristics” as defined by the Equality Act 2010.

The University aims to give support and understanding to those students who wish to take, or have taken steps, to identify as a gender different to their sex at birth.

The particular purpose of this policy is to ensure that a prospective student, a current student, or a graduate of Canadian University Dubai will not be treated less favorably than any other, on the grounds of gender identity or expression. This policy of equality is to apply at any time before, during or after a course of study, and at any point in any process of transition, expression or any change (including reversion) of gender identity.

Scope

This policy applies to students who have indicated a wish to live in a gender other than their sex at birth (whether or not medical supervision or surgery is either involved or contemplated) and non-binary students. The policy serves students at all stages of gender reassignment, identity or expression, begun or complete throughout the student cycle. This encompasses application to CUD, registration, every stage of their study or research to graduation.

Policy statement

The University will endeavor to undertake the following:

    • No student will be denied access or progression to admission, registration, teaching, learning and research, or treated unfairly on the grounds of their gender identity or expression, or their participation or non-participation in any gender reassignment process.

    • No student will be treated unfairly in relation to the awarding of scholarships, grants and other awards under the University’s control or the provision of student support.

    • No student will be disadvantaged through any of the University systems including but not limited to health and safety, personal conduct, complaints or disciplinary procedures.

    • In the provision of accommodation and other facilities by the University, each trans* student will be treated as an individual and their needs will be met as required, appropriately and sensitively.

    • The current curriculum, reading lists and contemporary content examples should neither rely on stereotypical assumptions or contain any transphobic material. Any historical content or comparative content containing what is now recognized as transphobic material needs to be clearly labelled with a trigger warning.

    • The University respects the confidentiality of each trans* student and no information will be revealed without the prior written agreement of the individual.

    • The University will not tolerate harassment and bullying. Transphobic abuse, harassment or bullying is treated as a serious disciplinary offence and will be dealt with under Senate Regulation 6 and/or Staff Disciplinary Policy and Procedures s.3. Support will be provided to any student who experiences such behavior.

    • The University recognizes the right of every individual to choose whether to be open about their gender identity and history. To “out‟ someone without their express permission may amount to a form of harassment and a criminal offence.

    • Trans* issues should be included in University Equality and Diversity training and specialized transgender training should be delivered to those working with and supporting trans* students.

    • Any student undergoing medical and/or surgical procedures related to gender reassignment will receive positive support from the University to meet any evolving needs during this period and all reasonable adjustments will be made as required.

    • The University will anticipate and respond positively to the needs of each trans* student and alumni, providing a professional and consistent service so that all trans* students feel welcome, safe, valued and supported in achieving their individual potentials.

    • The University commits to create and maintain an inclusive environment which demonstrates respect for each trans* student and all trans* students. The University guarantees equality across the whole student community with regard to the right to study with dignity, to use University facilities, and to preserve the name, personal identity of each trans* student. The inclusive and respectful environment will apply equally to associations (e.g. partner, spouse and family member, or ally), of a trans* student, and to an associate of any student who forms a part of, or identifies with, the wider-trans* community.

    • The University recognizes each student’s right to their individual gender identity and expression, and commits to respecting their privacy and treating their status confidentially and sensitively.

    • The University commits to facilitating where possible that trans* and non-binary students are able to have access to appropriate facilities on campus i.e. toilets in line with their gender identity and / or gender neutral facilities.

Providing support to students during transition

The way each student may transition will vary depending on a range of factors, including whether a person chooses to socially transition but not undergo any medical treatment, opt for medical procedures, or alter their gender expression without undertaking any other steps of transition. The University recognizes that all journeys are valid and all students will be supported. The most important consideration is ensuring each student can express gender identity preferences in the most comfortable way.

The student is encouraged to discuss transition with a tutor and/or the Student Support and Welfare Team if they would like support but there is no onus to do so. A very important part of this meeting will be to determine how to support the student and who will liaise with other University staff as required with the student’s written consent.

The plan should be put into writing and the student should sign it alongside the staff member. A copy will be kept by the University for the duration of the student lifecycle after which it should be managed in accordance with data protection law. The details will not be shared without the student’s written consent. The support plan and other arrangements should be monitored and reviewed regularly. Key review points are likely to include any time of significant change (whether personal or academic, or placement-related) but this does not preclude review and revision at any other time.

Confidentiality

Canadian University Dubai respects the confidentiality of each of its students, and will not reveal sensitive information about trans* status without the prior agreement of the individual

Protection from discrimination and harassment

The University recognizes the right of each student to choose whether to express their gender identity and history. Staff and students should respect any transgender student in relation to:

      • Gender identity

      • Right to study with dignity

      • Name and personal identity

      • Privacy and confidentiality

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Canadian University Dubai does not unlawfully discriminate in its admissions or educational policies on the basis of race, age, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or national and ethnic origin. However, admission into the university is limited to individuals with convictions, goals, and objectives consistent with the statement of faith and the mission of the university. The CUD reserve the right to refuse admission to any applicant or to dismiss any student at its own discretion when any such applicant or student manifests character or conduct that is adverse to the college’s statement of mission, purpose, and objectives. Study at the university requires a high level of proficiency in the English language. Students from non-English speaking countries must demonstrate their proficiency as part of the admissions process.

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With the purpose of caring for the entire university community, students as well as staff members, the University has an Equality and Diversity Policy whose main function is that the human rights of each member of the university community are not violated and are respected. The university believes in the diversity of the human being, for this reason I developed this policy that rejects and prohibits any type of discrimination caused by another member of the university or a third party.

Introduction and Statement

  • Canadian Dubai University is committed to promoting and implementing equality of opportunity in the learning, teaching, research and working environments

  • The University aims to create a learning and working environment based on fostering good relations between all people, with a shared commitment to promoting respect for all, and challenging and preventing stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination and harassment

  • The University is committed to inclusiveness, which “embraces diversity by valuing and respecting the perspectives and contributions of all our colleagues and students”, to the benefit of the University community in respect of its learning, teaching, research, management, administration and support service activities

  • The University upholds the principle that, in their areas of expertise, relevant staff of the University shall have freedom within the law to hold and express opinion, to question and test established ideas and received wisdom, and to present controversial or unpopular points of view without placing in jeopardy their employment or any entitlements or privileges they enjoy

Scope of the Policy

This Policy applies to all members of the University community, including:

  • All members of staff holding a contract of employment, and staff from other institutions on placement at, or visiting the University

  • Individuals with honorary or affiliate status

  • All students, including visiting and placement students

  • Visitors, including external persons or agencies using the University’s premises, facilities or services

  • Contractors working at the University

  • Individuals working or acting on the University’s behalf, including suppliers of goods and services

The Policy

  • The University aims to ensure that all members of its community are treated with fairness, dignity and respect

  • The University will apply this policy in compliance with and in the spirit of the relevant legislation

  • The University will not discriminate on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (hereafter referred to as the ‘protected characteristics’) in any decisions concerning student admissions, progression or support provision

  • The University will not discriminate on grounds of any protected characteristic, in decisions concerning staff recruitment and selection, career development, promotion, staff development opportunities, pay and remuneration, or reward and recognition

  • The University will not discriminate against any person on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation, in the provision of facilities or services, or in the exercise of public functions

  • In the provision of residential accommodation, the University will seek to provide an inclusive living and studying environment

  • The University will not discriminate against any person on grounds of disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation.

  • Under-represented groups are encouraged to apply to work and study at the University

University Responsibilities

Overall responsibility for Equality and Diversity lies with the University Court. The University Principal takes responsibility as overarching Equality Champion, supported by Equality Champions for each of the equality strands, drawn from the Senior Management Group

The University will ensure that:

  • Staff and students are made aware of this Equality and Diversity Policy through the University’s web pages, publications, induction and training provision, and through the line management structure, as appropriate

  • Publicity material reflects the diversity of the University’s community

  • Staff, students and visitors are treated fairly, irrespective of their protected characteristics. The University will take prompt action over alleged discrimination, victimization or harassment

  • Reasonable adjustments are made, as appropriate, to enable disabled staff and students to overcome substantial disadvantage in the working and learning environment, and in the use of recreational facilities provided by the University

  • Existing procedures for staff and student complaints, grievances and discipline/conduct matters are applied in a just, fair, open and timely manner

  • Staff involved in staff recruitment, student admissions, selection and promotion panels receive training on equality and diversity matters

  • External contractors are made aware of their responsibility in relation to equality and diversity and will be required to comply with university policies and regulations

  • Learning and teaching material, where practical, includes positive, diverse, non-stereotypical content

  • Public events are held, wherever possible, in accessible locations, and where accessibility is limited by necessity, this is made clear to potential attendees

Individual Responsibilities

All University staff, students, contractors and visitors have a responsibility under the Equality and Diversity Policy. All individuals are:

  • Responsible for making themselves aware of the University Equality and Diversity Policy

  • Expected to participate in training which supports the implementation of the University’s Equality Policy, as appropriate

  • Responsible for their behavior and expected to treat others with dignity and respect. This includes cases where alleged or proven discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimization has occurred

  • To support the University’s determination to promote good relations and eliminate discrimination and harassment

  • Staff responsible for schemes of work, teaching content and resources should demonstrate sensitivity to equality and diversity issues

  • Staff responsible for dealing with appeals, complaints, grievances, staff discipline and student conduct matters should demonstrate sensitivity to equality and diversity issues

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On Combating Discrimination and Hatred

  • 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.

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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.

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  • Tolerance Undertaking